tv PBS News Hour PBS January 20, 2014 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: peace talks aimed at halting the syrian civil war were flung into disarray today amid a dispute over whether iran should have a seat at the negotiating table. good evening, i'm gwen ifill, judy woodruff is away. >> all americans must enlist in a crusade finally to make the race question an ugly relic of a dark past. >> ifill: we bring you a long- lost recording of a 1962 martin luther king junior speech on america's enduring post slavery struggle with racism.
we really see him connecting, in the 1960s to the emancipation proclamation in the civil war to the declaration of independence and the founding of the country. plus, miles o'brien ventures deep inside a canadian nickel mine, home to a premier particle-physics lab where they're trying to solve a key mystery of the universe, what is dark matter? >> it's rather annoying but it is so important and yet we know next to nothing about it. >> ifill: those are just some of the stories we're covering on tonight's "pbs newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> charles schwab, proud supporter of the "pbs newshour."
>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: diplomats labored today to salvage plans for getting the syrian government and rebel forces together, to talk instead of fight. opponents of the assad regime balked at including iran in this week's scheduled gathering. and the u.n. secretary-general ultimately rescinded his invitation to the iranian government. we'll explore all of this, right after the news summary. >> ifill: iran, the u.s. and other world powers began implementing a landmark nuclear deal today. under the agreement, iran
announced it unplugged banks of centrifuges that enrich uranium to high levels. the move was witnessed by international inspectors, and announced on state television. >> the implementation of the first phase of the geneva agreement has started to. comply with the agreement iran starting this morning stopped its 20% uranium enrichment. the process of oxidation and dilution of the 20% uranium stockpile has started. >> ifill: in return, the u.s. and the european union announced the easing of some economic sanctions. the agreement is good for the next six months, giving the parties time to try to reach a final agreement. >> ifill: in iraq today, a wave of bombings killed at least 28 people in and around baghdad. most of the explosions targeted crowded markets and court buildings in the capital. in addition to the dead, scores of people were wounded. meanwhile, heavy fighting raged west of baghdad, in ramadi. the iraqi army launched a major
offensive there yesterday to drive out al-qaeda fighters. >> ifill: a taliban bombing in pakistan has killed at least 13 people, the second attack on the army in as many days. the blast erupted when a suicide bomber blew himself up near the main military headquarters in rawalpindi. on sunday, taliban militants killed more than two dozen troops at an army compound in the northwest town of bannu. >> ifill: americans marked this day with tributes to the reverend martin luther king junior, on the national holiday celebrating his birthday. "newshour" correspondent kwame holman has our report. >> reporter: song filled the air on the national mall in washington early on this holiday morning. officials honored the civil rights leader with a wreath- laying ceremony at his memorial. elsewhere in the nation's capital, vice president joe biden said the civil rights struggle continues. he pointed to a supreme court
decision that struck down part of the voting rights act: >> justice ginsburg got it right when she said throwing out the existing process when it's working and continues to work is, quote, like throwing away an umbrella in a rainstorm because you're not getting wet. and now we're in a hailstorm, new attempts by states and localities to limit ballot access without the full protection of the law. >> reporter: the first family marked the occasion by taking part in a national day of service to honor king's legacy. president and mrs. obama and their two daughters volunteered at a community kitchen, helping to prepare meals for local shelters. and there were events nationwide. in king's hometown of atlanta, celebrants paid tribute with dancing, singing, and drum performances. in denver, thousands gathered at the "i have a dream" monument for the mile-high city's annual king day parade.
adults and children also turned out in st. paul, minnesota to march in honor of dr. king's life and mission. >> we need to forgive what has happened bad to us in this country and look forth to making it a better place and we all can be a part of that by pitching in and doing our part. >> reporter: parades also were held in los angeles phoenix and elsewhere. >> ifill: an american missionary held in north korea for more than a year appealed today for the u.s. government to secure his release. kenneth bae was arrested in november of 2012, convicted of crimes against the state and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. today, bae appeared at a news conference in pyongyang. he appealed for an end to what he said was a "smear campaign" against north korea. >> i would like to plea with the u.s. government, the press and my family to stop worsening my situation by making wild rumors against
north korea and releasing materials related to me which are not based on the facts. >> ifill: bae admitted he had broken north korean laws and said he hopes to be pardoned. >> ifill: in a new interview, president obama says marijuana is a vice, but it's no more dangerous than alcohol. >> ifill: he also tells "the new yorker" magazine that penalties for pot use are levied unfairly. he says: acknowledged he smoked marijuana as a young man but says he doesn't encourage it. still to come on the newshour, trouble with the syria peace talks before they even start, a long lost recording from the reverend mar fin-- martin luther trouble for the syria peace talks, before they even start; a long-lost recording from the reverend martin luther king junior; the wave of violence roiling afghanistan; the dark- matter experiment deep inside a canadian nickel mine; plus, what the tech industry thinks of the president's n.s.a. proposals.
>> ifill: now, the diplomatic struggle over the syria peace talks. the back and forth over the u.n.'s decision to invite iran to participate continued all day, with the scheduled start of the talks less than 48 hours away. >> ifill: in two days time, world powers will gather at this hotel in montreux, switzerland to try to negotiate an end to syria's civil war. yesterday in new york, u.n. secretary general ban ki moon extended an eleventh-hour invitation to iran. >> i believe strongly that iran needs to be part of the solution to the syrian crisis. >> ifill: ban initially said iran accepted the goal of a transitional government in syria that would remove president bashar al assad from power. later, though, iran insisted it will not accept pre-conditions for attending. hours after that, a spokesman for ban made this announcement
at the u.n.: >> the secretary general is deeply disappointed by iranian public statements today that are not at all consistent with that stated commitment. he continues to urge iran to join the global consensus behind the geneva communiqueé. given that it has chosen to remain outside that basic understanding, he has decided that the one-day montreux gathering will proceed without iran's participation. >> ifill: the invitation had sparked a flurry of objections, starting at the u.n. with u.s. ambassador samantha power. >> as of this morning, iran still has yet to demonstrate its willingness to explicitly and publicly subscribe to the full implementation of the geneva communiqueé. that is a minimum requirement for participation in this peace process. >> ifill: "newshour" chief foreign affairs correspondent margaret warner has been watching all of this, in montreux. >> the state department was
incredibly frustrated by this last minute development over the weekend. it really threw a monkey wrench into its carefully constructed plan to get the syrian opposition to come to this conference, which only got settled saturday night. >> ifill: iran, and its allied lebanese militia hezbollah, have continued to send arms and fighters to support assad. the western-backed "syrian national council," which had agreed to participate in the talks, has insisted that must change. >> ( translated ): the national coalition gives an ultimatum to iran that expires today at seven >> russia a long time ally of syria's insisted iran should be at the table.
f there was no iran in this list i think >> ifill: on the streets of tehran, iranians said it's only natural the islamic republic be included. >> iran is a major player in syria. without iran, the geneva conference would be an unanswerable question. it would be too difficult. >> ( translated ): iran is a very important country in the middle east. iran must be there and if iran does not take part, the meeting will be useless. everybody will feel iran's influence. >> ifill: for syrian refugees in the region, the latest turn of events, and the prospects for peace, has been met with skepticism. >> ( translated ): they will not be able to achieve anything. as long as russia, china, iran and the devil's party are supporting assad, nothing will happen. if the united states and the arab nations do not support us, and if the free syrian army doesn't achieve victory, nothing will come out of geneva. >> ifill: assad himself weighed in with an interview broadcast
today on syrian state television. he made clear he is not stepping down, and accused others of interfering in an internal dispute >> ( translated ): the geneva conference must lead to clear results regarding the fight against terrorism in syria. more specifically, putting pressure on the countries supporting terrorism in syria by sending fighters, sending money to terrorists organizations, sending weapons, namely saudi arabia and turkey. >> ifill: as the diplomatic disarray continued to unfold, the fighting inside syria continued. ten people were killed today in a double bombing near the turkish border. >> ifill: martin luther king jr. was 39 years old when he died, and during his years on earth, he gave famous and memorable speeches around the world that have been replayed hundreds of times. there is one, however that, until recently, had not been
heard in more than 50 years. "the newshour's" stephen fee explains. >> ladies and gentlemen, i need not pause to say how very delighted i am to be here this evening. >> it was september 12, 1962, a a year before the march on washington, two years before the passage of the civil rights act and civil rights leader martin luther king, jr. was grappling with the movements' next steps. he had just spent weeks in albany, georgia, unsuccessfully trying to integrate that city. king had been jailed twice and three black churches in the state had been set a blaze in the past three weeks. now king found himself at a new york city hotel delivering a speech to politicians and political donors. >> the government building was bombed in washington. the perpetrators will be apprehended immediately.
all the agency of government cannot find or convict the arsonists. >> king's speech came during a commemoration marking the 100th anniversary of abraham lincoln's so-called preliminary emancipation proclamation, a little known document that preceded by three months the proclamation itself. it warned the south that lincoln intended to free slaves in all states that continued to remain in the confederacy. >> if they have done nothing more in this whole history, then to create just two documents, its contribution to civilization would be imperishable. the first of these documents was the declaration of independence. and that which we are here to honor tonight.
and the emancipation proclamation. >> until late last year, the only known record of king's speech was a copy of his remarks annotated by an audio technician that had been stored at the new york state museum in albany. but in november, as the museum digitized its audio chrekz collections an intern discovered a recording. listening to the tape had a profound effect on new york state's education commissioner john king. he oversees the museum. >> having read it, it's very different to hear it. >> all times, past, present and future -- >> i get to here the powerful way in which king approached speech as a speaker. you also could see where he and his choice of words departed from the written text. and you also get much more of a sense of dr. king as a speaker and author. >> the discovery of the recording here at the state museum in albany, new york,
not only sheds new light on the civil rights era, it also emphasizes the impact that the life of abraham lincoln had on martin luther king, jr.. >> both of them clearly wrestled with their positions in life, the individual sacrifices that they ultimately would make. >> khalil mohammed directs the new york public's library schonberg center for research in black culture. he draws parallel between king and lincoln's strategic thinking. >> lincoln used this legal strategy and maneuvering and says i am going to do something that is going to fundamentally change the balance of power. and is going to stop me. and we'll deal with the consequences, the legal consequences of that when we cross that period. i think he fundamentally admires that and wants to remind a group of politicians and decision makers here in new york that they have the influence and
potential power to make similar decisions in this critical moment of 1962. >> critical because king worried that president john f. kennedy would not push hard enough to pass the civil rights act. meanwhile, new york governor nelson rockefeller who intended to challenge kennedy in 1964, invited king to speak at the commemoration ceremony. a possible bid to court black voters. >> of course, governor rockefeller was a republican, dr. king was working to get then president kennedy to take a stronger stand on civil rights issues. and was somewhat reluctant to attend the event but governor rockefeller helped organize donations to rebuild churches that had been burned in the south. that was something that helped get dr. king's attention. >> at the dinner king chastised politicians of both major parties for not doing enough to fulfill the promise of lincoln's
document within the proclamation of inferiority has contended with the proclamation of the emancipation, negating its liberating was speaking directly to the administration and allies on both sides of the political aisle saying you can't stand in the legacy of abraham lincoln, call yourselves politicians because no president befitting the office who bows before forces of
injustice is befitting the office. in this speech here he says look, this is where the country went wrong from the beginning. this is where the country did not live up to the promises and possibilities of the emancipation period this is what a heroic and courageous politician looks like when they-- when they act. >> courageous perhaps. but despite their anti-slavery zeal, lincoln and his closest aides had to cope with the politicians of their time. historian james oakes says lincoln wanted to free all the country slaves outright. >> but the constitution protects slavery in the states already existed. all they could do is free slaves as a military necessity in an effort to suppress the rebel yen and restore the union. constitutionally. >> even so the preliminary he man's mation proclamation mark a major step toward abolition and in his 1962 speech, king said it's reach extended all the way to his own time.
>> all american >> you really see him connecting the civil rights movement of the 1960s and to the emancipation proclaimation in the civil war to the declaration, independence and founding of the country. you hear him telling a story about america as a place that aspires to greater freedom and greater equality. and i hope people will see that and i also hope people will be inspired to work towards greater equality today. >> as for lincoln he donated the handwritten preliminary proclamation to a charity ravel. abolitionist garrett smith won the dument after buying most of the tickets. a thousand of them at a dollar a piece. it would later be sold to new york state and the preliminary proclamation now sits in a vault at the state library. like that audiotape of
martin luther king speech, a precious piece of history now preserved under the same roof. >> ifill: we've posted the complete audio recording of dr. king's speech online. that's on our rundown. >> ifill: the taliban carried out a brazen attack today against a military base in southern afghanistan. using a truck bomb, gunmen stormed the complex and killed an american soldier. that followed an assault friday that targeted a restaurant frequented by westerners in kabul. 21 civilians were killed, 13 of them non-afghans, in the single deadliest attack against foreign citizens since the war started. claiming responsibility, the taliban said the attack was in retaliation for an airstrike last week against insurgents in the eastern parwan province. there were a number of civilian causalities, but there are conflicting reports on how many were killed.
for more on the instability in afghanistan, we turn to "washington post" reporter pamela constable, she recently returned from afghanistan. and omar samad, a former afghan foreign ministry spokesman, who also served as the country's ambassador to france and canada. >> welcome to you both. what is this latee attack, pam, tell us about how unstable things are right now. >> security wise in afghanistan. >> i think it tells us number one that the taliban are very deliberate, very precise, very well organized. they target places that they know will have high symbolic value. especially to the international community at a time of great uncertainty about things like security a agreement, about future elections, everybody's very nervous already in the country, both foreigners and afghans. and i think an attack like this really focuses that fear and those uncertainties and crystallizes a lot of the concerns. and of course makes them much more personal and much
more emotional. >> do you see it the same way? >> i do. i mean i think that afghanistan overall is going through a very difficult period. and there are some very hard questions on the table right now. so the timing of this attack, the target itself, the selection of this target, is soft target but with high visibility, these are things that they must have taken into account when they decided to send three suicide bombers who created mayhem. now on the other hand i think the afghan people have seen such tragedies occur at times in there. and i hope this is not a watershed moment for all of us including the international presence in afghanistan. but afghans are very resilient as well. and i think they have have also demonstrated over the past 24 hours that they came out in the streets, right
next door to the place where this incident took place, demonstrated, protested and said we will not give up. and we will continue against terrorism. >> you talk about the soft target of this particular restaurant. both of you have spent time there, it's a very popular place, pam, tell us about it. >> it was really my home away from home on my trip, my many trips to afghanistan in recent years. the owner was a wonderful lebanese businessman, a friend to all of us. not only charming and a genial host but truly generous and kind person. and you know he would never let us pay for dinner because he thought of us as his friends. every time i went to afghanistan i would always have a farewell dinner with my friends at his restaurant. i must have been there, you know, 50 timesment and i always felt that it was my comfort zone. i always felt it was a place of warmth and civility and also safety, frank looep. >> and the owner is one of the people killed in the. >> he was killed yeah.
>> when you think about the soft targets in restaurants like this or places that are high profile for personers, do you think the attack is geared to those places, particularly to get that attention, in a way that an attack in parwan province might not. >> yes, absolutely. in my opinion this is part of a grand planning, grand design on the part of the taliban people who strategy for the taliban. remember, this year is very important year, 2014. this is a year not only of the end of the nato mission in afghanistan, including the u.s. mission, as we have known it. it is the year of afghan elections in just less than 3 months time. it is the year of transitions in so many ways for afghans who are uncertain about the future. so this is when the taliban want to have the greatest impact possible. they are against the bsa, the natural security
agreement between the u.s. and afghanistan and president karzai has made it harder than everyone because he has been reluctant to sign it for his own reasons. so the taliban want to send these messages. and i think that they may continue to send these messages. i have to say, 24 hours just after this tragedy in kabul, we heard that three young afghans, young men, were killed in, when they fired a rocket on the soccer field in kandahar. >> ifill: that is not the example president karzai cited. >> no, president karzai did not mention this incident. he mentioned basically this one in parwan, parwan is a complex situation. we have two different versions as you mentioned earlier. one which says that the afghans were in the lead. that they were being-- the joint operation was under duress. and that they had to call in for air support. the other says that you know t was a maid to operation, there was not much coordination and so on and
so forth. so as far as i'm concerned, we have to get to the bottom of this but we cannot politicize every event that takes place. >> ifill: you talk about the uncertainty. you have been there. you both have been there in the last couple of weeks. how much does the political uncertainty, the signing the agreement, how much does that trickle down to the uncertainty on the ground, the sense that people are less safe? >> i think it trickles down very much. i know many afghans who have already left the country or are planning or trying to leave the country. people who have good jobs, people who were in good positions, not just poor people, but people who had some very strong prospects for success in that country, who are now so genuinely worried about things falling apart. which we all hope won't happen. but there's so much fear that they will. and i'm not only talking about foreigners, i'm really talking about afghans here who know their country and know what is at stake. so it's really r it's almost like something in the water
that i think has infected us all. >> before this withdrawal in order for this agreement to work, doesn't it depend a lot on werners, on foreigners on these nongovernmental organizations who are on the ground, who can feel secure enough to stay, do you have a sense that they are rethinking their missions? >> i'm sure there is always rethinking taking place in afghanistan because of one reason or another. but this incident obviously is going to make a lot of organizations international organizes, i don't think that the engagement in the mission is going to change much unless we turn into another baghdad, for example. and look at what is happening in iraq. and god forebit that kabul becomes another baghdad at this point. the afghans themselves will do everything possible. i think the afghan security forces have again shown that they have the ability and the courage to go after
these people and to do what is needed. i think that needs to be worked on. this is why it is so important. because it is the only-- the national security agreement is the only way for the afghan security forces to continue to develop and grow. and at the same time, it's the only way to fund afghanistan for the next few years until it's able to fund itself. >> ifill: you mentioned a faw moments ago that this might be a watershed moment. you both have been in and out of the country, very connected to what is happening on the ground. does it feel like a watershed moment to you, pamela? >> it does, but maybe that's because i'm too close to it and it's only just happened and you know, friends of mine were killed and that always makes you feel particularly vulnerable. i hope it's not, but many people i talked to in the past two or three days feel as if it may never be the same for them again. >> i also hope it's not. i think that afghans will
overcome it, it is the international community that has to realize that there is much more at stake in afghanistan and the tragedy such as at these where our friends die and people we know need to be put in context. and i hope that's what they will do. >> ifill: omar samad, pamela con stable, thank you very much. my condolences to you for the loss of your friend. >> thank you very much >> ifill: basic research, the less glamorous side of science, is often the most important, leading to sometimes unanticipated discoveries that pay off years later. tonight, we begin a series of occasional reports on-air and online exploring that work. "newshour" science correspondent miles o'brien starts with a report on one project trying to answer a huge question about the cosmos. >> reporter: it's a long ride
down to paydirt at the creighton nickel mine in sudbury, ontario, the perfect place to find precious metal and, hopefully, a priceless answer to one of the biggest mysteries of the universe. 6,800 feet below the surface, at the end of a long, dusty, dark tunnel, sits a hermetically sealed warren, brimming with intent technicians working on odd looking scientific instruments. welcome to snolab, one of the most sophisticated particle physics observatories in the world. nestled deep underground to filter out the background radiation all around us at the surface. this is where one of the great unanswered questions in the realm of basic research may soon be answered. what exactly is dark matter? >> this is one of the long- standing contemporary problems in particle astrophysics. it's, what the hell is this stuff?
24% of the mass of the universe, we don't know what it is. >> reporter: while most of us marvel at the stunning beauty of the planets, stars, nebulas and galaxies, particle physicists are fixated on the seemingly empty space in between. >> there has to be more out there than meets the eye. there has to be a significant fraction of the galaxy and the significant fraction of the universe is in a form that we don't yet understand. >> reporter: so how can they be so certain? without it, what you see is not what you would get. at the edge of the milky way, stars move faster than they would if they were simply being tugged by the mass of the visible objects at the center of the galaxy. it is likely something else is pulling them along. scientists may not understand what dark matter is, but they know enough about what it does to map it. and they also are pretty sure what it is made of. they are called wimps, generically so, weakly
interacting massive particles. >> yes, w.i.m.p.s. they are the current best theory of what dark matter might be. they superseded an earlier idea called massive astrophysical compact halo objects, or machos. >> reporter: the w.i.m.p. is winning? >> everything points towards the w.i.m.p. solution being the appropriate solution. so there are many projects that are focused on trying to understand the w.i.m.p. and discover the wimp in reality. >> reporter: these scientists are hunting in the blind, and it is a constant challenge to know how and where to look for the answer. but they think they have a good w.i.m.p.s. >> its very critical that we actually maintain a constant temperature for the experiment >> reporter: ian lawson works on an experiment at snolab called picasso. it uses superheated freon droplets to try and detect dark matter. when ionizing subatomic particles collides with the freon droplet in just the right way, it creates a gas bubble.
>> there actually is like a little bubble right in there that hasn't been compressed yet. >> reporter: not the dark matter bubble of course. the bubbles that have appeared so far are created by a neutron radiation source used regularly to calibrate and test the instruments. what would the dark matter bubble look like? >> the dark matter bubble looks very, very similar to a neutron bubble. >> reporter: you think? but we haven't seen one, right? >> we haven't seen one but that's what we think. >> reporter: is there some disappointment that you haven't seen it yet? >> not a disappointment that we haven't seen it but it just means that we have to make our detectors more and more sensitive. >> reporter: that's what chris jillings and his team are working on in another vein of this mine of the mind. the experiment they are building is called deap. in this case, the target medium for detecting the ghostly dark matter particles will be liquefied argon. the hope is a w.i.m.p. will act like a cue ball - striking an
argon nucleus in just the right way. the argon nucleus would recoil through the liquid argon and a little bit of interesting chemistry would happen. the energy temporarily will make some molecules which will decay and emit a flash of light. so the irony is although dark matter doesn't interact with light in any way, once it hits the argon nucleus, what well detect is a tiny flash of light. >> reporter: this device, a photo-multiplier, is designed to see and record those tiny flashes in an array of extremely sensitive lenses and sensors in order to give the detectors a fighting chance of success, workers here keep snolab squeaky clean to remove as much background radiation as they can. everything that comes into the lab is thoroughly wiped down. everything. and everyone as well; no exceptions for visiting reporters. i had to remove the clothes i wore in the dirty part of the mine, take a thorough shower, and then change into clean room clothing that stays in the lab.
snolab has some deep roots in the hunt for the tiniest particles that make up our universe. the predecessor organization here, the sudbury neutrino observatory in the 1990's made some very significant scientific finds in the hunt for neutrinos. tiny particles which are emitted from the fusion reaction on our sun. for many years, physicists hoped neutrinos were the answer to the dark matter mystery, but the speedy, wispy particles only constitute 1% of the missing puzzle piece. snolab physicist christine kraus is pretty sure this time they are homing in on the right answer. >> i think that we will see something very exciting within the next five to ten years. hopefully, the next five years. so, i think the next generation of experiments has a very good shot at finding dark matter. >> reporter: this is nobel kind
of work, isn't it? >> if dark matter would be discovered, i think that would be the nobel prize, yes. >> reporter: legendary physicist stephen hawking came to visit snolab in september of 2012. but make no mistake, this observatory is not the pre- anointed victor. the race for this nobel is underway, underground, at competing facilities in the u.s., europe, russia and japan. this is big, basic research, without a clear application in mind, or even conceivable. but it is completely worthwhile, according to nigel smith. >> the things that we developed to observe dark matter, the things that we developed to observe these neutrinos they will have spin out, they will have spin out in technology and the knowledge that is developed to understand the systems that we are building. so you never quite know when knowledge is going to take you >> reporter: physicist clarence virtue believes scientists here are leaving a legacy of knowledge for future generations.
he heads up an experiment designed to catch neutrinos emitted by an exploding giant star, a supernova. >> we're building an ever more complete picture of what the universe is, how it came about, where its going. >> reporter: so dark matter matters? >> absolutely. its a piece of a real puzzle. its rather annoying to particle physics that it is so important and yet we know next to nothing about it. >> reporter: apparently when particle physicists get annoyed, they don't mess around. they have dug themselves some deep holes, and the on way out may be to shed some light on some particles that don't reflect it, and yet may enlighten us all. >> ifill: the president's speech
on surveillance and privacy late last week rattled cages from silicon valley to foreign capitals. but a new survey from the pew research center and usa today found nearly half of those polled believe there are still not enough limits placed on the government's collection of telephone and web data. many of the people who produce and market the technology used to conduct the surveillance agree. >> ifill: even before president obama outlined his proposed changes in how the n.s.a. should collect data for surveillance, many tech giants, like google, apple and facebook, were vocal in their criticism. in public and in private white house meetings, executives complained the government is using their software to vacuum up data like email addresses and phone numbers. on friday, the president pledged additional privacy protection, and to allow companies to be more transparent about how often they are required to cooperate with the government on such requests.
but there were few specifics, and the president said the government is not the only one gathering and storing such information. >> corporations of all shapes and sizes track what you buy, store and analyze our data, and use it for commercial purposes; that's how those targeted ads pop up on your computer and your smartphone periodically. but all of us understand that the standards for government surveillance must be higher. given the unique power of the state, it is not enough for leaders to say: trust us, we wont abuse the data we collect. >> ifill: mr. obama said he would look at restricting how many phone records could be collected under what is known as the "215" program. that might include turning the information over to a non- governmental third party. republican mike rogers, the chair of the house intelligence committee, said yesterday the president is trying to have it both ways. >> then he said, well, i have
some concerns about moving it to the private sector. he outlined that very well. then he said, but i don't think the government can do it, so i'm going-- we're going to conduct another 70-day review, basically, and then review it again. >> ifill: the president also did not address another concern of the tech sector, the national security agency's efforts to weaken some encryption standards. >> ifill: for the view from silicon valley, we're joined by christian dawson, co-founder and chairman of the internet infrastructure coalition, a consortium of technology companies. and nuala o'connor, she's the incoming president of the center for democracy and technology, a non-profit public policy organization dedicated to internet openess. welcome to you both. >> did the president go far enough? >> no. he did not. there is much to admire in the president's speech. we're really gratified by his commitment to protect civil liberties in the war on ter remember but the speech did not go as far as we would have liked to see. in being clear about the specifics of how he plans to
end bulk data collection as we know it. our position is that the default setting for the technology in our daily lives our cell phones, internet searches cannot be that all of that data ends up in the hands of the federal government. >> ifill: is the tech industry being treated christian dawson different than other industries and maybe ought it be considering the kind of tentacles it has in our lives. >> the tech industry is different, we are the economic engine who has been driving the economy for the past decade. and what is working most in this economy in the past decade. what the president was doing in this speech did not go far enough. what we needed to do was-- . >> ifill: what did you need him to do. >> that's okay. you didn't go far, you needed them to do what, just push the envelope ter
farther. >> this seems to be a lack of understanding of exactly what the stakes are here. because what we have at risk here is the loss of the global free internet. we need the president to go up there and explain to the world that we, we think that privacy is important here. the privacy norms that we have in the united states don't meet european standards or the standards of much of the world. if we don't go out with bold language to convince the world that we do believe in privacy standards, we are going to see a u.s. internet and an eu internet and a china internet. >> ifill: this idea that the discussion about privacy, is that more of a business concern, the fact that if thement is has a reputation for impinging on privacy that it hurts the bottom lines of the tech industry within i do see my frns in the tech industry are concerned that their sale and effectiveness is being
hurt and damaged by the revelations of the last summer. but we see it even more as an individual liberty issue. this is about the relationship of the individual to their information, the digital self. the fact that my transactio transaction-- transactions on line could be tracked and analyze by nsa cyr have a lan without any predicate, without any suspicion about my having done something wrong, that's very concerning to us let me ask you a a question, a devil's advocate question, why am i to believe as a consumer that the tech industry, the software producers were shocked there was drinking going on at rick's bar, that you didn't know that this is what the government was up to, that you weren't cooperating it all alon i'm a tech company and i haven't been cooperating with it all along. the problem is nobody really knows the rules of the game. these sections 215, the language is very unclear and the standards by which
people are decisions are being made, they're not clear to anybody. until we have that transparency, then we don't have the world confidence. >> is the concern that the government doesn't allow you to disclose or that there is nothing to disclose? >> i think the tra transparency issue is a very important one but i think is anybody em-- nibbling arounded edges. we don't want the wholesale importation from the tech industry to the federal government prior to there being reasonable suspicion about your behaviour or mine, did some parties in the tech industry know, i can't sayment but i know we are concerned, certainly, that the individual citizen does not know what is happening to their data. >> is this a concern, we understand the individual citizens argument, privacy. but as far as the industry goes, is this an international concern, is this a concern about how are you being viewed abroad, as well as how are you being viewed here? >> i'm a business leader and traditionally 60% of my businesses come from international sources. there's not a tolerance for that in today's market.
so absolutely, this is an international issue. >> so what are people saying, do you get phone calls from wood-be clients saying i don't know if i trust you any more. >> they can move their businesses somewhere else in two clicks so they don't need to bother with the phone call, so we are absolutely losing economic growth and seeing it go overseas. >> it is a competitiveness issue and christian is right but it isnú balkanization issue. we are concerned about an open internet b free expression. we're conditioned about the sharing of information. i want engineers in one part of the world to be able to communicate with engineers in another part of the world torque share ideas and create new technology that is going to benefit the world. if we start sigh lowing information because people are afraid to transact business either in the united states or other parts of the world. we are going to lose productivity, innovation, enginity, not just in this country but globally as well. >> here is the president's argument. the administration's argument. we have to find the correct balance between protecting our citizens and protecting their security and protecting their constitutional rights.
what in your opinion goingford is the correct balance. >> the correct balance is definitely to focus on the process. and to make sure that everybody knows what the process is. but we also have to do that with the world watching. for instance, if we are going to have math collection, if we're going to be using back doors, technological back doors, that needs to be something that we go through a process of engaging the government on. we went through this process a few years ago. there was-- and we decided as an world-- sorry, as the united states people that we didn't want these, when they tried to pass clipper chip legislation. and decided that the clipper chip was not going to be something that we tolerate. and so-- . >> ifill: but americans also aren't particularly interested in tolerating the
idea that they are less safe. so what is-- what is the balance there? >> well. >> we're not asking for this country to be less safe. we want to keep our children and our homes and neighbors safe. but i think we can do better. we can do better with more targeted, limited searches. we can do better with technology. the technology industry is at issue here but it can also be a solutioning a saviour to this problem by using more legitimate means, maybe encrypted or de identify data, more targeted databases but we do not want to see a wholesale importation of data not government or into the hands of a third party amount of that going to raise even further concerns about privacy and security of that data. >> has the tech issue taken a confidence hit in the wake of these revelations, the edward snowden revelations and the government's involvement or are you just trying to get ahead of it before you begin to measure or have measurable impact? >>çó well, of course it has. it's taken-- . >> ifill: how do you measure that? >> well, we're in the
process of measuring tra but we see in the news every day we have seen on a number of occasions contracts going overseas. we're collecting data on loss of business an absolutely it comes directly out of these revelations. >> so what do you do about that? >> i think we've got to be clear, not only as a government but as an trifrom your side what the rules are. transparency is part of it. but again i think legitimate limited law enforcement, national security purposes are something everyone can support. but we've got to be a lot clearer about what the rules are and about it being targeted and strategic not wholesale data. >> new allah o'connor and christian dawson, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> ifill: finally tonight, we >> through the eyes of a young poet.
>> my name i'm a college student. an american po wet-- poet and i use my words. >> i was born and raised in ben ver. we moved to syria in june of 2002. my-- it is where the whole family grew up. where we collaborated. >> my 60 something cousins and eating the fruit and she had pomegranite, she had so many plum trees and the peaches, she knew when they would be ripe. >> when i came back to america and came to the realization that i would never ever again see my grandmother's, it was painful. the farm got taken over by regime soldiers. they cut down all of the trees and occupied it and it didn't belong to grandma any more. >> they cut down all of the trees in her. they ripped the pomegranite
from the earth and the lemons don't grow any more. and the syrian people wonder does they not remember. >> she it from iowa, a little white girl, you know. and my father is syrian, born in damascus. >> they have family history. >> we came 1979. and that where he landed. that he dated my mom's sister sow ened up being introduced to my mom, you know, pay her the dues, english homework and they fell in love. >> my father takes the path of feeding people the way his momma fed him. this damascus girl, my father's restaurant was the
first stage i ever took. first stage. it was where i was asked about my grandmother's recipes because that's where all of this comes from. >> pie grandmother always had dinner on the table. even in the private outside her door,. >> the last few years he's been responsible for killing more palestinians. >> the political message that is kind of hidden underneath the farming-- it's the fact that tyrants at the end of the day are going to be bullied just like everyone else. and their political establishment will crumble. >> my grandmother has promised, she has sworn to write down every single recipe when this boils over, yes, she knows, they know what syria will need. they will rebuild this country, with the-- to feed
all. and the tyrants, the dirt is waiting for him. he will learn his country, feel the weight of all of it on his chest. he will struggle against the dirt that fed him. thank you. >> you can watch her recite more of her work including when she won top honors at the international brave new voices youth poetry competition last year. that is on our poetry page. >> ifill: again, the major developments of the day. the u.n. secretary-general withdrew an invitation to iran to join the syrian peace talks scheduled to begin wednesday. the western-backed opposition had balked at attending, if iran was included. the agreement to begin curbing iran's nuclear program took effect.
the tehran government sidelined its efforts to make highly enriched uranium, while the u.s. and others eased financial sanctions. and americans marked the life and legacy of reverend martin luther king junior, on this national holiday in his honor. >> ifill: on the newshour online right now, an american poet pays tribute to martin luther king junior by challenging her readers to imagine their dreams, big and small. elizabeth alexander, who read her work at president obama's 2009 inauguration, offers four of her poems on our art beat page. and on our world page, we turn to mexico, where frustration is growing over the governments war on drug cartels. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. >> ifill: and that's the newshour for tonight. on tuesday, the supreme court hears arguments in a copyright dispute over the 1980 oscar- winning movie, "raging bull." plus, margaret warner has the latest on the syria peace talks in switzerland. i'm gwen ifill. for all of us here at the "pbs
newshour," thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> charles schwab, proud supporter of the pbs "newshour." and by bae systems: inspired work >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more