Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
It was one of our top stories this morning the White House defending its right to seize your phone records.
Reports of a secret government program monitoring the calls up tens of millions of Americans.
Colonel Cedric -- -- a former deputy director National Security Agency and former Joint Chiefs of Staff intelligence officers have good morning to you sir and thank you.
For your time here could you explain why this would be necessary.
Sure good morning bill will basically what we're looking at here it is the way to go through a whole bunch of information very very quickly.
In this day and age of metadata day and going through many many reams of information.
There are information processes information calling processes that and -- -- -- that go with into the finding out who was talking to whom.
Why they're talking to them and how long they're talking to them and that basically was the gist of the court order that the guardian found earlier are you OK with us.
Should we will be okay with this well it depends IE I -- -- with the basic idea of going after folks who are connected to terrorist groups and I think most Americans are OK with that.
What you're looking at though is a lot of data and it requires a lot of good control mechanisms put in place.
Four word that the handling of that data.
So when you're looking at these kinds of control mechanisms I will tell you that having worked at NSA and associated agencies for quite some time.
There are a lot of controls in place for this kind of information.
And if those controls are followed if the rules are followed.
I've been there should not be that much of a problem with -- but.
You have to be very careful and yet to be very careful that the rules.
Not only stay the same or -- improved from a civil liberties standpoint.
But that they also are followed to achieve by everybody involved in this election process to give us a sense of the information they're gathering what is it is is it your name is -- your -- is -- your phone number.
Is -- the content of your conversation what is it.
It is everything except for the content of the conversation -- everything that you described from the phone number.
To your name possibly the address or your location if you're talking on the cell phone.
Those are the kinds of things that could be collected potentially under this court order.
Now having said that I there is so much that goes into this that you really don't have time when you're an agency like -- To listen in on everybody's conversation you only listen in on those that you have a specific warrant for work or have reason to believe that they are engaged in terrorist activities.
So that's how we -- it's supposed to work and it's not designed to.
The intrusive in terms of the actual conversation.
But -- you and I both know there's a lot that can be decoupling from meta data and from things like phone numbers and location and take data.
I mean just some from Verizon here -- 121 million customers in the first quarter.
That's what they listen for their customer base here.
You had 98 million wireless customers eleven million residential phone lines about ten million commercial lines.
Can you cite a case where terrorists was cotton stopped.
Who did well type of surveillance.
Well I can tell you that this type of surveillance was very important in wrapping up some of the loose -- from the Boston bombing.
And I can also tell you -- -- many of the terrorists that we were able to pick up -- in relation to 9/11 were either caught it here in the United States or.
For example Khalid Sheikh Mohamed.
It was a case in which some type information similar to this was used.
Other cases so involved that most of them are sold classified but the basic idea is it's been extensive -- we.
Used and it has been very very useful in affording the whole bunch of terrorist attacks but you know you fortunately -- can you.
You can clearly understand I apologize to an eruption -- -- how people would think this is invasive and in my life and it should not be happening.
Now it went into effect at the end of April it's still in effect now.
It goes until July 19 should we know that.
It you know it when it looks when you look at the types of information that are gathered sometimes it's important and to -- not just reviewing your hand when you're gathering this type of information because people and -- to us in other cell phone carrier if there.
Terrorists that are planning to do something that's a possible reason to avoid publicizing it.
Another thing is that this is actually has a lot of historic precedence.
Going all the way back to World War II when you look at what was done.
With western union and telegrams the government intercepted a lot of that information not only during World War II but in the -- -- to World War II so there's some historic precedence for it.
But we have to be careful looking at the way we do this and making sure that our laws and our procedures.
Meet the requirements of the digital age in the -- colonel thank you with the changing timeout -- you well know.
Absolutely bill it's good to get you're inside thank you will be in contact -- -- favourable we need to know about this thank you colonel but what -- -- before.
Filter by section