Saturday, August 22, 2015

JamesRisen. Transcript. Greenwald. Toobin. Piers Morgan Live. 31 Jul 2013.

1.      EDWARD SNOWDEN, NSA LEAKER: I sit at my desk certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge, to even the president if I had a personal e-mail.

2.      MORGAN: NSA leaker Edward Snowden speaking to “The Guardian.” Today we have new revelations about a program that could back up his claim.  “Guardian” columnist Glenn Greenwald is reporting on tool called XKeyscore which allows NSA analysts to search e-mails, social media and even browsing history of Internet uses without prior authorization. And Glenn Greenwald joins me now.  Glenn, another bombshell revelation in many ways, one that you could argue if it’d come at the start could have caused even more kafuffle that your original stories.  What -- why is it so serious? Tell me about XKeyscore in a simple way that explains why you think this is such a serious situation.
3.      GLENN GREENWALD, COLUMNIST, THE GUARDIAN: First of all, Piers, the database is that this program accesses is storing 40 billion Internet records every 30 days, essentially trying to store into its systems all e-mails, all online chats, all Internet browsing that it can possibly get its hands on. An incredible power to vest in the state. But then on top of that, the program is designed to, as it says, collects, quote, “Nearly everything a user does on the Internet. So it allows -- it allows an analyst sitting at his or her desk with no oversight, nobody watching over their shoulder, be able to enter an e-mail address, enter an IP address, use keywords and then pull up a content of e-mails, people’s browsing history, what Web sites they’ve gone to, what Google searches they’ve entered, what kind of Microsoft Word documents they’ve sent.  Essentially the entire range of activities that people engage in on the Internet, it’s intended to be a ubiquitous spying tool and that’s what it’s been constructed into.
4.      MORGAN: Now I want to play what Jay Carney at the White House said about this in today’s briefing.

5.      (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAY CARNET, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Allegations of widespread, unchecked analyst access to NSA collection data are false. Access to all of NSA’s analytic tools is limited to only those personnel who require access for their assigned tasks. And there are multiple technical manual and supervisory checks and balances within the system to prevent those who don’t have access from achieving that access. (END VIDEO CLIP)

6.      MORGAN: I mean, I suppose my reaction to that when I heard it was well, it’s all very well but Edward Snowden wasn’t exactly high ranking and yet he managed to easily access all this stuff so almost by default you would say well, that can’t be true. It must be loads of people that can access this stuff.
7.      GREENWALD: Right, I mean -- Edward Snowden was not only able to access it, he was authorized to access it. He was trained on how to use this program which is why he had the documents that he was able to give us and tell us all about the program and has experiences with it. You’re talking about thousands and thousands of people, not just people employed directly for the NSA but also people who are employed at private contractors who are deployed to the NSA like Mr. Snowden. And what’s most disturbing about it, Piers, is they can sit at their desk and there is no pre-search approval process, not even a supervisor within the NSA before the search is process looks at what they’re doing, let alone a court, which means that they are completely free to engage in all kinds of unconstrained searches. There are legal limits on what they can do when it only involves a U.S. person, although lots of U.S. persons’ communications are in these databases but there’s no technological constraint and no real after-the-fact, robust auditing process, and there’s all kinds of evidence now emerging because of these disclosures of abuse. There’s lots of proof in history that if you allow this kind of surveillance without limits, it will be wildly abused and I think that’s why even in Washington these stories are now making such an impact.
8.      MORGAN: Glenn, stay with me. I want to bring in now James Risen. He’s a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist for “The New York Times.” He knows all about question of the NSA and freedom of the press. A federal appeals court has ruled he must testify in the government’s case against Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA official charged of leaking secrets about a CIA effort to disrupt Iran’s nuclear weapons program. He can’t discuss specifics of that ongoing case. Also joining me is CNN’s senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. James Risen, what do you make of his latest exposure by Glenn Greenwald -- by Edward Snowden in terms of the kind of (INAUDIBLE) that we’re talking about?
9.      JAMES RISEN, THE NEW YORK TIMES: I think it’s a really interesting story and it, you know, adds to kind of a mosaic that’s developed that shows, you know, the extent of the NSA’s growth as a -- you know, kind of the infrastructure of the surveillance state that’s grown really since 9/11. I think this is all an extension of what began under the Bush administration and then what’s kind of codified in FISA Amendments Act in 2008 and the Patriot Act, and you’re seeing kind of the growth from there, you know, all directions of the exploitation of what they call in Silicon Valley big data.
10.   MORGAN: Jeffrey Toobin, how shocked should people be because on the one hand, the public will go, oh, my god, this is outrageous. At the same time, anyone’s wallet, when they bring out all their credit cards, all their shopping details, anything online, you sort of -- if you think about it, you’re already giving up a lot of information that we should be shocked about now.
11.   TOOBIN: And -- and things are read. I mean, if I send you a Gmail, you know, from my personal account to your personal account and I say, you know, let’s play golf this weekend, I -- Google will read that e-mail and try to sell me golf clubs. So you know...
12.   MORGAN: Automatically.
13.   TOOOBIN: ...automatically. A lot of what’s going on is that kind of automatic...
14.   MORGAN: The difference -- the difference here, though, is you have authorized analysts, and according to -- to Glenn Greenwald, thousands potentially, who can do more than that, that I should get into this.
15.   TOOOBIN: Can -- can I just ask -- I’d like to ask Glenn a question about this program. Is this just for domestic e-mails or -- or is this for international e-mails or -- or both?
16.   GREENWALD: Both. And the reason is is that under the law, in order for the NSA to ease drop, to target an American citizen for surveillance, they need first to go to the FISA court and get approval. And of course the FISA court always gives that they’re rubber stamped in court. But even for international calls, when an American citizen talks to somebody outside of the United States, those e-mails, those telephone calls, that activity is completely accessible by the NSA without a warrant. And on top of that, the NSA makes mistakes all the time. It’s very difficult to know what the national origin is of communication. So all kinds of purely domestic calls get put into this database as well. And so as the ACLU (inaudible) said (ph) in our piece, huge numbers of American’s communication are swept up by what the NSA calls foreign surveillance and all warrants all the calls (ph) supervision (ph). (CROSSTALK)
17.   TOOOBIN: And -- but I think -- but I think, Glenn, I mean, this is an important clarification that this is primarily targeted at international e-mails, not purely domestic e-mails. Now, as -- as Glenn points out, there may be mistakes. There may be a lot of access (ph)...
18.   MORGAN: But we have to trust people here, right? I mean, we have to trust thousands of people so they’re not going to abuse it. Edward Snowden, some would say, abused it, others would say blew the whistle. But he had access to this and put in the public domain. Somebody with a more malicious mind who happens to have that authorization could cause serious damage here...
19.   RISEN: You can’t -- you can’t -- the other thing, though, is you can’t...
20.   MORGAN: Glenn, sorry.
21.   RISEN: can’t separate out...
22.   MORGAN: Oh, sorry, James (ph).
23.   RISEN: ...yes, I’m sorry. You can’t separate out domestic from international that cleanly. And that’s one of the -- one of the kind of statements that the Obama administration has made repeatedly that they can make these clean kind of divides. And that’s just not true.
24.   MORGAN: What was really interesting today, I thought, their (ph) international intelligence, James Clapper released three previously classified documents about the government’s vault collection programs. I mean, that to me, Jeffrey Toobin, says that they are moving to a more transparent world. And the only reason they’re doing that is because of Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald.
25.   TOOOBIN: Well, it’s certainly true that it is -- that -- that there has been public discussion of this. And that’s -- that’s a -- that’s a good thing. And look, my hats off to Glenn for investigative reporting. I still think Edward Snowden is a criminal and should not have done what he did. But I do think the -- the -- this discussion we’re having is a good thing.
26.   RISEN: We wouldn’t be having this discussion if it wasn’t for him.
27.   TOOOBIN: That’s true.
28.   RISEN: Why do you think -- why do you think -- I mean, that’s the thing I don’t understand about the climate in Washington these days is that people want to have debates on television and elsewhere. But then you want to throw the people who started the debates in jail.
29.   MORGAN: But -- but tell me this, James, because I mean, you’ve been involved in this a long time. Here is -- here is the dilemma that I face just as (ph) -- as a journalist all my life, I’m looking at this and thinking, this is brilliant investigative journalism by Glenn. When it comes to Edward Snowden, I’m asking myself where does the line get drawn? What you can’t have is a license for every single person that has access or authorization to classified material just spewing it into the public ether on a whim. You can’t have that. So with modern technology being so all (ph) in testing, where do you draw the line (CROSSTALK)
30.   RISEN: Well, what part of the -- what part of this -- what part of this don’t you want to talk about?
31.   MORGAN: I wonder what...
32.   RISEN: What part of which document that’s come out don’t you want to talk about?
33.   MORGAN: I suppose it’s the specifics of some of the programs. Do you feel comfortable as an American citizen that the enemy potentially know too much about what the American government can and can’t do?
34.   RISEN: I can tell you, I’ve been an investigative reporter for a long time. And almost always, the government says that when you write a story, it’s going to cause damage. And then they can never back it up. They say that about everything and that it’s like the boy who cried wolf. It’s getting old.
35.   TOOOBIN: But -- but isn’t -- isn’t it also... (CROSSTALK)
36.   GREENWALD: Piers, can I address that? Piers?
37.   MORGAN: Yes, Glenn -- yes, Glenn.
38.   GREENWALD: Let me just say one word about -- about Mr. Snowden. There are ways that if you have access to classified information, you could just spew it out all into the ether which is the phrase that you used. He could have uploaded it onto the internet in mass. He could have sold it to a foreign adversary. He could have passed to a foreign government. He could have given it to Wikileaks and asked them to just publish it all. He did none of that. He came to established media organizations and said, please be extremely careful and judicious. Go through these documents. Publish only what is in the public that my fellow citizens should know about...
39.   TOOOBIN: Oh, give me...
40.   GREENWALD: ...and withhold the information that can cause harm. And that’s what we’ve done.
41.   MORGAN: OK, Jeffrey?
42.   TOOOBIN: Glenn, he’s gone to China and then he’s gone to Russia, two of the most repressive countries in the world and they -- you don’t think they have now have access to all that material? He somehow kept it secret from them?
43.   GREENWALD: No, they don’t, Jeffrey. And the reason he had to go to -- the reason he had to go to Russia and China is because the United States is filled with Jeffrey Toobins who want to take people who come forward and -- and -- and bring transparency to the government and throw them into a cage for decades and disappear them from our public discourse.
44.   TOOOBIN: That’s right. And he wants to go to China...
45.   GREENWALD: ...the United States...
46.   TOOOBIN: ...and he wants to go to China and Russia... (CROSSTALK)
47.   GREENWALD: Hong Kong -- Hong Kong -- Hong Kong.
48.   TOOOBIN: ...we charge (ph) deacons of freedom -- oh, Hong Kong, right, which is -- which is independent of China...
49.   GREENWALD: Right.
50.   TOOOBIN: ...come on. I mean, come on, Glenn.
51.   GREENWALD: The reason that he’s there is not because he thinks they’re beacons of freedom. The reason he’s there is because as Daniel Ellsberg said in an op-ed in the “Washington Post” few weeks ago, the United States is no longer a safe place for whistleblowers and that therefore said Mr. Ellsberg, he was absolutely right to leave the United States because it’s the only way that he could participate in a debate that he started and avoid persecution in the United States which is what happens to a whistleblower in Hong Kong, in Russia because he thinks it’s their lovely society. (CROSSTALK)
52.   MORGAN: OK, let -- let me give the final word to James Risen here because James, again, I would simple say to you this, is there a limit, though? Is there a limit to what kind of material people with the kind of access that Edward Snowden had should be allowed to put out there before it crosses a line?
53.   RISEN: Oh, of course, there’s always limits on that. And that’s one of the things that you do as a -- as a reporter, as Glenn was just discussing, is you kind of make those decisions as you go along. All I’m trying to say is that the government always likes to say that huge national damage -- national security damage is being done. And then, you know, then they can never really prove that. The republic has lasted for over 200 years with a free press. And I -- you know, it’s -- it’s just -- you know, all I know is that every time I’ve done stories like this, they say that I’ve caused enormous damage to the country and then nothing happens.
54.   MORGAN: James Risen, Jeffrey Toobin and Glenn Greenwald, thank you, all, very much indeed. Coming next, talking of the subject matter that Nixon footage that hasn’t been seen in 40 years, Nixon as right ahead (ph) tomorrow night. But tonight, I’ll talk to the other Nixon, the president’s youngest brother, Ed. He joins me next.

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