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This -- less like -- -- in the telegraph London telegraph and the article about how the government.
Is getting information more phone records Willis is Alexander at vote at W staff attorney for the ACLU national security program.
Been involved litigation cases concerning the Patriot Act.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act the international emergency economic powers act it -- -- -- and Michael wilds former federal prosecutor also was the mayor of Englewood.
But I want to get that -- -- -- Michael first what I hear so many people are against this certainly civil libertarians what's the argument.
For the government doing this and -- we trust them.
To not get more information that they shouldn't have to protect -- I should say forgive me -- for I have saying because I'm debating the UC LU and an annual horror and probably a lot of other for -- -- you know general Americans trying to make sure that constitution in this beautiful experiment in democracy gets it right.
-- but I see this from a different perspective from a former federal prosecutor.
I had the privilege of representing a lot of people before the war and terrorism became so.
Hum this -- and are in the fabric of our society where people.
Were actually a building themselves and the government did not have the intelligence or the information that was coming and now with the data mining efforts this is in my mind not a slippery slope where we're going to end up.
Are having a problem -- this will lead to worse circumstances.
But this actually may prevent bad circumstances.
Because simply taking the address -- the return address the telephone number and this intelligence coupled with all the systems and platforms that they have at their apparatus.
Well not only protect methods and procedures but in my opinion and based -- experience will actually.
Avert attacks why should we believe that there are only getting phone numbers and locations enough further identification issues had a question we trust -- -- Deaths were -- I think I tip my hat to -- -- COU if this had anything to do with the content of conversations.
It would be different the fact that there is transparency effective there -- federal judges.
The fact that applications are being made in 2011 there was.
Actual testimony made on capitol saying that there were forty instances where they needed these business records just phone numbers and information.
Look the government's fighting roving surveillance somebody picks up one form goes to another form they're fighting lone wolf says we see in Boston.
If we don't have the apparatus and the ability for people to multitask homeland security and state and federal levels.
In such a fashion that they can put this together and other intelligence.
We're going to be putting out fires are pregnant the engine you'd ever give any evidence and what they're doing -- help stop any terrorist attack prevented terrorism anyway.
I can tell you from personal experience the clients that I've had the privilege of representing who cooperated in the war and terrorism.
Way before it was fashionable and I even testified in support of this 1999 and Capitol Hill.
Have provided kernels of information that have reverted other attacks.
These are -- again.
I understand the argument against it might and I tip my hat to those that we want to keep this the structure of our constitution but these are not searches and -- -- contemplated by the Fourth Amendment otherwise I would be against the New York Times today coming out the -- the administration the Obama administration they supported almost lock stock and has no credibility I I'd liken this to the request when I sent -- -- -- office -- asking for information subpoenas and trying to get.
The same information that they would look in health care Medicaid fraud issues I think that the government is trying to dissect communications.
And put things together.
Whether we should have domestic spying powers or -- or.
Whether or not we should justify this for -- law enforcement purpose of 31 thing when we walk into an airport we know that there's a lower expectation of privacy.
And the circumstances.
Of anti terrorism and technology being so portable at this point mean not only god -- is their problem in an area does the government and shut down all the cellular systems because they know that those things can work.
But they act proactively to make sure they converted text with these kernels of employment -- NN don't hear the ACLU staff attorney with the ACLU national security program you want to respond Alexander.
-- I absolutely agree with immature around that our government should be targeting terrorists and other criminals and preventing their wrong doing.
To do that we need to be targeting the terrorist we don't need to authorizing -- the authority to the government to be able to indiscriminately track all of our phone calls.
And and I want to put it back up against one particular notion which is that.
This is just called record to two with a from the for how long and for that reason somehow less sensitive information.
The the upshot of the government argument is that it can collect.
Information about who you call every single day of the year.
And who you -- where you're emailing them from how many times do you email them who you call where you're calling them -- -- how many times are calling them.
And that that doesn't violate.
Constitution's right to privacy I think in in the new digital age that that's equate understanding of what the Fourth Amendment protects.
I think quite clearly that sensitive information quite clearly the government doesn't need access to to do its job it simply makes a haystack bigger but doesn't get it any closer to finding a needle.
What about that great Benjamin Franklin Michael a great Benjamin Franklin statement that those -- sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither.
It we have better country because they have this kind of surveillance are is that the kind of free country you would -- you're gonna -- and -- I learned years ago right before the attacks that safety trumps our privacy but should never trump our right to free speech or there.
The protection and the majesty of the constitution.
Look we are also obligated to citizens with the duty to be transparent.
And nobody argues with underwear bombers and shoe bombers and all the other events that we have -- diminished expectation of privacy when we go -- to airports and other places.
When people start trends acting with certain known.
-- high profile terrorists associations with terrorism book.
A law firm that calls all day long the clients the question here on the slippery slope would be.
Would they be subject to the same kind of scrutiny.
If they don't know names and it's getting phone numbers location -- -- -- doing anyway we probably these people are well here's what happens if you're sheriff from the local town and there's some very delicate sensitive material.
That he could be used the dangerously.
You have foreign students some -- immigration lawyer by trade infect them a second immigration a second generation immigration lawyer by trade.
Arm and you have foreign students living in that area then all of a sudden you have.
The use of cellphones going into certain areas -- -- government that sold this intelligence together very quickly.
We have now in many ways graduated from we we were prior to 9/11 where they can seamlessly put all of this intelligence together and may be a burden attack.
Alexander you're -- as it is what Michael singer makes sense and -- -- and -- our safety something we -- take into consideration even in terms of what we do in terms of liberty.
We of course you to take our safety consideration and I think there's a way in which were not disagreeing here which is that if you're someone in your communicating with the terrorist.
Nobody questions the government's right to be able to.
I didn't even investigate you for having communicated that terrorist and we're having engaged in in in potentially criminal activity.
The question is whether the government to be authorized to collect.
That phone records and the email records.
Of every American in the country whether or not they have they're suspected of wrongdoing whether or not there's any evidence that they've ever talked to anyone who's suspected of wrongdoing.
And store that information potentially indefinitely.
I didn't know what they would hold it right they're gonna get Michael responded that it and the issue of articulate will suspicion that you need that with -- actually after somebody Michael wells as well as.
He is a former prosecutor and an immigration attorney in the New York area in New Jersey actually former mayor of Englewood and Alexander at doe staff attorney with the ACLU -- Michael while she's a former federal prosecutor.
And also with a from the ACLU's Alexander had who is step paternity issue you national security program and document this Verizon.
Issue and I got to wonder Alexander do we know any do any more information is it just Verizon has turned over these -- are there other companies that are doing the same thing.
We don't know what other companies but I think there's every reason to believe the government had similar orders for other telephone companies and perhaps more troubling me that -- had similar orders.
Four -- for the major Internet companies means that media probably has the ability to.
To track every email we stand when we send it to whom we're sending it in and who sent us.
And used to say they're not doing that Michael I mean again had -- we trust that of which -- getting the information is telling us again -- not overstepping their bounds because we already feel overstepping their bounds I mean this started in the bush era where the National Security Agency was looking at multiple carriers.
And I believe that there has been no closure on this again.
You're talking to somebody who's not offended -- been full disclosure between all branches I do believe in my core that this.
Kernel of information and does not reflect the content of any dialogue and protects American lives.
-- -- on -- the what are they getting what kind of information do they get that makes us safer because they have access to phone lines from Verizon.
Law enforcement intelligence community's always looking to protect its own methods and procedures and if they're able to actually connect information and intelligence as I used an example before the commercial break.
-- can bridge or make your connector or bring somebody him.
Who has associations or is giving support or aiding and abetting it's so important.
We didn't allow the government at all to have access to any of this and the fact that they have to go.
To via foreign intelligence surveillance court eleven judges three of them who physically have to live within twenty miles of Washington DC area.
Is critical to show you how real time this is and if the government believes with intelligence.
With with all -- electronics with older platforms that are out there that they can put something together.
I am willing to give the benefit Alexander who is is in the process as the attorney -- just explained it is it is a constitutional.
I don't think that the process that this that -- type accord approved in this instance the collection for the tracking of all Americans phone calls and tend to be known that constitutional.
I think that the big lesson of the Supreme Court from the last year.
Is that you're talking about something else when you allow the government to.
Two aggregate this amount of information through pervasive surveillance that is no longer enough to -- But just because some of that information is available to the public that the government can go out and collected it it's there's a difference between for example allowing the government to.
Put an FBI agent on your tail -- tracking for a few days.
And it's very different from allowing the government to put an FBI -- on every single Americans killed attract them for thirty days.
It is it is a much more significant intrusion on our privacy and it's -- that the constitution prohibits.
We talk about the issue just before the break of articulate -- suspicion Michael the idea that the government doesn't need.
According to her own senior judicial analyst at Fox News -- -- volatile without articulate -- suspicion.
The government has no business no right to look into our -- In 2011 -- testimonies.
The intelligence community -- forward and said we needed help.
We need help with roving surveillance -- felt that it was operationally.
Useful they -- with the lone wolf.
That this self radicalization.
Needed certain intelligence apparatus and and and support.
And when it came finally to business records they testified that on forty occasions they actually did this not the millions upon millions.
Of instances that everybody fears and they said that there were three guidelines that they needed they have to comport any investigation.
To an attorney general's guidelines if you're a citizen was involved it had to make sure that you weren't getting the business records solely -- -- brigade a First Amendment right.
And it had to be wrote relevant.
In a long when did way.
The relevancy happens to be the standard here this is nothing more than a -- information subpoena.
And has the same standard as they do in health care fraud.
Where they're looking to ferret out information.
This is not information that's going to a bridge any individual -- never -- what is driving is abroad as it is with every record all the -- and all Verizon customers.
While I I suppose will be accused of selectively only finding people that -- four feet tall -- a certain color political persuasion otherwise.
And the truth is that they use this on forty occasions in the year 2011 I don't know since then how many occasions they've used it.
But there's testimony that it did diverted and attack and -- take it for them do we take their word for it.
Look this is considered to be meta data MET a method data.
Via -- authority expires July 19 this year perhaps there won't be renewed.
But if it is renewed there is a legal system in place look we elected these members of congress they pass this law there are no regulations in their judges in -- Our goal this so or does the administration doing this is as congress is not the one who went and got this information -- is getting these life is left with the administration -- -- congress passed the patriot that's true and besides that though this -- -- as anyone to get in -- for a moment.
I didn't want to push back a little bit you know this program we known we -- -- -- senator -- has been going on for seven years and every three months.
That the government go to court -- to reauthorize.
You order at -- particular.
Telephone provider so I don't think this is one authentic I want to push back up against a little to the notion of this system.
You know when the government -- we -- this forty times in 2011 -- -- the last number was 216 times.
What -- -- and consider church you are orders just like the Verizon one.
It's not that they -- these records forty times -- that they went to the fight the -- forty times to get orders potentially as broad as this one every time.
So for example they may have thought.
Forty orders for forty different telephone companies and Internet companies asking all of them to turn over.
All of their customer records about every phone call and every -- that email every single customer made for a three month period.
That I think is a bridge too far it's one thing to suggest that the government should be able to.
Search that type of information.
When they have a reason to target a particular individual it's another to force companies to turn over all of that information about all of their customers without.
Any -- telling them what -- Verizon said no I'm not gonna do it not gonna even the information won't happen to.
And that they're required to comply by a law I I don't know what the government would do they didn't comply but.
And it's it's pretty clear these companies are complying Michael.
I I I don't think that the government would want to show.
It's selective a request to a private corporation.
If -- believes it's protecting American lives and their forehead needed all of the information so he could pull out what it wants selectively.
You know we have to recognize that it's foolish to believe that we are free in this nation to do anything that we.
Feel and believe and that we defer ultimately to the protection of our government when things are hard and if they're saying that this is a way.
We can ferret out kernels of information we can trust them right well you know I guess they're looking for our best interest all right so let's take a look at -- -- power -- -- let's play back -- let's say we don't allow them to take something that they believe that they can put together on a case.
And then -- who protects us.
Well -- we -- I think we have the constitution.
And mind you.
You know I understand the argument and at first blush if it had the content of any one phone call I would agree.
But if you can take a zip code a -- number a tidbit a person's action and then you could put it together and make probable cause and prosecute the person later we know that they've done that based on the record again I'm telling you from my personal experience that I've seen the government that player.
And they're protecting their methods and procedures saying truly in many ways Alexander what about that agent Michael brought up that they've ruled the government is to keep us safe and they have to do with they feel is their best interest -- our best interest to make sure that that.
That bubble of safety exists.
He didn't that is one of the role of another one of the rules to uphold the constitution and the way to uphold both of those values is to.
Allow the government access to this information when it can demonstrate pods.
There's no need for the government to have the information out of the -- perhaps.
Millions of innocent Americans use this phone record -- swept up in a program like this.
There's simply no need for that now I you know didn't.
Michael raises questions about whether the government should be forced to -- the companies who would want to surveil.
Yeah that's been the law of the land -- a long time where the government if it wants to get information that someone.
Goes to the company and a way to prevent that company from disclosing that information by imposing gag orders that come with significant criminal penalty if the company doesn't comply.
And you know that that that that that cost of doing business but I hadn't really but it costs for the government.
What about that Michael interesting.
You know you really don't want to rely.
Aren't company's compliance and I really don't trust the government as much as you both gentlemen don't trust them as well.
-- we elected our officials and our government agents are acting.
On our behalf to protect us and I believe ultimately that if there is no contents or potential for this slippery slope to.
Invade our privacy.
That there's no harm no foul on him again I walk into an airport -- and are you really have no objection whatsoever.
-- -- of time that it takes for them to put it on because I've opted to go into the airport.
If you don't want your invasion or your privacy what did I get a phone.
Part well but you know but if you're going to use -- phone and of phones -- -- brutally -- can start or ignite -- of phones can have communications.
Then what's the first they went down Boston by the way -- -- -- you play -- have a moment left and wanna ask you Alexander's the issue using any action on this or or what's planned here to move forward on this issue.
We're certainly contemplating action but I can't anymore than that right now.
All right -- thank you both very much for being with us Alexander.
-- -- attorney with the ACLU national security program and Michael wilds former mayor of an ordeal like -- appointment for.
The ascendant he's going to comedy general no comment that I really do admire and I do miss my friend senator eleven --
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