Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
I'm -- comes on a welcome.
NSC senior analyst.
-- and NSA for more than thirty years one of the developers of an information processing system called thin thread.
Awarded the meritorious citizen service award their second highest distinction and a whistle blower Kirk thanks a magical and I -- very much.
Alan my pleasure thank you.
What is the regime would you did and what Snowdon has done.
But the Fourth Amendment protections do American citizens under the constitution was paid.
Key concern when we develop the technology that we developed.
Broadly known has been threats.
In other words we built the privacy protections into the software to preclude be incidental collections.
And revealing of American identities.
And thin thread cost a lot less money.
-- -- they were looking to do with the time TrailBlazer right.
Yeah yeah exactly TrailBlazer was PowerPoint slides we actually had software.
And hardware up and running.
Why didn't they accepted.
It was cheaper.
Stakeholders if you will hope to bitterly -- this is that a lot of -- off with a large.
Budget and then that phase but it was.
Growing their orders -- Mac.
And they're looking to satisfy the contractors more than actually doing what's best for the Fourth Amendment the constitution the safety the American people.
Exactly right and you -- head to head with Michael -- than I am I -- -- I have never had a chance I thought he -- was was not -- kind tour you but he didn't know whether that was a face to face or whether he just kind of weighed in against you.
No he he weighed in against best he never bothered to see what we had his deputies did go the deputy director of NSA under under Michael Hayden main belt black.
He came down sought -- -- my god you guys have made breakthroughs why are you being so moderate and we weren't we were just being resisted.
But the bad culture other competitive solutions -- -- competing solutions that weren't as good.
And -- never bothered and he basically told black to shut up because we never heard from him again.
-- -- -- -- -- And you part of his group who also was a whistle blower.
Who wound up at one point having an FBI.
Group break into his house and put a gun that was literally reshaping right.
What happened -- you didn't you have some harassment come your way as well.
We had this same experience in fact Betty.
-- -- -- Myself and Diane Rourke the congressional staffer all of us co signers of the 2002.
DOD IG complaint.
About interface behavior on TrailBlazer.
We were all rated simultaneously.
At 9 o'clock in the morning eastern daylight time.
I'm 26 July 2007.
So what did you did prior to that there -- their round.
Take steps while the ID complaint everyone that's talked to us from lawyers to get common -- say.
You know this was retribution.
It was a punch in your face.
For -- for having the audacity to tell the truth.
What about a whistle blower laws.
Where -- where they at the time.
They don't apply to intelligence.
And the ones that are there for all other government employees -- -- And they get lip service and very little -- now there's some modest victories -- one.
Recently -- more hopeful but still intelligence community employees don't have that benefit stale.
Isn't there though that you.
Actually followed the procedure unlike what -- -- went to the press you actually follow the procedure the department.
Absolutely we did we went to congress and I am more.
You know had -- -- -- staffer for the house permanent select subcommittee on intelligence.
So we went that route that didn't do anything we try to get a hold of the chief -- Chief Justice of the United States.
-- a friend who -- his daughter that didn't work.
We might EIG route route after that when those -- didn't work.
IG report came out about three years later and it was.
Percent redacted and it was hidden and highly classified.
So as to ensure wouldn't get public circulation people wouldn't.
So what did work.
So you're just shouting at the win basically -- nobody is listening.
Nobody was listening anyway hey that's a -- about to get back.
Into the discussion now is because of -- -- revelations.
-- -- to give ever -- endured physical danger because what you were doing was so risky and there are people out to get you because she -- telling tales.
The thought occurred to me I I would not tell you that I -- didn't fear I was angry about what was going time and more frustrated.
No I I would be not telling the truth if I didn't admit to some amount of -- -- you telling 01 of the world to know about vs what.
Edwards -- wants the world to go and have to know about because technology his -- is he telling united different process.
Than you're talking about.
-- actually not the process from what I can tell by looking at the view graphs that have been leaked.
They're still somewhat in the dark ages -- -- better techniques were exploiting information and large quantity is that what they're using.
And there are.
Far better protections.
For privacy the process since they have been playing.
-- we last left for example we had mark Klein on the program was an AT&T whistle blowers I'm sure you know he was talking most about VoIP.
This if the technology at the time back when he was doing this in 2002101003.
And it came became public anything in 2000 fiber so.
-- the near times talked about what he had been involved and but.
No isn't there a much greater technological advance that allows the collection of data to extent that was not even available back.
It does Allen but in a commensurate parallel way there's greater ability to protect information than ever before.
A greater availability to protect information in other words what you're talking about with with thin thread but except something they're not taking advantage.
Correct so why not why would they take advantage of -- system.
That would -- to protect constitutional rights and -- the same time get the information that they claim they want.
-- who are now at being the sixty northbound was he the culprit collected.
I do not know the answer to that -- wouldn't you do that maybe they don't want to -- protect it may -- they don't want to.
Over -- fell at exploiting it because once you start reading.
The enemies stuff really well you're probably gonna run into some US stuff that you'll end up breathing really well and suggests -- some.
Secret what have you seen in -- only thing that -- -- your hair stand on -- I would say that either there's tons of lost opportunity.
Alan my friend bill Binnie and I found I Arabian sponsored importation.
I EB triggering devices.
I'm our -- just using Google.
And the Internet like you have at home except with our knowledge.
We found a -- -- being sponsored by I ran we turned it over to DHS got kudos from the local manager there.
And they ended up arresting seven or eight people two years later so you know you -- why didn't NSA find that.
Why didn't CIA -- that good.
Well Natalie that's been what -- need to spend billions of dollars.
On a TrailBlazer.
When someone with the right amount of knowledge and use Google and find out the certain information that that helps -- -- -- Bingo.
And -- take a quick break wanna come back with our guests to work was.
Whistle blower and worked for the company -- company for the agency.
For more than thirty years.
Company donated shaker.
We -- former Tennessee senior analyst.
You've got the meritorious civilian service award what -- circumstances around that way to get that for.
-- -- had issued a national security decision directive as presidents do.
About what the focus.
The United States security apparatus ought to be on big issues.
And one of those was formed strategic.
And I along with 65 to seventy people who worked with me were able to make a major breakthrough.
And that is what -- -- that.
So this is the NSA second highest distinction you get this from -- and Reagan and then after actually speaking out the truth to power.
You become a target for those who were upset that you actually told the truth.
Here is James clapper who testified before congress he is the national intelligence director.
Who is taking heat for what he said on March 12 when he thirteen when he was questioned by senator Ron Wyden here's -- -- percent does the.
-- -- -- collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans no sir it does not.
There are cases where they could in inadvertently.
Collect but not not -- -- I could even say that within a with a straight face.
I don't understand it myself and I know Jim clapper when I got that award it's.
-- was -- war vets benefitted him when he was it strategic air command as a general office he's got.
I thought of them as the good guy but what happens to many good guys they get caught up in the old boy network and no one wants to rock the other -- boat and there's all kinds of behavior.
I -- -- will fly right.
Yeah what I mean yeah.
I'm in the NSA -- CN -- doing now that he didn't do is it doing it to a greater extent is there anything different about what the NSA is doing now than what it did when you were working their.
Well it certainly have but what based on what I'm seeing in the view graphs leaked expanded its overall collection.
It's in the Internet world.
Do we can we trust them when they say where we monitor all the phone -- -- coming in but all we know is.
Time of call where from where two length of -- but we don't know names and things like that we trust him to -- that.
It now you asked me if they would do I have to trust government know and neither did our founders.
And -- you have to trust him and I mean when they tell us that.
Are they really privy to just mattered really have much more information on -- then they're letting on.
I think the information is there how they're managing the access to it is what's key.
And in my way of thinking if it's just policies.
-- just -- raining which is all I've heard about.
And -- rules and regulations I don't wanna hear that I want to hear that their identities of people are locked down home.
And the key for opening it is in the hands of the fight to court or some support making that -- I -- -- thread did right thin -- would have done that.
That's that was our intention we never got as far.
As -- greeting the new way of getting myself approval because what we wanted to do was connect to the fight to court electronically.
And I -- use these use that they didn't have time to.
Send everything through the fight the court.
Because things change too rapidly and -- to process took.
Do all we know.
That's exactly -- the right out of myself criteria can be caught and captured in software known as business rules.
And implemented in computer system.
So that data can command the system looks up to see if -- criteria are met and that takes Milli seconds if -- met a checkbox is checked.
And it's okay by the fights -- court.
What -- the argument that we're safer because of all of this.
I'm I would state where somewhat safer.
But I would also say when I look at those -- -- they're not even optimizing.
The discovery of threats that way they're set up right now.
They have to know how and that's something the Benny and I copyright it back down -- back.
Don't think people -- know -- -- who -- and optimizing information.
They think they do but they don't know what -- and I know.
Why -- they call -- you to help out.
-- -- Probably.
Not invented here.
-- UEUEU have been critical of what we're doing so we're not invite you back and we're not -- reinstate your security.
If they're so concerned about I guess your your center security as mr.
-- did -- credentials taken away after having that since 1963 as I understand it but if if they really care about our safety.
Shouldn't they put -- -- the egos at the door and bring in people in northern don't.
Yes and that's why when we worked for -- beltway bandit one of the big ones that routinely works for government -- for a major intelligence agency we made a breakthrough there.
And that senior executives said that we have to stop these guys are gonna embarrassment effect.
We're talking -- Jim Kirk we be former NSA senior analyst.
What should happen -- -- I don't know I'm and I have mixed emotions on the one hand I think he's providing that service by making the bringing the Fourth Amendment issue to the forefront.
On the other hand.
Do you think will have some damage out of this hard to measure hard to know frankly.
When now Orrin hatch senator from you -- Leaked to the -- In into the public back in -- somewhere around 2006.
-- -- that bin Laden was on a satellite telephone.
And we lost that access we have -- a little -- largest catastrophe.
-- you I don't know how widely known that is that Orrin hatch leaked that and -- -- our chance to get in London boy.
They're widely known.
Yeah it's eight I don't know what's widely known Alan I know what got.
It was in the press and the couple articles don't don't pin me to the they are -- He didn't do it on purpose I'm sure.
-- -- Yeah it's a matter of sloppiness but not intent.
No but nothing happened but if someone like -- does he not sign something or.
Takes a look at oath that he is not to do certain things under county and whatever.
Absolutely but here's what one comes up against you -- -- take an oath to uphold the constitution the United States now you tell me which range -- pretty.
I understand the argument but obviously if he is a law breaker he must be prosecuted I'm guessing I notice it.
And I do great he should be prosecuted but he should get.
His day in court.
You've got people calling -- said you've got Dianne Feinstein for example saying that he should be you know.
Brought before prosecuted.
You've got Ralph Peters an analyst on Fox News that he should be execute I mean.
They did it's it's certainly not until we actually know what happened we kept making those kind of statements is ridiculous.
Alan you are absolutely right I remember when senator Kyl of Arizona says the same thing about Tom Drake and -- ought to be in an orange jump suit which means president.
Even before any of them knew anything.
We'll -- sadly -- correct to get the quote correct said it was an act of treason.
When I'm already losing not our -- Absolutely not we know what kind of information might have come out that could be Della Torre deleterious to us do we know.
I don't know what came out that could be harmful.
You know any sentiment.
I know I it when I look at those -- to me it says MSAs collecting a lot of stuff from the Internet do you think al-Qaeda doesn't know that.
-- is Glenn Greenwald said any terrorist who doesn't know that his phone might be tapped.
Or her phone might -- after that this is already arrived in place can't even tie worn shoes nevertheless to salute to hurt America.
No that's -- that's exactly right.
So what could have come out I wonder they say they're sitting and other information what could they what kind of stuff could they possibly know to be normal.
-- well it would be more program names more deep tale about what those programs are doing specifically -- data or how they're storing it.
And the more detail the comes out -- the more harm will be done.
So the fact that they're holding back I'm not sure they're using it as a bargaining chip or.
If they want to leak it out there and do a -- of a thousand -- kind of thing.
One more question mr.
we -- you feel vindicated.
Problems sadly yes I'm not joyful.
We've been trying to help people there's a danger here you know Alan that's true tragedy is that was all avoidable.
In the early 2000.
-- they simply.
To what we have to say about the right way to go go down this path.
And we wanted to negotiated with congress and negotiated with the judiciary and the American people.
That discussion -- it never happened and that's why we're here today.
I thank you sir for your hard work and for your time tonight thank you for talking to our audience about it all.
Thank you -- thanks very much -- -- former NSA senior analyst.
And awarded the meritorious civilian service award the second highest distinction that the NSA.
Before they turn on him because he told the truth.
Filter by section