tv Year in Review NSA CSPAN December 25, 2013 8:00pm-9:01pm EST
>> tonight on c-span -- >> a year in review looks at the national security agency surveillance programs followed by the series on first ladies with a look at the life and times of bess truman. then a discussion on the healthcare law as coverage begins for some on january 1. you are watching c-span's 2013 year in review. some of the most significant revealations about u.s. national security surveillance methods leaked documents by former n.s.a. contractor edward snowden unveiled a widespread vacuuming
of voice and tate that data communications. senator feinstein said the u.s. has to look for ways to get intelligence that is operable and ways that can prevent plots against americans. >> first of all, i really think that protecting the nation is important. secondly protecting the nation within the principles of this great democracy and this great constitution is also important. now, the metadate is a it not constitutionally guaranteed to be first amendment material. the supreme court has passed on that. but having said that, we have got to examine ways to be able to get data to get intelligence that is operable and that can prevent plots from hatching and americans from being killed. that is the goal. now if we can do it in another
way, we are looking to do it in another way. we would like to. if we can't, we can't. >> you could say that this program has thwarted some specific attacks? >> well, it has. but that is classified. we discussed it in there. i gather there is -- i have to -- there is a report on that. i'm going to look at that report. >> senator, was this is regular meeting or did you put this together because -- >> we just put this together. because what happened -- we just put this together quickly as a briefing because on the floor a number of members came up to me and said we really need a briefing. and what also happened is members who briefed made comments they were astonished, they didn't know this was happening. we thought so many things that people have to deal with that it would be critical if we could bring members that were interested to come in. i think there was a good cross section both of republicans and
democrats there. >> senator, are you able to share with us some of the concerns that members -- >> this took place in a classified briefing and we don't talk about the substance of it. >> are you considering looking at changes to the program? what kind of changes would be made? >> we are always open to changes. but that doesn't mean there will be any. it does mean that we will look at any ideas any thoughts, and we do this on everything. >> we are with mark mazetti national security correspondent at the new york times bureau here in washington. we saw a clip of diane feinstein back in june. she had just come from a briefing on the n.s.a. revealations. take us back a little bit. who was edward snowden and how did he get such access to the top secret material? and how it d. it make its way to publications like the new york
times. >> edward snowden was a n.s.a. contractor work for a number of companies. most recently booze allen. working as a computer systems administrator which gave him access to a tremendously wide array of classified files inside the n.s.a. system. i think the f.b.i. and n.s.a. are still trying to figure out the extent of what he took and how he did what he did. but what he did over the course of 2012 and 2013 was systematically download and copy files, thousands and thousands of files from a facility in hawaii that the n.s.a. ran. >> is there any idea, do you think the n.s.a. has any idea how much information he has? >> they are still trying to grapple with that. even so many months later to figure out exactly how much he took. and to some degree the american government has been scrambling with each new revealation in the
press, the foreign and the american press, to mitigate the damage whether it is relationships with other countries or other intelligence services. >> and you have been writing regularly about this store ricks the n.s.a. surveillance and revealations. what has been the most surprising thing that has been revealed if his treasure trove of data? >> i think that you go back to the very beginning. i think in my mind the most extraordinary document is really the first one that "the guardian" published which the court order ordering both collection of cell phone records of americans. i think that even after months and months of a revealations about tapping the internet burks gaming, of all sorts of things you go back to this because it is extraordinary the reach of the order which allows the n.s.a. to gather data about pretty much every single phone call of americans and i think
that really is even to this day extraordinary. >> it unfoldedfolded almost like a weekly serial novel. your most recent article was about onlin gaming. an infiltration there. what is the n.s.a. and the c.i.a. looking for? >> they are trying to just build up massive amounts of data, collect massive amounts of information in order to then go back and run searches in order to find what they call the needle in the haystack and they say you to build the haystack in order to get the needle. they are looking for terrorist activity. this n. order to they claim find out cell phone records or e-mail records of people who might be engage in the activity you need to build up a massive amount of data and then run algorithms to find the information. in the gaming story that i did
it is hard to know exactly what it is that they were looking for in world of warcraft or in second life. they were, we believe, they thought that these games provided a venue for terrorists to go in, pose as different characters and be able to discuss thing in normal gaming code and actually discussing real world terrorist attacks. we don't have any evidence that was actually happening. >> we will show the c-span viewers on the year in review program some of the hearings held and some of the floor debate. what in general has been congress' reaction to the revealations? >> there have been episodic attempts by congress over the course of this year to restrict some of these activities. but nothing has really in the end happened of any significance. in part because congress itself is very torn about what they think about these things and the democratic leadership of the senate, the senate intelligence committee, dianne feinstein has
broadly supported this activity and so you have for the most part a congress that has blessed these activities of the n.s.a. so that is why any kind of real change is difficult. >> get back to the information with mark mazzetti in a moment. we wanted to show the floor debate on the amendment and other hearings this year on the n.s.a. surveillance program. >> in recent years, the information gathered from these programs provided the u.s. government with critical leads to help prevent over 50 potential terrorist events in more than 20 countries around the world. f.a.a. 702 contributed in over 90% of the cases. at least ten of the events included homeland-based threats and the vast majority business records fisa reporting contributed as well. it is a great partnership with the department of homeland security in those with the
domestic neck nexus. it has been our honor and privilege to work with director mueller and deputy director joyce. i will turn it over to shawn. >> thank you for the opportunity to be here today. n.s.a. and the f.b.i. have a unique relaysship and one invaluable since 9/11. i want to highlight a couple of the instances. in the fall of 2009 n.s.a. using 702 authority intercepted an e-mail from a terrorist located in pakistan. that individual was talking with an individual located inside the united states talking about perfecting a recipe for explosives. through legal process that individual was identified as naji and he was located in denver colorado. the f.b.i. followed him to new york city and later executed
search warrants with the new york joint terrorism task force and n.y.p.d. and found bomb making components and backpacks. he later confessed to a plot to bomb the new york subway system with backpacks. also working with business records the n.s.a. was able to provide a previously unknown number of one of the co-son spear stores. this was the first core al-qaeda plot since 9/11 directed from afghanistan. another example, n.s.a. was monitoring a known extremist in yemen. this individual was in contact with an individual in the united states. individuals that we identified through a fisr that the f.b.i. applied for were able to detect a nacens plotting to bomb the
new york stock exchange. he had been providing information in support to the plot. the f.b.i. disrupted and arrested these individuals. also david headley in the u.s. citizen living in chicago. the f.b.i. received intelligence regarding his possible involvement in the 2008 mumbai attacks responsible for the killing of over 160 people. also n.s.a. through 702 coverage of an al-qaeda affiliated terrorist found that headley was working on a plot to bomb a danish newspaper office that had published the cartoon depictions of the prophet muhammad. headley later confessed to personally conduct surveillance of the danish newspaper office. he and his coconspirators were convicted of this plot.
lastly the f.b.i. opened an investigation shortly after 9/11. we did not have enough information nor did we find links to terrorism so we shortly thereafter closed the investigation. however, the n.s.a. using the business record fisa tipped us off that this individual had indirect contacts with a known terrorist overseas. we were able to reopen this investigation, identify additional individuals through the legal process and were able to disrupt this terrorist activity. >> now in order -- the way it works, is the -- there is an application that is made about it f.b.i. under the statute to the fisa court, we call it the fisk. they ask for and receive permission under this to get records relevant to a national security investigation and they must demonstrate to the fisk it
will be operated under the guidelines that are set forth by the attorney general under executive order 12333. it is limited to tangible objects. what does that mean? these are like records like the metadata, the phone records i have been describing but it is quite explicitly limited to things that you could get with a grand jury subpoena. those kinds of records. now, it is important to know prosecutors issue grand jury subpoenas all the time and do not need any involvement of a court or anybody else really to do so. under this program, we need to get permission from the court to issue this ahead of time so there is court involvement with the issuance of these orders which is different from a grand jury subpoena. but the type of records, just
documents, business records things like that are limited to the same types of documents that we could get through a grand jury subpoena. the orders that we get last 90 days. we have to re-up and renew the orders every 90 days in order to do this. now, there are strict controls over what we can do under the order. and again, that is the bigger thicker order that hasn't been published. there is restrictions on who can access it in this order. it is stored in repositories at n.s.a. that can only be accessed by a limited number of people and the people who access it have to have rigorous and special training about the standards under which they can access it. in order to access it there needs to be a finding there is reasonable suspicion that you can articulate, that you can put into words that the person whose phone records you want to
query is involved with some sort of terrorist organizations and they are defined. it is not every one. they are limited in the statute. there has to be independent evidence aside from these phone records that the person you are targeting is involved with a terrorist organization. if that person is a united states person, a citizen or a lawful permanent resident you have to have something more than just their own speeches, their own readings, their own first amendment type activity. you have to have additional evidence beyond that, that indicates there is reasonable articulatable suspicion that these people are associated with specific terrorist organizations. >> madam president, thank you. i'm reading the statement on behalf of the commission and i'm here today instead of vice president biden who is
unavailable. >> the commission is concerned about recent media reports that you united states authorities are accessing and processing on a large-scale the data of european union citizens using major u.s. online service providers. programs such as the so-called prism and the laws on the basis of which such programs are authorized potentially endanger the fundmental right to privacy and to date it protection. the present case as reported in the media is also likely to reenforce the concerns of e.u. citizens regarding the use of their personal data online and in the cloud. already in 2012, 70% of e.u.
citizens were concerned that their personal data held by companies could be used by a purpose other than the one for which it was collected. the prism case as reported in the media also highlights the difference between the european union and the united states. whereas in the u.s. system only u.s. citizens and residents benefit from constitutional safeguards, in the european union everyone's personal data and the confidentialallity of their communications are recognized and protected as fundamental rights irrespective of their nationality. while reports are particularly worry some --
>> colleagues, commissioner, 500 million european citizens were very shocked last week to find that a foreign nation has unlimited access to every every intertate detail of their private life. it was the president him solve who came and answered to questions of congress and the media. so what do they see in europe? first of all, with all due respect to the commissioner, we get the commissioner for public health to deal with this issue. well the president who should have stepped in his his helicopter and flown to straussburg to answer we have at least the responsible commissioner to respond to terrorism in the house. where is the responsible commissioner? why aren't the prime political leaders of europe here? we also need to look at ourselves colleagues. look around you.
an empty hemi cycle. this house just over a decade ago when faced with a similar situation something called echelon, we decided to set up a heavy parliamentary inquiry. today we get a handful of dedicated m.e.p.'s to address 500 million citizens. we are failing the european citizens at a time where trust in the european union is at an all-time low! we should be ashamed of ourselves. and then to the subject matter itself, first of all we can't have been very surprised to find that the americans are spying on us because we knew about it. we have been asking questions again and again and again. but asking questions through the commission is like talking to a wall. i have a long list of nonanswers to my questions. about the patriot act. about extra territorial
application of u.s. law and we get no answers from the european commission. the member states because there is a national debate about the same issue everywhere. we will ask the americans for an explanation. in all of the member states including the u.k. and in my member state we are doing the same. the states are doing double speak to the citizens. are we surprised that they are losing trust? and actually you can say the citizens don't trust their governments any more but the governments seem to trust their citizens even less. we are also losing moral authority here. how can we tell the governments of say egypt iran, any other country that they should not spy on their citizens because that has no place in a democracy if we ever doing the same on our citizens? we are losing credibility here. on the special relationship, i have heard nearly all colleagues hero if he to the special
relationship with our best friends and closest allies the united states. i don't know if you listen to the statement of president obama when he was addressing the american audience who were worried. he said don't worry, you know, we are not spying on you as citizens. we are only spying on foreigners. foreigners. so that is us. that is european citizens. so what kind of a special relationship is that? and over the last 12 years europe has bent over backwards to be the closest ally of the americans in the fight against terrorism. and i'm sure that we will continue to be their ally. but we need to see eye to eye. and we expect the commission and with all due respect i'm grateful you are here, commissioner borg, but this is a matter for political leadership. we need political leadership in europe to defend the rights of our citizens and the time is now. >> as we look at the specific
cases described in hearings earlerier this week. what at first seemed like fairly dramatic claims, dozens of terror plots being foiled looks a lot less dramatic under closer scrutiny. separate out prism and 702 from 215 you say 40 of these terror events again, whatever that is, were overseas so those may have proved prism or at least half may have involved press new mexico some significant way and 10 or 12 that are domestic. and then when you start looking at exactly what that means you say how many of those was 215 actually used specifically? this metadata program. and welshing the majority we believe. okay, six or sew seven. what are the cases. one involved founding someone
donating money to shababb, the ethiopia group. find and prosecute those people. not exactly a terror plot foiled and not clear why the same thing could not have been achieved using traditional tools. nagi already being monitored. whatever use was made of 125 later. not clear why a more targeted use of that would not have been possible. there was this other case involving a supposed plot to bomb the new york stock exchange. was it a serious plot? the deputy director for the f.b.i. says well the jury thought it was serious because they were all convicted. there was no jury trial and they were not convicted of plotting terrorism. they were convicted of material support for a terrorist organization meaning again assistancion money and the
new york stock exchange plot part of it appears to have involved the fact that the u.s. person involved in the case scoped out several tourist targets and it appears to have been abandoned. the u.s. attorney who worked the case said there was no specific plot. if these are the showpiece cases they are bringing up to justify the bulk collection of all americans' phone and possibly internet records, it is not clear that that is a justification that passes that cost benefit test. if you have general warrants to search any suspected place any home, then yes it turns out when you are investigating crimes the thing that you used that will be helpful in solving those crimes was the general warrant. if instead as we have, you have a system where warrants are specific and based on probable cause that is what will end up when you look back having been
useful in solving crimes. i will say that they are similar in that they both appear to represent elements in a trend i think we have expected or suspected as being going on in the fisa court since 9/11 which is an increasing shift from restrictions on the front end on collection that is to say up front restrictions on what can be acquired to back end restrictions where you have a very broad access, analysts themselves who have the discretion to select which things are going going going to be queried for search, which particular selectors will be entered to pull up particular phone records or e-mail contents. and then various back end procedures sort of counted on to prevent that from being misused. i think that is, frankly a dangerous shift in a way that is
the fourth amendment was supposed to prevent. it was centrally about moving discretion in searches from executive agents to neutral magistrates. and so you know, instead of letting the agent decide which homes to search and having some kind of back end review to make sure that they weren't indiscriminately searching too many homes you would say no, you actually need an up-front warrant for each particular home you are going to search. the move away from that especially given the scale of the surveillance which i think makes any kind of meaningful oversight really more sort of a kymara than a reality as evidenced by the fact that what they are forced to do is statistical samleing to determine their validity should not be sufficiently reassuring to make us comfortable with this
larger scale shift from front end to back end restrictions. once you have got data, you have got the data. and the back end restrictions on what you do with it last only until you decide to change them and the record so far suggests we won't necessarily know if they decide to change them. >> do you see any limitation under the fourth amendment or the patriot act on the government's power to gather information en masse on people? >> yes, sir, i see very many limitations from both the fourth amendment and from the patriot act and the fisa act. there are many, many limitations put in and many checks and balances both to the -- >> let's go over a couple of those. i assume you have to go to the fisa court and those are one of the checks and balances. could you go to the court and
argue that you had a right to obtain, say, either an individual or every american's tax return? could you argue that with a straight face? >> i think they -- >> i have a long list of them. yes or no? >> any individuals tax return? there are separate laws that cover the acquisition of tax returns. >> you could get tax returns. could you get somebody's permanent record from school? >> if was relevant to the investigation you could go and ask for it. >> somebody's hotel records? >> it was relevant. >> the record of everybody who stayed in a particular hotel at a given time. >> if you can dem none straight to the court it is relevant. >> get my visa master card records. >> if i can demonstrate to the court -- >> could you argue with a straight face you could create a database of every financial transaction that happen in the country because visa and master card only keep those for a couple of years? >> that is dependent on what i'm
investigating and what the relevance of the information and how it would be used and how to would be limited. it is not a simple he yes yes or no block or white image. >> could you get google searches? >> excuse m3, sir? >> all of the searches on a search enagain i would have to make a showing to the court that that kind of informations relevant. >> get all google searches and come back and say we will search them later when we got that information. >> it would depend on the way i would be able to search them and again under 215 of these -- of this statute that we are talking about, it is only if i can show that it is related to specific terrorist organizations. >> can you get the g.p.a. date it from my phone? >> i'm sorry? >> the g.p.s. data or mapping software on my phone too?
>> only if it is relevant to investigation of the specific terrorist organizations. >> how is having every phone call that i make to my wife, to my daughter relevant to any terror investigation? >> i don't know that every call that you make to your wife and -- >> but you have got them. >> i don't know that they would be relevant and we would probably not seek to query them because we couldn't have the information we would need to make that query. >> we are here today for a very simple reason. to defend the fourth amendment. to defend the privacy of each and every american. and the director of national intelligence has made clear the government collects the phone records without suspicion of every single american in the united states. my amendment makes a simple but important change. it limits the government's collection of those records of the records so those records that pertain to a person who is
the subject of an investigation pursuant to section 215. opponents of this amendment will use the same tactics that every government throughout history has used to justify its violation of rights. fear. they will tell you that the government must violate the rights of the american people to protect us against those who hate our freedoms. they will tell you there is no expectation of privacy in documents stored stored with a third-party. tell that to the american people and our constituents back home. we are here to answer one question for the people we represent -- do we oppose the suspicionless collection of every american's phone records? >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman reserves. who seeks recognition? >> i reserve the balance. >> the gentleman from florida seeks recognition.
>> madam chair, i rise to claim time. >> the go is recognized for -- the gentleman is recognized for 7 1/2 minutes. >> i'm very happy to yield three minutes to the gentleman very distinguished chairman of the house intelligence committee the gentleman from michigan mr. rogers. >> the gentleman from michigan is recognized. >> thank you, madam chairman. the american people, certainly some well intentioned members in this chamber have legitimate concerns and they should be addressed and we should have time and education on what actually happens in the particular program of which we speak. i will pledge to each one of you today and give you my word that this fall when we do the intel authorization bill we will work to find additional private cipro texs with this program that has no e-mail, no phone calls, no names, and no addresses. 14 federal judges have said yes this comports with the
constitution. 800 cases around between the 197 case have affirmed -- 19 1979 case have affirmed the underpinnings of the legality of this case. 800. so 14 judges are wrong and 800 different cases are wrong. the legislators on both intelligence committees, republicans and democrats are all wrong. why is it that people of both parties came together and looked at this program at a time when our nation is under siege by those individuals who want to bring violence to the shores of the united states? those who know it best support the program because we spend as much time on this to get it right tortion make sure the oversight is right. no other program, no other program has the legislature the judicial branch and the executive branch doing oversight of a program like this if we had this in the other agencies we would not have problem -- problems, excuse me. and think about who we are in
this body. have 12 years gone by and our memories faded so badly we forgot what happened on september 11th? this bill turns off a very specific program. it doesn't stop so-called spying and other things that this has been alleged to do. because that is not what is happening. it is not a surveillance bill. it is not monitoring. it doesn't do any of those things. what happened after september 11th that we didn't know on september 10 and again passing this amendment takes us back to september 10 and afterward we said wow there is a seam, a gap. somebody leading up to the september 11 attacks, a terrorist overseas called a terrorist living amongst us in the united states and we missed it because we didn't have this capability. what if we would have caught it? the good news is we don't have to what if. it is not theoretical. 54 times this and the other program stopped and thwarted terrorist attacks both here and
in europe saving real lives. this isn't is game. this is real. it will have a real consequence. this it hard. think about the people who came here before us in this grade body. madison. lincoln. kennedy served here. the issues they dealt with and politics of big and moving america forward while upholding the article one mandate to this house that we must provide for the general defense of the united states and think of those challenges. the amash amendment would have prevented government from invoking section 12 t. 15 i have the patriot act. but not the content of the calls unless the government had a reasonable suspicion that a specific target was involved in terrorism. it fell one vote short.
205-217. 93 republicans voted for the amendment and 134 against. >> france, mexico, brazil and other countries, we insist on freedom and privacy in solidarity with our friends in germany we say [speaking in foreign language] and we insist on freedom and privacy in solidarity with our friends in france we say [speaking in foreign language]. we insist on freedom privacy in solidarity with our friends in mexico and throughout the spanish speaking world we say [speaking in foreign language]. in solidarity with our friends
in brazil we say [speaking in foreign language]. we insist in freedom of privacy. the state, the state has made this equation. security or liberty take your pick. listen to benjamin franklin's well-known admonition in 1755 he said "those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." today, in 2013, faced with a choice from a government which moves without morality, without respect for liberty or law, here or abroad, without adherences to the constitution, let us declare
that we have made the choice and we choose liberty! we choose liberty over a national security state. >> as a result of edward snowden's disclosures, i have learned that your cell phone turned off can be used as a listening device. an open microphone. turned off. as a result of edward snowden's disclosures, your cell phone's locating devices can be used when your cell phone is turned off. the greatest fear i have is that nothing will change. there is a general apathy for what is happening because "it is
not about me." i'm reminded on the statement of the wall of the holocaust museum. first they came for the socialists and i did not speak out because i was not a socialist. then they came for the trade unionists. and i did not speak out because i was not a trade unionist. then they came for the jews. and i did not speak out because i was not a jew. then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me. who is looking at all of this personal information? how will it be used? how will it be abused? stand up america, we are mad as hell and we want you to stop this spying on us now. >> look at the program that we have. we as american citizens, everyone at this table is also an american citizen.
have agreed that we would take our personal data and put it into a pile, a lockbox. there would only be looked at when we had reasonable and articulatable suspicion that we had connection to a foreign al-qaeda or related terrorist group and look into that box. in 2012, we had 288 such selectors that we could go and look into that. that is it. of the billions of records only 288. and with that, we had tremendous oversight. when you look at the amount of oversight from this committee alone and from others, from within the d.n.i., the department of defense, with our own director of compliance works our own general counsel and with our own i.g. and with all of our compliance individuals at every level everything that we do on this program is audited 100% on
the business record fisa. 100%. the data is kept separate from all of the other data that we have. i think it is important to understand that the leaker did not have access to this data. period. the technical safeguards that we have there ensure that no one else gets access to it and no one can get a query unless it goes to one of those 288 numbers of the numbers that are currently on the list. only 22 people at n.s.a. are authorized to provide numbers to approve numbers and about 30 are authorized to look into that database and that is it. when you look at the number of people that we have and the oversight and compliance that we have on this program, and what it does to protect our civil liberties and privacy, we couldn't think of a better way to do that. let me give you some thoughts here because i think this is important for our country to
think about this. if you look at the trends in the c.t. arena, in 2012 it was the highest globally that has been ever. over 15,000 people killed. in just this last month, 2,336 people were killed. 1,510 injured in pakistan, afghanistan, syria, iraq and nigeria and yet there has not been a mass casualty here in the u.s. since 2001. that is not by luck. they didn't stop hating us. they didn't say that they were going to just forgive this. they continue to try. it is the great members in the intelligence community, our military, our law enforcement that have stood up and said this is our job and we do it with our partners and our allies. and it has been a great
partnership. when you look at the numbers that we gave you early on about the numbers of terrorist-related events that we helped stop, recall that 13 were in the u.s., 25 were in europe. they are closer to the threat. it is easier to get to europe and they are going after them. and i think it is a privilege and honor from the united states perspective to know that we have helped stop incidents there. as congressman king said, one incident was called 9/11. we call that one incident. that should never happen again. that is what we are about here. that is what we are trying to do. i think it is also important to note that we have asked industry's help. ask, okay, more accurately, we have compelled industry to help
us in this manner by court order. and what they are doing is saving lives. and they are being penalized because they are helping to save lives in our way of life so that people sitting behind me can express their feelings. that is something we all stand up for so they can say what they believe. we think it is important that they have the facts. industry has helped because they were compelled to help. and i will tell you there are a lot of patriots out there that know that what they are ting is to doing is saving lives not only here but in europe and around the world and it is the right thing to do. and it is done under court order. i think it is absolutely vital that we understand that. so where do we come from? ite plus years we have been a team for seven plus years. this is the greatest workforce i
have ever met. these are patriots who every day come to work saying how can we defend this country and protect our civil liberties and privacy? nothing that has been released has shown that we are trying to do something illegal or unprofessional. when we find a mistake a compliance issue we report it to this committee to all our overseers and we correct it. in the business record fisa and in the 702 there have been no willful violations. under our executive order 12 12333 there have been 12 over decade. the majority were done in foreign space on foreigners. i think that is important to understand. for our foreign partners and our allies we hold ourselves to that same standard no matter if we operate here or abroad.
if we do something that does not fall within an intelligence requirement, it is wrong. we report it, we hold our people accountable. if they it that willfully and disobeyed orders then they are held accountable and most all of those people are gone. three of them were military. two were given a court martial reduced in rank, half a month's pay for two months and 40 days extra duty -- 45 days extra duty. we hold our people accountable and we report to the committee everything that we are doing. as we go forward in the future one of the things that we talked about, this is a tough time for n.s.a. where everybody says what are you doing or why are you doing it? here is what we do, when we get together we don't -- well, maybe a couple times we whine. but we actually say it is much more important for this country that we defend this nation and
take the beatings than it is to give up a program that would result in this nation being attacked. we would rather be here in front of you today telling you why we defended these programs than having given them up and have our nation our our allies be attacked and people killed. and the interesting part is we have shown we can do both. defend the country and protect our civil liberties and privacy. chairman ranking member it has been an honor and privilege to work with this committee even though at times you wirebrush us. you know that we are going tell you the truth, the whole truth and everything that we know every time, that is our commitment to you. and that is our commitment to this country. >> we got on the press account
the n.s.a. is collecting billions of cell phone location records every day and reporter gathering information or communication of information of online gaming sites. the stories suggest the activities are directed abroad but we know the n.s.a. was making plans to obtain cell site location information under section 215. we also know that the n.s.a. engaged in bulk collection of internet metadata under the register statute. it suggests to me under that kind of a legal interpretation of fisa the n.s.a. could collect the same amounts of massive information dough mesically that this suggests they are collecting abroad. maybe i should direct at you, i know the program authorized the bulk e-mail and other internet
metadata was shut down in 2011 because it wasn't operationally useful. under the current law would the n.s.a. be able to restart the bulk collection of internet data? >> i think that if the n.s.a. and the department of justice were able to make a showing showing to the fisa court that the collection of internet metadata in bulk which is a category of information that is not protected by the fourth amendment if it were relevant to an authorized investigation and could convince the fisa court of that yes it would be authorized. >> the shutdown' shutdown before as not being operationally useful. would you have to go to the court? >> i believe we would have to. >> to restart the bulk collection of internet data would you have to go to the court? >> i believe we would. >> mr. cole? >> yes mr. chairman. under the fisa statute i think you would have to get court
authority just like you would under 215 to do that and would only last for a period of time. will is no active authority for it right now. >> setting aside any tech technology limitations would it authorizeout to obtain all internet metadata, not just e-mail? >> i think that is correct but would be limited to the metadata in that regard. >> if i could make sure i understand mr. cole's answer. the only limitation would be that it would be metadata. >> it cannot be content. and the latest order of the fisa court under 215 specifically excluded cell site location as well. i was going to add that you would have to show that the categories of metadata that you were seeking was in fact relevant to the authorized investigation. >> mr. cole, you talked about
the legislation senator lee and i talked about to update electronics communication privacy act. want to require in criminal matters government obtain a probable cause warrant to gain access to the contents of electronic communication stored by a third-party provider. section 215 of the u.s.a. patriot act requires the government to show only relevance to an authorized intelligence investigation or to obtain records. i'm not talking about bulk collection but the more standard usage of 215. as section 215 ever been relied upon to obtain the contents of stored communications from a third-party provider? >> not that i am aware of, mr. chairman. >> mr. litt? >> i'm hesitant to give an answer to that. it is not a question i ever
asked. i would prefer to get back to you on that, sir. i don't know the answer sitting here. >> can you get back to me by the end of the week? >> i will try. >> if they haven't as a legal matter could section 215 be used to obtain the contents of communication? >> i would have to think about that. considering that it is -- it is limited to the types of information you can get with a grand jury subpoena, i would have to look because of the aspects of stored communications and things of that nature, i would have to check. but i'm not sure. i would have to go back and look at that. so without a check of the legal authorities, i will get back to you on that, mr. chairman. >> and i appreciate you checking those. i thank you understand by the -- i think you understand by the question -- >> yes. >> there are some serious legal
ramifications to your answer. >> i agree. >> well, good. the -- i'm going to yield to senator franken. but general alexander you talked about using and i will get to you in my next round about going to the private sector and looking for best practices from them. you can imagine i'm going to ask if those best practices had been used would a 29-year-old sub contractor have been able to walk away with all of your secrets like mr. snowden did? senator franken? >> going to ask that in the next round or do you want it answered now? >> you -- that is okay. i don't want to take -- you have been waiting patiently. i will wait my turn. >> okay. the general will have plenty of time to think about that. i have a question for you. see if you can do both at the same time. i have the surveillance
transparency act, i think you are all familiar with. among other things, general alexander the bill would require n.s.a. to tell the american people how many of them have had their communications collected by the n.s.a. do you think that the american people have the right to know roughly how many of them have had their information collected by the n.s.a.? >> i do, senator. i think the issue is how do you describe that? those that are under a court order so under fisa as you know to collect the content of a communications we have to get a warrant. the issue would be almost in the title three court do you tell someone, a u.s. person who may not be a u.s. citizen that we are tracking that we are tracking them here in the united states or that we have identified that? >> i'm not suggesting that you
have to tell people they are being surveilled. i mean that they personally are a suspect. what i'm saying is the american people have a right to know how many american people have had their information collected. that is a different question. i wasn't suggesting we tip people off that are suspects. >> i think in broad terms absolutely. >> in broad terms? >> for example under 215 today less than 200 numbers approved for reasonable arctic latable suspected pictor being searched in the database. >> 200 orders or 200 people. >> 200 numbers. some may be multiple numbers per person. those numbers could be both foreign and domestic. in fact, they are. but that is the total number for that category for a section 215 today under that program. the other one that i think and i think the deputy attorney
general mentioned, is we can also put out more about what we are doing under the f.a.a. 702 program that we have compelled industry to do in a more transparent manner. the issue is how do we do that without revealing some of our own capabilities? and we are working to the interagency to get resolution on that. >> okay. i'm being told by staff that that is actually the number of people that had their phone numbers searched not collected right? >> so under 215, all of the data is going into a repository. >> metadata. >> metadata. if for example i'm talking to a foreign terrorist my number would automatically hit that link. in fact, you probably would want to know that. i know the white house would. >> we need to know that. >> the issue would be how many of those. what we would do is we would
look at those and basended on our analysis give those numbers that are aprep appropriate to the f.b.i. to go through the appropriate process to look at those numbers. >> mark mazzetti of the new york times. we have seen the hearings in the past year with general alexander and director clapper. among the revealations in the past year have been the tapping of the cell phones of foreign leaders. what has that meant to the administration? how impactful has that been? >> it has been incredibly embarrassing for the obama administration. it has taken up a lot of time of senior officials trying to explain to allied governments specifically how this happens. now, many allied governments are not surprised that even friendly governments spy on each other but it creates major setbacks for some diplomatic
relationships. germany is one of them. the united states has long had a relationship with britain and other english speaking countries that they don't spy on each other. beyond that relationship there really isn't -- kind of fair game. everything is fair game. so the merkel relationship has really been one that sort of fractured this year as well as other relationships. the relationship with brazil for instance. >> as the year wraps up, general alexander in a hearing this past week said we can't live in a pre9/11 moment which is something he said several times throughout the year. as we go into 2014 what does the administration hope to do with this issue and will anything happen legislatively in terms of pulling back some of the n.s.a.'s ability? >> it is not going away in part because the revealations will continue. there is still thousands of documents. the press will be continuing to
report them. i think the real question for 2014 is whether president obama is going to deal with this actively. this is now part of his legacy. and how he wants it to be part of his legacy is the question for the next year. he has spoken occasionally about it. he said he wants a debate about surveillance. the tension between liberty and security. and yet frequently he avoided opportunities to really talk about it. the question is for 2014 will he embrace the issue as one for debate and try to roll back some of the things that the n.s.a. has been doing and really create a debate in the united states about where the boundary should be. >> and a story that you will keep reporting about. >> yes. >> thanks for being with us on our year in review. >> thanks very much. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] >> tomorrow night, our year in
review continues with a look at the laws. in december last year, president obama called on congress to pass new gun legislation. we will show you senate debate, and former testimony from former congresswoman gabrielle giffords. she spends year in review, thursday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern. c-span read bring public affairs offense from washington directly to you, putting you in the room at congressional hearings briefings and conferences, and offering complete gavel to gavel coverage of the u.s. house, all as a public service of private industry. we are c-span, created by the cable tv industry 34 years ago and funded by your local cable and satellite provider. now you can watch us andin hd.