NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • NSA Whistleblowers Criticize Obama's Proposed Reforms


    Reforms must include independent oversight with unrestricted access to all intelligence databases, say whistleblowers -   January 19, 14
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


    Audio

      Share to Twitter
    Share to Facebook




    Honest, truthful, never doublespeak, news. - Elin
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Transcript

    NSA Whistleblowers Criticize Obama's Proposed ReformsJESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: On January 17, President Obama delivered a speech to address the surveillance programs of the National Security Agency, or NSA.

    BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: As a senator, I was critical of several practices, such as warrantless wiretaps. And all too often new authorities were instituted without adequate public debate.

    Through a combination of action by the courts, increased congressional oversight, and adjustments by the previous administration, some of the worst excesses that emerged after 9/11 were curbed by the time I took office.

    DESVARIEUX: But according to NSA whistleblowers, these NSA abuses still go on, and the president's proposals to reform the programs don't go far enough.

    KIRK WIEBE, NSA WHISTLEBLOWER: Here we have an agency that is used to cheating. Unfortunately, then, when someone poses fixes that our policy or law, briefings, reports, yearly reviews, all of that to me is fluff.

    The only way anyone will ever again get the truth about what NSA is really doing is if a specially trained group of IT people, techies, geeks, hackers, call them what you want, identify a group that wants to do this, a group that's never been in the intelligence community, hire them, give them computers and network access and the clearances to delve into NSA's databases--and I'm talking about all of the databases that it uses to do its thing--and verify that data is not being collected that shouldn't be, that data is not being looked at that should be, that data is not being given to people to whom it should not be given. Until we have that kind of oversight, the cheating that's gone on for 41 years of its existence is going to happen again and again and again.

    DESVARIEUX: President Obama addressed the bulk collection of telephone records under Section 215.

    OBAMA: This program does not involve the content of phone calls, or the names of people making calls. Instead, it provides a record of phone numbers and the times and lengths of calls--metadata that can be queried if and when we have a reasonable suspicion that a particular number is linked to a terrorist organization.

    WIEBE: The president used the word, quote, "reasonable suspicion"--the words. This is dangerous. For the life of the nation, we have always interpreted the key clause in the Fourth Amendment guaranteeing your right to privacy to be based on probable cause. Without probable cause, no one has the right to go through your personal effects--papers, things, stuff. They have no right.

    DESVARIEUX: The president also made recommendations of how to oversee regulation.

    OBAMA: We will appoint a senior official at the White House to implement the new privacy safeguards that I have announced today. I will devote the resources to centralize and improve the process we use to handle foreign requests for legal assistance, keeping our high standards for privacy while helping foreign partners fight crime and terrorism.

    RUSS TICE, NSA WHISTLEBLOWER: When the president says he's going to, you know, put these people, he's going to have somebody in the White House who's going to be a SIGINT representative, who is this person? Is it going to be a shill of the White House? Is it going to be a rep from the intelligence community? Is this person really going to be objective in what they do? The oversight board that they've just set up, if you look at the people involved in that board, you'll see that those people are not objective, that they all have stakes in the intelligence community.

    DESVARIEUX: NSA whistleblower Bill Binney says the collection of metadata is not necessary if you want to go after suspected terrorists.

    WILLIAM BINNEY, NSA WHISTLEBLOWER: So if you do the targeted acquisition, you'll have all the information that's relevant to foreign threats or international crime, and you won't have to be doing bulk collection or having data that would be penetrated by the FBI or anybody else that would look at it that's not supposed to be there. You would be doing a legitimate acquisition of information of targets that posed a threat.

    DESVARIEUX: The president did make one notable reform, which would be to pursue phone calls two degrees removed from suspects.

    OBAMA: Effective immediately, we will only pursue phone calls that are two steps removed from a number associated with a terrorist organization instead of the current three. And I have directed the attorney general to work with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, so that during this transition period, the database can be queried only after a judicial finding or in the case of a true emergency.

    BINNEY: He did pick up some of our suggestions, a two-degree approach, focusing on that, but you're still maintaining the bulk collection. If you do that two degrees, one of the principal--one of the parts of it, to do the targeted approach, then you don't need to collect the bulk. You don't need the rest of that; you don't need to maintain those large databases to store all this material, you don't have to hire all those contractors to manage it, and it saves you a lot of money and effort in the long run.

    But the other thing also that I thought he should go for--and we will make this recommendation again--is he needs to include into this process privacy protections for U.S. citizens if they are pulled into this database, even in the targeted approach. And you do that by encrypting all of their attributes so you can't tell who they are, so that the FBI or CIA or any DEA or any law enforcement agency can't come into that database and go after individuals.

    DESVARIEUX: President Obama also addressed the issue of spying on foreign leaders.

    OBAMA: Our intelligence agencies will continue to gather information about the intentions of governments--as opposed to ordinary citizens--around the world, in the same way that the intelligence services of every other nation does.

    WIEBE: The president said, no more spying on foreign leaders. And yet at some point, if you remember, he said, we reserve the right to look at all nations' intentions. You know, what's "intentions"? Does that include foreign leaders? So there's some clarity that has to be sought on that specific issue.

    DESVARIEUX: The whistleblowers called for a means to independently verify that Americans' Fourth Amendment rights are being protected.

    BINNEY: Have a hacker set of people type, technology people to be able to penetrate every network, every database, and every transaction, look at all the programs and everything they're doing internally inside NSA. That way you could verify everything that they have, everything that they do, and everything that they say.

    DESVARIEUX: The whistleblowers also pointed to what was not mentioned in the president's speech. The Guardian recently reported that the NSA collects 200 million text messages a day in untargeted global sweep,--

    WIEBE: That's content, folks. That's not metadata. It was never mentioned. And the White House knew about it, had to have.

    DESVARIEUX: --a point that President Obama did not mention in his speech.

    For The Real News Network, Jessica Desvarieux, Washington.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    TRNN Replay: Labor Day, the Less Radical Alternative to May Day
    TRNN Replay: Challenging the Myths of Unionization
    The Interests behind Taxing & Incarcerating Black Communities
    Taking from the Many to Give to the Few - David Cay Johnston on Reality Asserts Itself (1/4)
    The Black Freedom Struggle of the 21st Century (2/3)
    Global Warming and Economic Crisis Lead to One Solution: Climate Jobs
    Will the Ferguson Resistance Fade into History?
    Israeli Agribusiness Demanding Relief From Government as BDS Intensifies
    The Black Freedom Struggle of the 21st Century
    The Battle for Justice in Ferguson Runs through the Soul of the Democratic Party
    Forthcoming IPCC Report Calls for Control of Fossil Fuel Consumption
    Michael Brown and the Ongoing Struggle to Decriminalize Black Life
    Why America Failed to Anticipate the Rise of the Islamic State
    How Ferguson Residents Are Coping with Michael Brown's Killing
    Israel and Gaza Extend Ceasefire amid Last-Minute Attacks
    The Islamic State, Assad, and the Contradictions Faced by the US in Syria
    Michael Brown's Funeral Buried in Media Circus
    Ferguson Resident: "You Can't Talk about Race and Class and Privilege in a Soundbite"
    Fed Chair Signals Possible Policy Shift on Unemployment
    Special Report: Ferguson Police Profiling of Blacks a Major Funding Source for City Budget
    Protecting the Amazon Includes Defending Indigenous Rights
    "I Can't Breathe" - Gerald Horne on Reality Asserts Itself (6/6)
    Xavante's Song
    Canada's Largest Union Protests Pension Cuts
    The Powers Behind The Islamic State
    The Dahiya Doctrine: Evidence of Israel's Intentional Mass Slaughter in Gaza
    Falk: US Limits Ability of UN To Hold Israel Accountable for War Crimes
    Connecting the Dots Between Ferguson and Baltimore
    Abolition of Slavery was Not a Fight Against Racism - Gerald Horne on Reality Asserts Itself (5/6)
    Greenland Glaciers' Rapid Melting Will Have Global Effects

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting