WWL>Topics>>1-20-14 10:10am Garland: on Obama and the NSA

1-20-14 10:10am Garland: on Obama and the NSA

Jan 20, 2014|

Garland talks with Privacy Journal editor Robert Ellis Smith about President Obama and the NSA.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

This to our board most people were talking about a week President Obama called -- news conference. And basically. He called war as some people call and significant changes in collection of the week. Our own records are backed him -- Yeah National Security Agency and is today. Everything -- read goes. Well he proposes nobody sure of how would can be done or if it can be. All of this support revolves -- security. And privacy and we talk about this subject. -- always try to get Robert Ellis Smith on the pulling publisher at a -- privacy journal. And what's -- stolen more of those and Robert welcomed the -- or appreciate the call. To. First of all libraries implicitly. Implicitly via. President proposed. Appalled and now the government access. All of our phone records. As Cordoba old world. Surveillance activities. Oh and what did you think about the news conference in things -- do you see any major changes. No I don't think these dramatic changes I think there's mainly window dressing but this is Lou lesson in how Washington works but the and so with that. Financial crisis in 2008 and any kind of crisis with the American people get agitated. Outcome this statement from the White House that is intended to reassure people. And gets the headlines and when you read the fine print recede no other case. I think that the cases -- the risk the White House -- is that you can get opposite on an articulate what influencing that. Some. Go Obama has restricted the program others -- given. In light of infecting. Proposed a couple of provision. That -- packed with but it a little bit but only a little bit I think this is more of public it was just too -- you know. You were talking about 2008. -- -- you're talking about the yeah. On regulated Wall Street problems we -- to in the in the public got angry and then we enacted legislation. That. This can change everything Brooke what came out of the books. The bank reduced to big pale and very little was gone is that. Exactly the same sampling -- -- in Washington. Give it to the people with large print and it takes little it was the ultimate. That's what's on. Did the president has proposed that -- -- Actually -- abandoned many of the proposals by it is his hand picked -- Study group that took him up with some proposal but. The maintenance change seems to be that he would try to find some -- for the private sector to people the so called meg meg about which essentially used. The numbers dialed to and from -- phones. Have a private phone companies keep that would they would be compelled to make it available and it's whatever it wanted to. That's one small change -- another is that. There would be some kind of a public advocate to be heard before the secret court that determined whether and -- they can get court approval to. To wiretap. The critics of the program long sought I'm not true that the -- destruction. It's going to be very helpful put. It is -- extreme on American irony that the secret court has never heard the opposition view whatever they're considering. Whether to give permission to or kept only the government -- in those deliberations and down. Somehow we have to get who represented -- side whether it's pro privacy your approach the defendant pro that it. Target of the of the surveillance so that. We have the traditional American adversary system where judges can decide between two competing views. Competing views so this. NASA. Huskies to -- the court does not. -- legalistic breaker and come back confusion to some details. If you're concerned about it is that this is something you think should change. If it's something you think his mind is sold me in the abuse say. And long -- would be worried about it -- skull. 26 year old when -- 7203. Anywhere in the country its execs -- and zero cent. It's a -- from we often -- once again. Doubled up real predator drug -- opinion poll today do you think privacy exists today. 100% of you -- you know. Not often to regular under Robertson who on visual and so typical. Urgent pursuing -- somebody's view. What -- they get about to open has everything to privacy -- the President Obama -- Held a news conference that's comfortably Pulitzer -- the whole thing as saying okay would -- -- we've got National Security Agency. Set up. In the vacuuming. And metadata all of our poll numbers supposedly in governing the conditions phone numbers. And we have surveillance from worldwide. In order keepers say. Overall it is that sounded like something he was concerned that this. Wasn't working the way it was set up and changes should be made. We oftentimes go to Robert L Smith publisher editor the privacy journal that runs in the ensuing. Robert. -- good things in your presents India's security big figures security officials. To develop ways to protect the privacy of foreigners. Now indeed talking about the yeah. The leader of Germany used phones attempt to believer Brazil whose bones he tapped or is he talking about foreigners in general. An observation he's talking about not only has to -- -- But the very fire officials. In those same countries most of which are allies of the United States. That is the most affirmative. Clearest strongest part of the Obama message and there's a lesson here too that. Governments are much more concerned about overhearing a phone messages of -- colleagues. In high places in government than they are however two people and these are very very country itself. You'll have to explain to me -- The haven't stated Germany's entitled to a higher level privacy protection and hire him as a citizen of the United States. Got even more confused he basically said -- infected children. Presently -- leaders deserve to know that defy and want to learn what they think about an issue. A pick up the phone call them rather than turning to surveillance which begs the question. -- -- And it turned around and he criticized foreign intelligence services. Or -- didn't -- over what we did because they dude this same thing. He expressed frustration. Those who assume the worst motives via our government in the instead now expects China have an open debate about their programs or. To take privacy concerns as citizens in other places into account so I was like. We're not doing anything more than China and Russia in two and I promise to give your phone call after a chapter lines. In Germany and Brazil are. What cents to make it. I thought that. Well it's it's kind of classic problem. Barack Obama -- also console classic presidential politics where. You just simply has this attempt to balance and to please both sides on an issue and you see that immigration debate Washington now public. The debate on NSA surveillance is the same wayward. In the very same speech the president came in throw out rhetoric that pleases both sides that's what's happening I happen to resent that. The that he -- friendly allies of the United States would get a higher respectful. Telephone privacy denied as a citizen who's not only friendly to the United States and extremely patriotic. Would not get our wish we would apply that same standard to our own citizens I think that's that that's the priority here. Questions I raised which because of well one. Sure we believe and says I've looked up a couple of things last night. 2005. New York -- view in this city under President Bush. Have been eavesdropping on Americans for years without war and required. By. -- little. In thing that we would've done this week ago and you've been charts then. In 2000 -- but the bipartisan congress. And the support of senator by the name of Barack Obama career they enacted the new this a lot of palatial well. That legalized. The bulk of the ones in legal Busch programs. Including. Allowing warrantless eavesdropping on hundreds of millions of Orrin hatch -- and large number of Americans as well. So of them we look at then senator now president saying well it's and to all the soupy air. Everybody knows about it now. All suggested somebody else take over but I can tell you. And doom doom. Politicians. And leaders. Not understand today with Twitter and Tumblr and FaceBook and talk radio and television news and do they were. Bet that somebody is gonna raise that issue. You can't believe what they said. Well actually helped aggression sure because people are gonna dig up videotape -- you're saying the opposite world. -- some some other evidence to disprove -- -- on Tuesday. I do believe in this multimedia here in yes that is our for politicians to. To pull the wool over our lives unfortunately it just increases our cynicism and music. -- -- life but. It's especially true in this. And that massive build the business where -- so is the intelligence community itself I think is converted to cut it. Cold War rhetoric about all of this but our elected officials are trying to please both sides on this one. We should have been alerted by Obama's vote back in 2008 he had actually left the campaign trail to register to vote it was an attempt I think to. Please people who believe in a much stronger security apparatus in the United States and expose it worked. But it is -- put on notice that Obama very tolerances so. Securities. Overkill -- speaking of popular opinion I think there is the majority view that message should be curtailed. Should be cut back we may disagree on the extent of that and I think that's what Obama could have done by executive action. To reduce the quantity of the surveillance and to have some safeguards. On the on the -- so that. -- stressed that from the very beginning of this local force of law there has been an exception for emergencies which. Intelligence. Officers law enforcement. Could wiretapped phone in an emergency and get the permission of the court afterwards and so there was really no need for the 2008 amendment as far as I'm concerned. And I think that's still true today you know that there were enough provision in the original law to allow intelligence and law enforcement. To get the information needed in an emergency. And then get the approval of the court afterwards. The -- victim. And original question. I've known to have a lot of political consultant very high in political consultants in a note of Mumbai and Dave -- take a look at these. President's speech and there's you know back in 2005. Back in 2008. The media and there is so sure -- you're gonna bring you all the issues. Gonna be diametrically. Opposed to what you're saying it's a look like lightning so they've they've got to be aware of what you're talking about it. Do you think they just say well it doesn't matter because conservatives will vote for conservatives liberals won't vote for liberals. And and nobody is gonna kick his all that went for incumbents. And and those that are independent. Will be operated -- to be hit by terrorism that go along. That's part of that I used to be. Press officer of the federal government and I was struck without. In these meetings here in a bubble is no real consideration what the American people want or have demanded. It's it's kind of an open world where. What is proposed to be coupled with the American people so far removed from reality that you wonder how people. Could even proposes a -- the dish it out there was some kind of hole that the American people. And accepted and I think you made a very good observations. That's less. This as a result lessened ability to do this now -- blogs and and so many preserve videotapes and people have documentation available. Where they can go and they can check out these things and I hope that it's gonna contribute to a more informed electorate that will say. After these politicians release the statement I don't know that's incorrect that's not what the American people want. But it also could contribute to as -- say to -- Cynicism on the more part of the American people. Where they failed they all -- in the one the other. And to me that's just an abdication of our citizens responsibility. What people say when they say I don't have to vote on -- pay attention and keep track of the news media. Because. Bill which is real and -- In the the other element of the new tell me if I'm wrong. I'm conservative. I believe everything conservative and liberal I believe everything liberal. So -- read that stuff for a relieved to hear what politicians say. David maybe you all lying to me or whatever. -- those loans are lying to me telling me what my dogma. Dictates I'm good to go. Yeah I've seen a lot of that now on line with regard to -- Syria revelations that the knee jerk reaction where people just assumed it. Those that are -- them politically here it started doing the right thing in the goal that about. Thinking we need some fresh thinking -- this because it's a tough issue to resolve but DO RC also in Washington up. Not only. Major acceptance of conservatism on the conservative but it goes along party lines to even if remember what parties as a jerk is not a human. -- promoting. Principles graduate. I'm gonna go with him because he's been a party and feel awful. And you see -- The comparable thing was. And it's very revelations you'd people who have never met an intelligence officer in their lives 60 they're very patriotic people and they wanna do the right thing and I trust them to do the right thing. A mile and a bitter rhetoric and the district today calling people who are critical that program quote. NSA haters without naming a single person. But just. About promoting caricature movies. An -- it is our I don't know in my haven't seen that yet I think that go all the privacy advocate that I talked to really wanna see. And he curtailed national security program is effective in the works. And he there -- NASA administrators group at all. The more we can reduce the more helpful will be but I don't think that's gonna happen in the days and. An -- June of ten minutes and so are all right the people that did the losing. Robert -- Smith probably get -- privacy -- Yep thank you its privacy journal dot net. Or you can not cost you Rhode Island at 401. 274. 78. 61. And weak report every month hard copy and electronic edition. All of these issues on privacy we try to tell people what their rights are and tell them what technology is affecting their rights. And be happy to send a sample copy. To anybody Passworder cutting into their questions on all of us. Or a -- it's about talk about president Obama's speech but I also like to talk to you about what's in your privacy journal. A couple of the topic shoes your handling right now. It was all if you have questions element to succeed -- 170. To operate anywhere in the country -- 66. Aided nine and 07. The finger at about President Obama is a news conference last week. We're basically says that. Mentioned changes within food security agencies. Collection. Or information. Poll numbers. And it's -- instances our personal information. And as always we go to Robert L Smith publisher editor the privacy journal. A distributed thinks about all that Robert board of the things. Do presidents. Kind of talked about a public advocate in the place -- a loosening of gag orders. -- national security letters. Removing metadata control from the in the it's a stricter standard for a accessing it and any of those do you think make a big difference. Yes without regard to national security oh I actually some export some expert I am I thought that ignored it been done but. The Patriot Act introduced the ability. The government to demand documents from businesses and libraries to remember that controversy involving -- years ago. Then they can demand personal information by merely presenting a piece of paper called on national security letter. And indeed -- had to be approved by -- agency -- want the provisions of toilet he couldn't talk about it if the library and received one of those species had to remain silent. And that's been totally undemocratic conduct. I've I thought that was -- but anyway that's a good suggestion. By the president. Two make sure that the so called gag orders not complacent that. A person who was presented was such a demand that we could talk to -- attorney wants close associates to try to. Figure out how to defend oneself. And we talked to -- Little bit about the need for Asia. Advocate that we in the fight to court I don't think this is structured properly I think that the whoever is the target. Target of the surveillance that. Ought to be represented in some way and ought to be an adversary process -- -- -- quite used to this event. The judge makes the decision based on which side as a stronger argument. Let me I've been given kind of negative news within the positive news the guardian the newspaper that broke out this note documents have been imprisoned. Obama's speech partly because the -- that. There's political system has been totally well and so they -- effective. Effective. It is. In the past eight months congress does included pressured the president has -- open -- The -- there's been completed and then on Friday the president has changed the rules. Yes or inadequacies there but didn't -- in the process of accountability and responsible state -- work. In Britain has been almost nothing of the sort. There's so at least some people -- -- typically do our best as a democracy. That's when things -- confuses me. -- we've got to. I think it's a member of the house on the picture of there's been going suit notes saying that. They -- convinced -- god -- god help from Russia. 22. I feel all this metadata. They're saying that he used. Trader. They're saying that it should be put on trial and approve and -- for prison here's what the president through. A quote one thing I'm certain that this debate. -- -- -- Wild. At the same time and he's trying to get -- in jail. It. If you all of this is needed all of these changes he's suggest. And even Feinstein and -- welders and so pro in Thursday. Our goal along with a lot of these changes. Is it's noting that a traitor or wrote a whistle blow. We've got to wonder. The president covered by exits -- its smoothness of patriot that they itself but the definition of patriotism of somebody who -- and I actually. And it is the inconsistency and I think that. If Obama or somebody in the administration could lower the -- Note and then. I think that would help a lot we think that the magistrate today -- still fled to Russia that's not true at all. He was trapped there near Portland. The United States removed his travel documentation. Though he doesn't want to be in -- at all. There's no I don't think there's any evidence that Russia our knowledge of this. Contributed to what he did. I think it's pretty clear that. The process it is it's potent was appalled by what you read about it he deliberately set out together as much information because it. And two releases I'd like to recommend you read news and access to them that the testimony. That I've got no coverage at all -- United States by Glenn Greenwald whose. In order for the guardian of England who. That most news stories based on those documents he testified before the European Parliament just before Christmas. And people couldn't -- -- going to Glenn Greenwald European Parliament. It's on tape. You can see a video of it lasts about fifteen minutes. Ordinarily. Particular point of view of why he took these documents and why he. Wrote stories about them. And a ringing endorsement of the need for prices. It does remind people. Why it's important that they not and Wednesday to. Have these false documents on every single American that's good enough with the founding fathers. Senate vote on a couple of things that I think most Americans they know what. We should be reminded. Snowden did release of documents no he didn't go to. Rickie Weeks CP didn't put them apocalypse and his -- he gave them through responsible organization summit as -- The majority in the good times and others and he insisted. That those documents be scrutinized and tilted -- anything that might cause possible threats so on to anybody. And that was done. And then -- organization. That and mostly in group of editors to decide what to disclose what and completely from those documents and information. It might pose risk to anybody. Remote ones that and I I think most Americans. Because what -- think that that would really the only one that's been put it fifteen minutes but it. And in what most people. Don't understand for those who say -- Snowden should've gone through the channels. They're worth three. Top executives and in SA that spent years. Trying to delivered the same information. And they were prosecuted and thrown. That's correct that's correct. He -- going through -- -- about work and let's face it. This is not a garden variety whistle blowing this is extremely significant global consequences and will. Implications for people's lives and for the welfare of -- so that this is this to consider that this shouldn't process through. So whistle blowing bureaucracy people will post -- here. But he took the next best step he did -- those killed by the way but he did pick the best expressed. Step which was to put these documents in the hands of responsible multiple journalist who promised that they would let them. Risks and that they would consider strongly whether or not is that the information typical. Aren't we go one final time how to people followed and gore. Privacy journal and what -- what can they expect to apply and when area -- You know World Cup it is. And a sample copy of people put we we. Published excerpts of that criminal testimonies about current January issue -- only organization I think it will. Plotted to get a transcript the public is because it was not covered in the US press at all. But -- combination of new legislation. Bloom court cases new technologies and new public attitudes. That affect the people's privacy rights. Whether it's the right to keep information confidential but so what do creative autonomy. I'd be surprised because as both. Newsletters. Privacy journal dot net we have special rates for individuals who have not part of the organization. Not subscribing. Professionally. They can people completed by email it's orders -- Privacy journal. Dot net. I've been in business almost forty years doing this and we now -- news both hard copy and electronic form and it's simply to make people more better informed whether it's what to do much Social Security number of what the rules with regard to medical information. What do you have any privacy rights and -- Politically and as is looking at every single part of your -- all of these things. Until people vote. Robert always a pleasure to have you on the show always. It helps you -- rooms in the east and every week I've -- Yeah thank -- Robert -- this publisher editor the privacy.