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I'm Shepard Smith and this is studio -- -- the bottom of the hour time for the top of the news President Obama assured the nation nobody is listening to your telephone calls thank you Mr.
It was his first public -- -- 62 newspapers revealed a slew of details about our government's.
-- ongoing surveillance programs first the British newspaper the guardian reported that a secret court.
A court order has allowed the feds to pull phone records for tens of millions of customers of Verizon.
The report states those records include phone numbers and times of the calls.
But not the actual content.
That's what they tell us no wire -- in other words and then there's a report from the Washington Post a whole separate thing.
That report indicates the federal investigators are mining -- all on line data.
Pulling our emails are photographs are search histories and much more.
The president says those programs have kept America safe in exchange for as he puts it quote modest encroachments on privacy.
Civil liberties groups say the tracking goes way too far.
It's the top story the bottom of the hour and joining us now as a former deputy director of the National Security Agency colonel Cedric late sir good to see you thank you.
My pleasure show its good to be with you why is this not a directive violation of the constitution.
Well because all three branches of the government are involved in this you've got the executive who proposes this and -- then you have the legislative that basically approved it and then of course the courts have given final legal approval for it.
So the way the structure works right now you have could be three basic branches of government saying it's okay to do this.
Everything I'm doing online the duration of my phone calls and the and the number two which I'm making a call.
Where I was when I made that call might emails my photographs.
What would you understated if an American citizen said the U.
This doesn't sound like America I'm confident that the framers said in the Fourth Amendment and beyond you can't do this.
And that the court says you can and you say you -- in the president's educate and doesn't much matter.
And some people out there are.
Absolutely well and this is -- having seen what a Communist society looks like up close and personal.
I know exactly who want to be big situation is like when you don't have the civil liberties -- we've come.
Take for granted in this country so we have to be very very careful now in terms of what happens within -- They're actually some very strict guidelines in total -- say that are followed.
And that's it we're of course those guidelines are not made public so.
-- you'll forgive us if we didn't even believe you right.
Because representatives of the government had testified before congress.
That they certainly don't data mind people from from all across the country and of course we know that's a bold faced lie well.
And here's what happens the they shouldn't have made the statements that they may be shouldn't -- -- -- in the way you know I didn't do it's likely we'll all live about matters of secrecy and privacy.
Right you never lie first of all you never know it -- and they continue to lied to us and what they're doing is chipping away at our liberty.
And it seems to me that the constitution has regulations about how much liberty you can take away while trying to ensure while trying to secure our secure -- make -- secure.
There's a line there.
And -- you look at this objectively and say.
Man where over the line.
I think what you have to do you have to look at the balance between if the privacy requirements that we -- and they are requirements and -- desires or not wants.
End to the -- requirement to keep us safe.
So you look at this it would be much better if this system were directed -- very specific people that you knew world know that.
Not actually that -- not just be much better that would be constitutional.
Well that's why it's better and it certainly is and what we have now is unconstitutional.
Well I would say this I think he did he have a difficulty with the constitutionality.
Of the argument because all three branches have acquiesced to it at least it's been in the present form.
But would really like -- may.
Well -- you can't have that because -- other than the government collapses but when you do Yale this situation.
You have to really look at what the greater public good is -- -- I say.
It is a tried very hard to win you know followed the rules and make sure that it is not a rogue operation you know if you're gonna say employee and you go on your own.
And do some data mining that is not just in a phone number and you know where -- -- today.
But -- -- you know more intrusive in that.
I then they're in trouble they would go to jail for that.
So what -- people need to know that aspect of it as well but the other side of it is we need to make absolutely sure that we follow the tenants of our constitution.
Make sure that our civil liberties are protected.
And also make sure -- that everybody who is involved in this understands.
What the difficulties -- with the collection.
As well as what the requirements are from you know constitutional perspective in the civil liberties perspective so it's really an amazing discussion to have it clearly -- The key point.
You've got seven years after all this started we're finding out about it and it seems to me to citizenry needs to remember.
That those judges and those politicians and those lawyers they work for us.
Absolutely and that constitution is what's supposed to guide them and when they get outside it the people will come up -- bottom on the but colonel it's nice to see you.
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