tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC July 19, 2021 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
robert, the republican accountability project to take us off the air on this monday night as we begin a new week with our thanks for being here with us. on behalf of all my colleagues at the networks of nbc news, good night. happy to have you here. a lot going on tonight. first of all you should know that right after me tonight, after this show at 10:00 p.m. eastern, msnbc's special live hour with the democrats who walked out of the texas legislature. slature. who left the state of texas under threat from the texas governor that they would all be arrested on their return. by leaving the texas state capital, by living the state beyond the reach of texas law enforcement, these democrats are preventing a quorum in state legislature back home. this means that very practical terms, they are preventing texas republicans from passing
draconian new voting restrictions. at least for now. they could have gone anywhere outside of texas. they chose to come to washington d.c. specifically to ask for federal help. to ask for new federal protections that could set a floor on voting rights that no state -- that's the idea behind the for the people act. the for the people act is busy not passing the united states senate right now basically because of one democratic senator named joe manchin. the texas democrats have met with him directly. they have met with other senators as well. they've met with white house officials up to and including the vice president, kamala harris. these texas democrats are away from their families and away from their jobs and businesses. away from beloved -- they're likely to be staying away for weeks to continue to press this case and to make sure that there's no quorum at home. like i said, they are literally facing arrests when they do go
back to texas. and now six of these texas democrats have tested positive for covid. it was five when the texas tribune went up an out six. they are just in the middle of a world wind right now in so many ways. again, we end msnbc are gonna be running a special live hour with them, the next hour right after the show so we want to be sure to be here for that. the becomes at 10 pm eastern tonight right after me. we have a lot on our plate though. there's a lot going on, we have a bit of a breakthrough that we've been covering a lot lately about the translators who work for u.s. troops in afghanistan during america's 20-year-long war in afghanistan. these translators are now being hunted by the taliban, specifically because they helped american forces. particularly among u.s. veterans who served combat tours in afghanistan there's been a real urgency and real worry about whether we're getting these afghans who
helped us out in time, since u.s. troops are all but gone from african chemist and now. as i said today is a bit of a break on that story. today, the pentagon and the state department finally made some concrete announcements for the first time. they've got plans in place, at least for the first 700 or so of these translators and their families. we thought they might be flown to guam, to the u.s. territory of guam to have their applications to the come to the u.s. process. turns out that is not the plan. they're not going to guam. but as of today, the state department of the pentagon does have a plan for where they're gonna send these folks. the first group of them at least will be updating you on that tonight. again, a bit of a big breakthrough. we're also going to be looking at this blockbuster reporting. making headlines all over the world today. about a company that's been selling military grade
surveillance technology to governments all over the world. even if you never click on a dodgy link sent to you from someone you don't know. even if you always change passwords and they're really hard to guess. even if you keep all your software up to date and devices up to date and the latest security patches you have to factor authentication and all the other annoying stuff they tell you to do. even if you do everything right this is spying software that can see every single thing that you do on your phone and everything about you that your phone can discern including your exact location. and can turn on the microphone on your phone without you knowing or the camera on your phone without you knowing and 40 governments around the world are supposed to be by contract using this technology for law enforcement and against hostile foreign spies and counter intelligence. but in this huge reporting project that launched headlines
all over the world today, more than 80 different reporters working in dozens of different countries, what they found is that the people who are actually being targeted with this total surveillance capability aren't necessarily criminals and gangsters and spies. it's exactly who you think would be targeted with this kind of surveillance technology by a government that didn't feel like he could face any rules for doing such a thing. the targeting human rights activists, opposition leaders, dissidents, rival politicians, foreign leaders seem to be spying on their own family members. the scope of it is like a science fiction movie but it is real. it's now been documented again in dozens of countries around the globe and tens of thousands of individual phone numbers being associated with this type of spying. the question of what can be done about it is more interesting and sort of more of an open question then you might think. we've got expert help here on
the tonight. joining us in just a few minutes, i'm looking forward to that discussion. we have some big important and complex moving stories that we're gonna try to cover this hour. there's also in the news today one story that i admit i feel sort of is not complex but i do feel and i feel vindicated about it but i have to tell you for a second. the states the summer of 2015, one a man named donald trump first announced he was running for president. we remember with that announcement looked like. the very next day after that announcement, we ran a segment here on the show about would appeared to me to be fairly convincing evidence that the donald trump presidential campaign launch seems to be the first presidential campaign launch in u.s. history where that candidate actually had to pay actors to show up and
pretend to be supporters of this candidate of this campaign. and there is a few different components of that reporting and surmising that in putting it on tv the day after trump announced. first of all, cnn had reported the day the announcement that weirdly, someone who appeared to be part of the event was out on the street in front of trump tower like carnival barking to try to build up the crowd. it was a push guy. where the announcement was gonna have been trying to persuade random new york city pedestrians interests that they should step inside, folks! come on in, it's free. we have air conditioning in here. there is a free show? come on in! that was weird enough. also, we had sent a producer to the event. our producer at the trump announcement actually heard people in the vip section
talking about how to them, it seems like maybe this supposed crowd of trump supporters actually included a considerable number of people who were being paid to be there and who aren't legitimate trump supporters. we also talked to an anti trump activists who said he attended the launch that day and got the same vibe that our producer did. he then found social media postings from the event, not from people who are actual trump supporters who wanted to brag about the fact that they've been there. in fact, there was suspicious dearth of posts like that. instead, what he found with social media post from new york city actors. people who you regularly used our social media accounts to promote acting gigs and which they have participated. that was the social media record of the event. so piecing all of that together and then by the day after the trump campaign launch, hollywood reporter actually got
its hand on an email sent out by the company called extra mile casting. extra mile. it's a bit of a double entendre. they say, will go the extra mile for you. but it's also a company that provides extra support of shoots and movies and tv shows and stuff. extras are acting jobs but it's not people who have speaking roles generally it's warm bodies in the background of a scene somewhere. particularly if you need a lot of them. people who are otherwise trying to get better gigs of actors will sometimes take a gives an extra to make extra cash. one point in my life, when i had very little money and was piecing it together with little different jobs. i worked as an extra. you can get paid 50 bucks or 100 bucks to stand around and do with a sudden you probably wouldn't end up on camera anyway. it's kind of fun, easier than a lot of my bad jobs. but anyway, you hire extras like in bulk, right? you don't have to be too
discerning about it. i need x number of people to appear in x place at x time. they should all be dressed like, this they should behave this way. and then there's the terms of the deal. in total, its ex hours of work. look at a flex fee of x dollars. it's not an infrequent thing. there's nothing scandalous about it. this company, the extra mile, in new york city it's their business. nothing wrong with it. totally respectable business, totally legit. but the day after trump announced his presidential campaign and there was all this sort of corroborating circumstantial evidence that there was something a little weird and artificial about the crowd, the hollywood reporter did obtain an email sent from that company, the extra mile. it was an email blast sent out to their list of actors. their list of potential extras who they hire for all sorts of different gigs. it said, hi there, we're working with our associates on a big event happening on tuesday june 16th.
this is an event in support of donald trump in an upcoming exciting announcement he'll be making at this event. it will be televised. that's an important thing for people considering extras gigs. we're looking to cast people for the events to wear t-shirts and carry signs and help cheer him in support of his announcement. the email continued. this is great. we understand that this is not a traditional background job, meaning it's not the traditional acting job would usually be hiring new for as an extra. they say, quote, but we believe acting comes in all forms and this is inclusive of that school of thought. this event is happening live and will be from a 40 5 am to 11:30 am. and in all caps, that's less than three hours. meaning, even if the sounds disgusting to you it's less than three hours and the rate for this event is $50 cash at the end of the event. it's not an easy way to make money? well we would love to book you if you're still interested in
still available. please let us know. so the day after this reality show guy, donald trump announced his campaign for president we reported on the story. it's a remarkable thing, right? he was being treated by the republican party as her normal republican candidate but it's not normal for a politician to have to pay people to pretend to support his campaign. that sort of crazy, right? especially because at that campaign events old with actors, trump went out of his way to talk about his huge crowd and how much bigger his crowd of supporters was compared to the other candidates had their launch events. yeah, he paid for them? [laughs] that's a story, right? that should become a foundational thing that you know about a candidate. it's like finding out that a politician has a secret second family. you can never forget that and talk about what stints is on light rail. you keep thinking, isn't that the dude that has the second
family? a politician pinks fake supporters to attend and be there in support of his candidacy? that's crazy? you can never escape that right? so the day he announced his presidential campaign, we covered that. we got so much shade for that. it was like we stepped on their tail, the way they screamed. and the trump campaign manager, corey lewandowski, denied it in the most uncompromising terms. he said, there is nobody who believes that when donald trump goes somewhere, he does not generate the biggest, largest, and most rambunctious crowds on the planet. he's a featured speaker, the crowds are often large and record setting. and enthusiastic with standing ovations --
alive, fake news, fake news. he said, quote, it's just not true unequivocally. the donald trump campaign and donald trump did not pay anyone to an end to attend his announcement. and that was in 2015 when they first cover that story and they screamed bloody murder. boy did we get -- for that coverage of that story. now, that same trump campaign manager now admits that story was true. that same trump campaign manager telling business insider that it really was $50 for every person to come in, to stand in trump tower. [laughs] now they admit it. we know it from the beginning, we reported it from the very beginning. but all of the lies and the denial and the volume of the complaining and the counterattacks, right?
somehow it kept it from being one of the foundational things we understood about this little disastrous adventure that we've been through in american politics in history. he did not start with any actual supporters. he started off as a famous person on tv who had to pay to fake it. to appear to have political support that he did not actually have. but faking it was good enough. you pay to fix it well enough, and for a long enough and if that's what it looks on tv and looks like on tv eventually you can turn the fake appearance of support into actual support. which ought to be a little bit of a soul searching thing, in terms of the american reckoning with authenticity in politics right. for all the ink and breath wasted for now even on the appeal of trump in his political future in his grip on his supporters. that part of how his presidency came to be sort of attributes straight in the political record. today technically it was, we
will see if history records that as fact. also today, we learned that it was not one, not to, not three, not four, but five different trump cabinet officials, who during the trump presidency, were referred for a potential federal criminal prosecution. five cabinet secretaries referred for federal prosecution during the brief term trump was president. the first one was his interior secretary, remember the guy who used to run his personal flag up the flagpole when he was in the building at the interior apartment. he was investigated for corruption by the inspector general, the results of that investigation was that they referred zinke for prayers ten shell prosecution. the trump -- he was first. then the second one was alex
acosta, trump's labor secretary. he was investigated for serious misconduct in office. the -- third, was trump va secretary, robert wilkie, the va's inspector general referred him for potential prosecution to the u.s. justice department. the trump justice department also declined to prosecute mr. wilkie. then it was only earlier this year, it was a lane chao trumps transportation secretary, investigated by the inspector general at her own department on corruption charges, the results of the investigation was that elaine chao was referred to federal prosecutor for potential prosecution. and the trump justice department declined to prosecute her to. and it was amazing, that there were four of them. now today, numeral five oh. wilbur ross. trump secretary of commerce, the inspector general at the
commerce department. has announced, that their investigation of trump commerce secretary wilbur ross, turned up evidence of potentially criminal behavior. they turned up evidence that he provided false testimony, in his case about the trump administration's efforts to undermine the accuracy of the sense. he falsies subs defied. and the findings were serious enough, that the inspector general referred wilbur ross to the u.s. department of justice, for him to be potentially criminally prosecuted. the office of inspector general of the commerce department, says that referral to the trump. -- despite the criminal referral though, despite the findings that led to the referral, the trump justice department once again declined to prosecute. cabinet secretary in this case, wilbur ross. that has got to be a record. i mean, honestly. i'm not sure there is a u.s. government corruption index that is comprehensive enough to
look this up in some sort of comparative way. but, in any other presidency, any other single term of the presidency, have we had five different cabinet secretaries investigated by their own government agencies? which found sufficient evidence of potentially criminal misconduct, refer them to federal prosecution? five of them. what are they're 15 cabinet agencies. that's a significant portion of the cabinet. and he was only president for one term. that says something about who the trump administration had running the government, and how they did it. and also it says something about the justice department, under donald trump. that in all five cases, were cabinet secretaries were referred to them for prosecution. five times in a row, they decided now. let's move on. what are the odds this will happen again? people talk about the challenge,
that biden's attorney general has, running the u.s. department of justice in the wake of what happened there under trump. yes,, yes. anyone looking into the handling of all five of those criminal referrals of trump cabinet officials. where those all thoroughly and properly considered? all five of them just happened to be nothing to worry about? might the justice department look at any of those again. do you think those role properly handled? today, a 53-year-old trump supporter from long island in new york, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, for threatening to kill a federal judge, who heard the criminal case involving the national security adviser, michael flynn. today a 38 year old man from tampa florida, became the first defendants to be sentence for his role in the attack on the capital of january 6th. federal prosecutors had asked for 18 months in prison in his
case. his defense team said he should only get probation, heated up getting eight months in prison. today also the first hearing was set and the house select committee that is going to investigate the january 6th attack. this is a committee hearing that we had known was scheduled for next week, july 27th. today we found out what is going to happen during that hearing. they will hear from multiple police officers, who were attacked, and in some cases injured by the trump mob that day. a republican are finally today, announced their selection for the five members of congress, they want to serve on that committee. nancy pelosi has the right to say yes or no, to any of them. but in terms of who the republicans have nominated, it is this rainbow course of, this bennett an ad. this rainbow course of five house republican congressman. two of whom are named jim,
three of whom voted not to certify the official results that joe biden won the presidents election. but, as the republican party remains, incomplete thrall, to the guy who really did, i swear, or higher paid actors to pretend to be his political supporters, at his campaign launch, and he really did have five different cabinet secretaries, referred for federal criminal prosecution, while he was still serving as only one term as president, while he continues to both lead the public party, and insist that the last election result wasn't real and shouldn't count. republicans are using his lie, about the last election, to justify restricting voting rights all over the country. democrats, are still trying to make some kind of progress toward defending voting rights against the republican attack, although senator joe manchin of west virginia, appears determined to stop his own party from doing that. today, there were dozens of
women arrested, on the street in washington d.c., between the u.s. capital in the u.s. supreme court, this was a women-led protest, with poor peoples campaign, involving indivisible and lots of other groups. engaged in civil disobedience. to press for the senate to pass, the for the people act. this is part of what they're calling a summer of direct action, to try to remove the -- in washington. dozens of women were arrested today in washington, pressing for the for the people act. today in atlanta georgia, a united states senate committee, the rules committee of the u.s. senate, held its first field hearing, in 20 years. this means it is official hearing of this u.s. senate committee, but it was held, abroad. it was held out in the field. in this case in georgia. as committee chair amy klobuchar brought that on the.
road to hear from georgia officials in georgia voters, that's what's been unsuccessful efforts to fend off new jersey kony and voting restrictions from republicans in that state. it's one of those, days where it's all at once, all hands on deck. senator amy klobuchar joins us live next. stay with us. h us don't take if allergic to nurtec. the most common side effects were nausea, stomach pain, and indigestion. ask your doctor about nurtec today. front desk. yes, hello... i'm so... please hold. ♪♪ i got you. ♪ all by yourself. ♪ go with us and get millions of flexible booking options. expedia. it matters who you travel with. what's on the horizon? the answers lie beyond the roads we know. we recognize that energy demand is growing, and the world needs lower carbon solutions to keep up. at chevron, we're working to find new ways forward,
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you saw many voters cast ballots last year. the former election official in rural morgan county. do you agree that the new georgia well will result in fewer voters casting a ballot in future election and how do you think it's going to impact the citizens in your county? >> it definitely will make it more difficult. various hurdles that they will have to get across to even exercise their right to vote. it will take away the ability for the people to have more
polling locations, drop boxes inside the hours that they'll be able to vote. the farmers, you have people who do farming. they work late hours. they won't be able to get there by 5:00 and if they do they lose revenue. so those are the kinds of things that will happen as a result of these barriers that are put in place. they may be able to get over the hurdles but my god, what kind of barriers will they have to do to get there? >> senator amy klobuchar today chaired a u.s. senator hearing that was uprooted from washington and moved to georgia and held in georgia instead. this is the first time the rules committee and the senate has held a field hearing in 20 years. but senator klobuchar decided that the issue of voting rights was worth hitting the road for. to go understand in person what's new republican installed
voting restrictions mean on the ground in states where they're being enacted. so the committee, at least the democrats on the committee who showed up, republicans didn't show up for this. but democrats on the committee heard testimony from georgia voters an election officials including helen butler who you just heard from their. she served on the board of elections on her rural county in georgia for more than ten years, until this year when a provision in georgia's restrictive new voting law allowed local republican officials to remove her from the board this month so they could take full partisan republican control over her counties election administration. helen butler called the takeover of local elections boards the most egregious part of georgia's restrictive new voting laws. because these new partisan boards could potentially overturn any election results they don't like. alan butler and others today urged senators that they need to pass voting rights
legislations to the backstop voting rights nationwide. to block voting rights georgia's new restrictions. 16 of the republican controlled states since the 2020 election. that said, there still no clear path to getting that voting rights legislation to the united states senate. at least it doesn't appear that way tonight. but joining us now is someone who knows better than we do. she's the chair of -- amy klobuchar. senator, it's great to see you. thanks so much for joining us. >> thanks rachel. >> so the rules committee does have responsibility for things related to federal elections. lots of rules committee chairs in the past have sort of ignored that part of the purview, ignore that part of the committees remit and folks have done other things that are like administrative things for the senate. you decided to max out, basically, what the committee can do in terms of that part of its purview. tell us how that led to this decision today, this remarkable decision to take the rules
committee out on the, road out onto georgia. >> rachel, over 400 bills introduced across the country, 28 of them signed into law and exhibit a, so on in georgia. as we learned today that the devil is in the details. he asked about the water that will be denied voters in line and non partisan volunteers as we learned yesterday stacey abrams and i learned in cobb county. voters had waited for seven hours for five hours but will we all learn today and i want to thank the incredible committee members senator padilla, senator murphy, senator all soft and warnock and the other from georgia who testified today, this is what we learned. the runoff period, 28 days, used to be nine weeks when all soften were not one. reduced to 28 days, and guess what, rachel? you can register to vote in 29 days. so no new voter can register
and you cannot vote on weekends in the runoff but you can in the general. everything is done to sow confusion. limited hours for the ballot drop boxes. less ballot drop boxes. -limited restrictions when it comes to mail in balloting. it's one thing after another and you brought a point of the most egregious things that senator warnock has a bill to fix it, that basically takes the power that was instilled in the local officials and their local election boards and then basically says the state election board, were gonna throw off two thirds of your members, were gonna replaced with their own and then if we find a few technical violations we're gonna get rid of your local election officials. this is a pure smackdown of voting rights and it's why we want their. and that's why the solution is the for the people act. basic national voting rights.
>> the for the people act, obviously, is the subject of all sorts of activism and strategizing and worked and speech-ifying and we're seeing sort of pressure in all of the different ways that it comes including this increasingly dramatic direct action event. people engaging in peaceful civil disobedience. blocking traffic to include today in washington, dozens of women arrested, trying to do anything they can to move people's conscience to pass this thing. is there any movement where it counts and saw the u.s. senate among your colleagues who have not been willing to either change the senate rules to get to a place where democrats can pass this without republican votes or to potentially change minds in terms of turning no votes into guesses? >> there is many paths. first of all, i would abolish the filibuster. i know some of my colleagues are not yet in the same place.
there is a possibility of carving out an exception for voting rights. it's such a key constitutional value as reverend warnock said at ebenezer church on sunday, every vote is a prayer. you can also, and senator manchin has indicated a willingness to look at a standing filibuster where we forced our colleagues to stand there a day after day after day. that is ultimately our civil rights legislation. there's the john lewis act, and the house are starting hearings right away this fall to get the data that we need to put forward an expansion of the voting rights act after the supreme court shut it down in the shelby decision. major pieces of it. you can also add to that bill. then we have, right in front of us, the two infrastructure packages. i'm not talking about the bipartisan one but that's continuing to proceed. but this is the one that will include housing and childcare. you can include and election infrastructure, rachel. and you can tie incentives from
voting with that package and then finally we have the justice department. we have anita gupta there. this isn't bill barr's justice department anymore. and there is a big focus on going after these egregious discriminatory laws. >> the type of election infrastructure you were just describing there that could potentially be put in the infrastructure bill that can pass through reconciliation and passed with 50 democratic votes even if republicans decide not to support it. is there agreement among democrats about including election infrastructure as you describe it in that bill? >> i don't think you're gonna see opposition. remember, senator manchin and i have been working in the product and it's not finished yet. but we had a lot of provisions in there for basic federal voting rights. this is one that stacey abrams, barack obama were supportive of. and it didn't have everything in for the people but it had some really good provisions.
so if you're here for that and you've got to be for election infrastructure and you can tie some incentives to that election infrastructure so i'm not as concerned about that as i am about the limitations we have with reconciliation as i am about our colleagues. i think they're gonna be good on it. and so that's what we're working through right now. and let me make it clear, it's no substitution for basic federal voting rights and the for the people act or for that matter the john lewis bill. >> minnesota senior senator, the chair of the rules committee who again just shared the first field committee for that hearing in 20 years. senator klobuchar, it's great to have you here. thanks for being here tonight. >> great to be in georgia. thanks a lot. thanks rachel. >> all right, got much more ahead tonight, stay with us. tay with us. insurance with liberty mutual, so you only pay for what you need. oh um, doug can we talk about something other than work, it's the weekend.
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don't know where they're from, or you don't know where they are linking to. if you live in the modern world, these are the rules we have been told to follow, to keep our phones safe from hackers. we have talked ourselves into this story, that the way to protect yourself from being hacked, from being robbed, from being spied on, through the phone that you do everything with. is to follow those kinds of rules. to keep up good cyber hygiene. have to factor authentication on everything, have good passwords. don't get fished. all of those things are definitely still good things to do. they all have value. but today saw the launch of a massive international reporting projects, about something that is apparently in wide use by does dozens of governments around the world. it's something that defeats all of those defenses and more. one of the partners in this gigantic reporting project, is the washington post. the post made a good simple video they launched today, in
which they describe what i mean here. watch. >> one of the most concerning things about reporting, is it's clear it's now zero click and text. a malicious actors, and something to my iphone for example. it comes to a message, and it never appears and i message. i don't see it, i don't hear it. there's no tip off there's something that happening. yeah it can get in and it could begin to peel back the layers of all the security, on your iphone. and so, you do not have to make a mistake. really all of us are vulnerable. even people with recent devices. even people who do the right things and keep up their passwords. and make sure their software is updated. this kind of technology can still get into your devices in turn your life upside down. on a table, in front of people you will never meet. >> the big scary sci-fi like worry of this technology, is that without you doing anything wrong, without you noticing anything different on your phone, without your phone
appearing to be different in any way to you, all of the sudden everything on your phone, and everything you have ever done on your phone, is available to people who do not wish you well. they have more texts, your calls, they can even require the audio of your calls. your voice mails. your photos. your videos. your location, in realtime. they can turn on the microphone of your phone remotely. they can turn on the camera of your phone remotely. and it doesn't matter if your phone is using encryption. what you can see on your phone, they can see, all of it. that is the technology that the center of a massive new reporting project, that comes out of a french journalism nonprofit, called forbidden stories. and the human rights group and city international. along with 16 other news outlets from around the world, like the wire in india, and the mound in france. and the washington post in the united states. basically, what this reporting
project starts with, is that these groups obtained a list of more than 50,000 phone numbers, associated with devices, associated with phones that they believe were attacked with this technology. and they farmed out the work of figuring who these numbers belong to, they farmed it out to more than 80 journalist along the world, who did the shoe leather reporting. and what those reporters around the world found, that although this technology is being marketed, by the israeli firm that makes, it's being marketed for use by law enforcement, and counter-terrorism, it appears instead that this technology, is being used by governments, to target journalist, and human rights activists, and opposition figures, all around the globe. the private israeli company that licenses technology, to governments around the globe, said it designed so they can't access phones inside the united states, the company also says, that all of the reporting from all of these news outlets is
based on wrong assumptions and uncooperative theories, they deny everything. the question is, because this technology exists, and is being sold like a weapon, to dozens of governments around the world, is this just what the future is? do all of us who use smartphone technology, have to essentially concede in some part of our brains that everything we do is being watched by hostile actors and a government somewhere? or is this a fixable problem? either it's a matter of technology or is a matter of law? it turns out that's more interesting question then you might think. that story is next. stay with us. think. that story is next stay with us nicorette knows, quitting smoking is freaking hard. you get advice like: try hypnosis... or... quit cold turkey. kidding me?! instead, start small. with nicorette. which can lead to something big.
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all of your location data. all of your apps. everything. access to absolutely everything, without you having to click a malicious link, or mess up in any way, to invite that spyware and. euro click. new revelations, about dozens of countries, using this zero quick technology, to track not criminals and spies and gangsters, but journalists and human rights activists and opposite opposition politicians. new reporting about this happening around the world, is so inflammatory, so worrying, that it generated this amount of reporting in the last 48 hours. we were so overwhelmed by the amount of new reporting out of the international reporting project, the peg assist project, that we actually compiled, all links to all of the different stories, from all 17 different news outlets, all around the world. we compiled it all in one place, and posted it so it's easier,
for you to find. 17 different news outlets, in multiple countries around the world. we have links to all of it right now. joining us now is david hickton. the former u.s. attorney in the founding director -- policy and security. as the u.s. attorney for the western district of pennsylvania, he tried the first ransomware case ever taken on by the u.s. department of justice, way back in 2014. he is used to breaking new legal ground in the cyber win. mr. hickton, it's very nice to see, you thank you for making time to be with us tonight. >> nice to see rachel, thanks for inviting me to participate in the conversation. >> have i explained any of this in a way that seems run to you? or that you think misses what's important about? >> know your explanation was excellent. i'd like to address the question you left us on the break, do we have to face the choice between security and our first amendment privacy rights? our answer is no. we don't have to face that choice.
that's a false choice, but it's tricky because of the emergency -- in our everyday lives. here we have another reminder, especially with a government that is aligned with the united states the use of this of good reason, to stop terrorists in crime, comes with the risk, that it can be used for bad reason. i want to stress that this is an emerging story. the company involved has said that they are being, maligned in this is a compilation of numbers, and there's not been actual spy were placed on the phones. i think the researchers, from the peg assist project, which did a great public service to the entire world, have debunked that argument. for the moment there's a contest about what exactly happened here. as we look at this, when it appears to be, is a situation, where the technology was licensed, and then sold to
governments, maybe authoritarian governments, which used it for the wrong purpose. and it may have led to the death of it we used to journalists. >> if you are a journalist, working abroad in a country with an authoritarian governments, and country that is believed to have purchase this technology, for whatever its purposes are, what would you do to protect your sources? there are journalists, and indeed activists and employers and opposition figures, all over the world right now, who are realizing that they have been working in countries, where the government has the ability to do this. and they are worrying that they have put at risk, their own lives, and importantly, for journalists in particular, the lives of the sources they have used to do the work. what would you do if you are in a situation? >> their worry is justified. and i would be very careful about having devices in those countries. we know since -- the playbook of the
authoritarian, is to discredit the media. to destroy institutions. and some of these actually kill their adversaries, and keep the public in the dark, by these steps that have been taken here. i think we can deal with this, but it's going to require some international agreements. we might not get full agreement, because it's hard to imagine having an authoritarian government that would agree. but we might be able to get partial agreement, and creating a no use list. like the no fly list we have for the airlines. or perhaps we can have some changes in the licensing agreement, that would reflect some rates to sue, or some other rights for the people who are hurt by this. i think the step taken by attorney general garland, today on another matter unrelated, to seek legislation in connection with the pursuit, of journalists, journalist phone
records, is a very good example. and a very good step. -- here in this country for years. in the fourth estate is one of the great protectors of freedom around the world. i know people sometimes want to run down the media. but this is a perfect example, of where good reporting has put us in a very good place. and the test that i'm using right now, i suggest to others, is anyone who wants to protect the house in law enforcement, or national security, should welcome this peg assist report. >> david hickton, former u.s. attorney, mr. hicks, and thank you for your time tonight. it's invaluable to have you here. >> thank you rachel. >> we'll be right back, stay with us. be right back, stay with us.
now, but do not go anywhere because msnbc's special presentation with the democrats who walked out of their state capital, who walked out of their beloved state of texas in a last-ditch effort to try to save voting rights in that state and msnbc's special presentation is live in it starts right now. >> a dramatic move in texas, democratic lawmakers leaving the state and heading to washington. >> we are not going to buckle to the big lie. >> we are in a fight to save our democracy. >> that right is sacred to my constituent and we fought too long and too hard. >> 21st century kim pro assault is real. >> they've already passed gop batch bills that make it harder to vote. >> it adds up to the biggest push to -- since the jim crow era. >> we have great, wha