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tv   [untitled]    December 11, 2013 8:00pm-8:31pm EST

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i. coming up on our t.v. it's a digital storm of new developments in the expansion of u.s. surveillance a new report reveals how the n.s.a. is ripping a page from online advertisers to bolster its own surveillance capabilities meanwhile hundreds of prize winning authors are adding their voices to the growing concern over n.s.a. surveillance that and much more just ahead and on capitol hill a hearing was held on past and future u.s. afghanistan relations so does this mean u.s. troops could remain in afghanistan beyond the planned two thousand and fourteen pullout the latest on that hearing coming up and the nation's capital is marked with a series of local police scandals multiple officers have been investigated for corrupt activities with one of them committing suicide more on the police corruption in
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d.c. later in the show. it's wednesday december eleventh eight pm in washington d.c. i'm sam sachs and you're watching r.t. now today on capitol hill the chief of the n.s.a. general keith alexander fielded questions from lawmakers on the senate judiciary committee the focus of the hearing was continued oversight of u.s. government surveillance authorities and it's hearings just like this one that has been a common staple on capitol hill since june since edward snowden began spilling the n.s.a. secrets out into newspapers all around the world the latest secret published today in the washington post reels how the n.s.a. is using the same techniques that corporate online advertisers use to pinpoint surveillance targets and they gather intelligence on people's locations essential to the n.s.a. is using google cookies cookies are little. packets of data that allow online
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advertisers to uniquely track you and me and what websites we visit in order to tailor online advertising for us cookies are the reason why web sites you go to seem to remember you and why if you search for something on google one day you'll be hit with ads for that very same thing the next day basically cookies allow for corporate advertisers to spy on your online activity and they've been doing it for years and now we know that this online infrastructure these cookies set up by companies like google to allow advertisers to track your online activity is also being used by the end a set being used to single out one person's communications data as it flows amongst everything else on the internet not only that the n.s.a. is using the location data that's embedded in apps on people's smartphones to get a more precise location of where people are here to for online advertising reasons apps will send unique data about you like your location to corporate advertisers
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a lot of the time without you even knowing about it and the n.s.a. is taking advantage of that information to it's not completely clear how the n.s.a. is gathering this data whether companies are voluntarily sharing it with the n.s.a. or if the n.s.a. is just taking it or whether companies like google are being legally compelled to hand it over through a pfizer order you might remember earlier this week tech giants like google and apple banded together to push for reforms the n.s.a. and its surveillance operations which are beginning to erode trusting consumers and could hurt the bottom line of these very same companies also teaming up against them to say some of the world's leading authors five hundred of them from eighty one different countries around the world including five nobel prize winners are joining together to call in the united nations to pass new international protections from spying in their statement the authors say this. fundamental human
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right has been rendered null in void through abuse of technological developments by states and corporations for mass surveillance purposes a person under surveillance is no longer free a society under surveillance is no longer a democracy and of course what's a week of new n.s.a. revelations without an international relations mess this one coming from c.b.c. news in canada where new snowden document exposes canadian spies doing work on behalf of the n.s.a. to spy on approximately twenty trading partners classified as high priority countries and i say appears to be using canada to exploit relationships that the united states can no longer keep unclear what sort of diplomatic fall out the canadians makes perience as a result of this latest leak so that's the latest all of it coming just as the chief of the n.s.a. faces off with senators today for an oversight hearing i was joined earlier by shah
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had bhutto our executive director at the bill of rights defense committee here in d.c. and steve anderson executive director of open media in vancouver and i started out by asking shah had now that this information has come out will this bring more attention to the type of spying corporations have been doing on us for years. it very well might and there's a great documentary out that's just making the rounds now called terms and conditions may apply about this sort of data exchange from the private sector and companies that are selling us and goods to the government intelligence agencies that are monitoring and watching us including our first member protected behavior the difference between those two spheres historically has been that google for instance can show up at your house with a gun and put you in handcuffs and detain you that's a power that uniquely the government has precisely the problem with the co-optation of the online advertising companies cookies is that it collapses the distinction between those two things so that anything you do share with an online company whether through the prism program or whether through the data center attacks or
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whether or through these kinds of tools the n.s.a. gets it too and it's historically because the companies don't have the monopoly on the use of legitimate force that the state has i think that's been one of the reasons people have been more comfortable with allowing online advertisers to track online activity is a very different equation now that we know that our government spy agencies are watching that information to. say those tools that go way well beyond the scope of tech companies and if we were to limit these tech companies that doesn't mean that the n.s.a. wouldn't be able to spy on us but the same time we've allowed google in these companies to build the sort of online infrastructure to create these cookies and a lot of time they let these cookies go because they're very lucrative by. inventing these cookies and tracking users they can offer free services because advertisers are paying them for that for that data but can we expect moving forward civil libertarians like rand paul or just some odd shoop really been leading the
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forefront against government spying in the end of the n.s.a. to kind of change their tune and reorient themselves toward corporate support your well you know in a lot of those cases some of the same officials the elected officials here zaki about tend to be free market. here and and so they might for instance find themselves comforted by. the idea that the market will select out advertisers who are very abusive toward their users privacy i don't think that's necessarily a good argument in this case because we've seen for instance that there are incentives in the markets don't always work for well there are incentives for online advertisers to abuse privacy will those particular members of congress see the concern and not to take an iconoclast position with respect to their own free market inherence that's an open question i really don't know the answer there but i will say that as long as the n.s.a. is hacking the online internet companies and the cookies aren't the only example of all my infrastructure that the n.s.a. has tapped into the data centers coming out a new york of intact in the back and the prism program basically to the back end of
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the internet companies i didn't start the centers with google and yahoo and this is why brazil is trying to build their own to europe to get around the u.s. service i don't want to get on that issue here in just a second but i mention in the in the beginning here the general keith alexander is on the hill testifying here we have these hearings now every other week in which we bring the top spy chiefs on they answer questions and yet we haven't seen any legislation come out of this there are a few lawmakers who are position themselves to do something with the n.d.a. and try it in the senate try and rein in the n.s.a. through that we learned this week about it's not going to happen because they're not going to be any amendments in the senate what's the purpose of these hearings what do you think lawmakers are trying to do with these hearings every other week or so if it's not to create legislatures or to get beyond a platform to defend itself against these leaks each week a couple different possibilities and one of them is that they're grandstanding to mollify their constituents or pretend like they're doing something productive an alternative possibility is that they themselves the members of congress are sincerely interested in the information that's been kept from them for the last ten
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years multiple members of the house judiciary committee complained earlier today that they didn't know about the extent of the surveillance programs despite the obama administration's repeated assurances that it has briefed congress particularly congressman from california as aloft and said that the briefing that the white house has cited on numerous occasions supporting this idea the congo. it has been brought into the programs is less than a page long and eight sentences long which is to say there they themselves are being kept in the dark and so maybe the hearings are serving this sort of oversight transparency function ultimately though you're right congress's job is to legislate and to oversee executive agencies it's already failed on the oversight piece and so legislation is long overdue some of the people proposing bills to restrain n.s.a. spying include the very authors of the patriot act james sensenbrenner republican from wisconsin and patrick leahy senator from vermont on the other side of the chamber and they've teamed up to propose a very very significant restrictions on n.s.a. spying i do hope that the usa freedom act passes and given the dysfunction visible
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across congress that's really an alien tech companies joining in the mix earlier this week change the calculation on capitol hill and makes this legislation more likely yourself or you mock price i certainly hope so but in the companies have been there are other. barry allied on privacy concerns and you have not been able to secure congressional reforms even around more meagre proposals of the electronic communications privacy act for instance has been an object of attention of the tech companies for over a year now this is a bill that hasn't been there a lot of it hasn't it updated in thirty years getting not the n.s.a. but local police and the f.b.i. and every other law enforcement agency the right stored communications like your g. mail account without a warrant and that that doesn't even reach these issues around n.s.a. spying that historically people have thought were going to be a tougher sell a longer ranging issue things possible that were impossible in britain steven anderson is the executive director and open media in britain coover you probably has a unique perspective on this new leak about how canadian spies were basically working
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at the behest of the n.s.a. to spy on key trading partners steve what has been the reaction in canada to a lot of these revelations since june and how does this latest leak maybe change their reaction can we expect some fallout out of this leak with canadian canada's allies. i think for sure and i think canadians domestically have been increasingly alarmed tens of thousands of people have reached out to lawmakers to call for more oversight and really what it comes down to is trust i mean and this latest revelation. can a canadian spy agency is in our kind of embassies are being used at the behest of the u.s. n.s.a. for spying on our allies it's just making that worse and i mean our government more answer better basic questions like how many canadians are swept up in this surveillance and what information they have on us how secure are those databases is
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that information being shared with other countries like the u.s. you know then i say and other countries so basically what is happening and so far government has been really tight lipped. they won't tell us what's happening here and the fact that we hear now that some of this spying is going on for the basically the n.s.a. is telling our country what to do and who just. makes the concerns grow even stronger. the five hundred authors who are calling on the u.n. to pass this new international charter to protect civil liberties in the digital age what do you think something like that looks like and how does that jive with what we're seeing on a country by country level like brazil trying to wall off its internet what are the two avenues here that which one should we take which one would work which one doesn't work. you know i think we definitely need domestic legislation. and really most countries around the world to rein in the surveillance
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i think that it's out of step with basic basic understanding in expectations for the right to privacy so you need that in canada you need that legislation in the u.s. brazil needs to take action other countries and take action but i also believe. we need privacy to be enshrined as a human right at the u.n. there's a civil society coalition called necessary in proportion and that's pushing for that we've joined in that that open media with groups like the electronic frontier foundation and others so i think that the you know writers coming out and speaking out about this is a kind of welcome step welcome development and i think you're probably going to see more gamers actually speaking out about this stuff now that it's been revealed that gamers are being spied on and what's happening is more and more people are realizing how this affects them in their personal lives and then they're becoming more vocal and engaged in the issue and i think that's going to continue and i hope that the politicians realize which way the wind is blowing that is going to
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continue and that there were some concerns from brazil so they wanted to kind of wall off their internet and that if other countries start doing this suddenly you've kind of destroyed the world wide web do you share those concerns and is. this idea of creating some international framework that kind of dictates all countries a better way to go about this and i think most of the deepest concerns with countries defecting from the shared infrastructure of the internet or by silicon valley because it's american firms and businesses that would stand to lose significant markets as a constitutional lawyer i tend to favor a more robust checks and balances and so if the infrastructure of the world wide web was dismantled so that no n.s.a. could seize all the data traveling along the back and i think that's a positive development because there are more checks and balances there is an efficiency tradeoff there and i think that's the inevitable consequence of witnessing governments like our own abusing the trust of the commons to take advantage of the space that the open internet enabled to then co-opt freedom and freedom of thought one element of the author statement i think is really useful
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just to draw out is there well established not particularly controversial statement that people who are being surveilled are not free and a society under surveillance cannot be a democracy that is something that we understood in this country for a long time and it changes the context for what's happening on the hill these aren't just hearings into the n.s.a. spying programs these are hearings into the assault on democracy in america right. it is going to be sure going with this problem to for a while here stephen the issue that was brought up today at the hearing was about metadata and we heard general keith alexander again defend mode as not being such a big deal. up there in canada metadata is still a really big deal just like it is here isn't that right. oh absolutely i mean we joined with the civil liberties association recently and launching their lawsuit against the government which is basically saying that collecting our method data that's our sensitive private information to be clear that's what it is that
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collecting that information on law abiding canadians is unconstitutional so absolutely people are concerned here in the government going to need to answer on that and listen you know. added that it tells you can tell authorities where you are where you're going who your friends with all kinds of sensitive information about your relationships so i think it's absolutely crucial that there be checks and balances on that kind of information collection and store and storage that was shot head batar executive director of the bill of rights fence committee here in d.c. and steve anderson executive director of open media in vancouver thank you all. still here on capitol hill there's a new budget deal on the table that could avoid another government shutdown next month public and house budget chairman paul ryan in the senate democratic budget chairwoman patty murray announced the deal on tuesday night i am happy to report that senator murray and i have reached an agreement. we've been talking all year
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and this week that hard work of the two of us sitting down and talking to each other all year is paid off. the deal would set spending for this fiscal year at one point zero one two trillion dollars and it gets rid of roughly sixty three billion dollars in arbitrary sequester cuts that in two thousand and fourteen and twenty fifteen but those cuts are replaced by savings elsewhere plus another twenty two point five billion dollars and more deficit reduction and some of the so-called savings include higher fees on airline tickets a paid cut to newly hired federal workers of more than one percent then a one percent cut in the cost of living adjustment from military retirees under the age of sixty two important to note not one corporate tax loophole is closed in this deal and it doesn't address extended unemployment benefits which are set to expire for more than one million americans shortly after christmas house of representatives may vote on this budget deal as soon as thursday tomorrow before
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skipping town and going on holiday recess until next year the senate could take up the measure there after ultimately both chambers must come up with a budget deal before january fifteenth two thousand and fourteen to avoid another government shutdown. staying here on capitol hill lawmakers are grappling with questions over afghanistan and what exactly the role of the u.s. is in that country in two thousand and fourteen after combat operations are supposed to officially end the senate foreign relations committee held a hearing on that topic today and artie's meghan lopez has the report. today the house foreign affairs committee now on capitol hill to discuss the future of afghanistan as well as u.s. presence in the country beyond twenty fourteen we heard from members of the state department usa id as well as the defense department all talking about the particularly steps that need to take place in the country in order to ensure a free and stable afghanistan after u.s.
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troops finally do leave the country now one of the major issues that is looming over this entire hearing and the issue of afghanistan in general is the lack of a bilateral security agreement between the u.s. and afghanistan without such an agreement u.s. officials warn that they cannot leave troops in the country for fear of them being prosecuted under afghan law for completing their military duties last month the loya jirga which is the council of twenty five hundred afghan tribal elders approved the bilateral security agreement overwhelmingly so what's the hold up will hold up in this case is afghan president hamid karzai who says he wants to wait until after his country's elections in twenty fourteen in order to sign that bilateral security agreement now obviously this issue of signing this agreement has caused major contention between the u.s. and afghanistan in fact members of congress that were in this hearing today said that they need to come up with a plan b. in case such an agreement isn't actually signed take a look without a prompt signature we will have no choice but to initiate planning for two thousand
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and fourteen future in which there would be no u.s. or nato troops now in a recent interview with limone newspaper president hamid karzai accuse the u.s. of applying quote colonial pressure and order to force them to sign such a bilateral security agreement of course members of the house foreign affairs committee had some interesting words to sling back at tommy karzai as well as accusations take a look at this i'm concerned that president karzai is blustering over whether or not he will sign the bilateral security agreement risks destabilizing afghanistan. by the stabilizing the security situation even further now perhaps one of the most contentious moments of this entire hearing was when congressman dana rohrabacher had his chance to speak what child the exchange played out between congressman rohrabacher and the members that they invited to the hearing to testify how much are we spending annually in afghanistan now i wish the cost the american
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taxpayer anybody know how many killed and wounded and we suffered in the last twelve months. she do it would you know that story i do know and i'll have to get back with you on that one also we don't know what that cost is and we don't even know how many killed and wounded are and we're supposed to believe that you fellows have a plan that's going to. end up in a positive way in afghanistan holy cow now answer congressman rohrabacher question six point seven billion dollars is being spent in afghanistan each month so our interesting questions are rose during the course of this hearing like what the u.s. is still doing in afghanistan what the mission is and what success or realistically looks like there seems to be of a lack of a clear definition on what our mission is what is the end state that our troops are trying to accomplish there that we are trying to accomplish there i can't think of
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the last time i saw the president of the united states tell the american people why we're in afghanistan what is the end game i mean what are we what are we hoping for that they'll have a stable government one that's not right with fraud waste and abuse that will run a country that we can be good allies with and trading partners now those are questions congress members themselves are still trying to get the answers to and most importantly the lawmakers here today say they don't want another iraq scenario where u.s. troops were withdrawn from the country just before was able to stand on its own two feet now with presidential elections looming in the country and the twenty fourteen self-imposed u.s. deadline still hanging overhead all eyes are finally back on afghanistan as we look for an exit strategy on capitol hill meghan lopez our scene. now to another hot spot in the region syria earlier this year in june president obama approved an uptick in assistance for the rebels in the syrian civil war denounce the u.s.
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would begin overtly sending military assistance now six months later in response to growing influence of islamic radicals within the syrian opposition some of that it is being scaled back today the u.s. and the u.k. announced a suspension of all non-lethal assistance to the syrian rebels artie's marine important as the story. the u.s. suspended all non lethal assistance into northern syria after islamic front forces seized headquarters and warehouses belonging to the opposition's supreme military council the incident happened friday evening at the holocaust think on syria's normal more western border with turkey what's unclear is why the islamic front has seized the s.m.c. premises and if any stock has gone missing also on knowledge of whether the islamic crime was working with or had any quantity affiliation with the islamic state of
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iraq in syria known as isis or al nusra those two groups as terrorist organizations by the united states right about now many u.s. senators may be the calling us president barack obama saying i'm going to hold him really u.s. representative publicly warn the obama administration against supporting the syrian opposition predicting that american weapons will likely fall into the hands of terror groups also arguing that providing aid to the rebels folkways to funding al qaida you know some critics say that washington so-called suspension of non-lethal aid to northern syria doesn't necessarily mean that u.s. weapons won't continue to flow to other parts of the country nonetheless this development is being seen as a big blow to the supreme military council and really an army opposition that the obama administration has been championing and championing for the biggest problem of for the obama administration what is now faces is figuring out how to cooperate
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and work with the newly formed islamic front in syria that claims to be fighting with the opposition but is clearly playing by its own rules or was archies more important reporting. problems with the police have come to the nation's capital on tuesday night the body of a d.c. police officer was pulled from the frigid waters around haines point park in southwest d.c. he was identified as thirty two year old officer mark washington and washington was on house arrest at the time wearing a g.p.s. tracker on his ankle after he was arrested last week on child porn charges washington was accused of ordering a teenage girl to remove her clothing so that he could take pictures of possible bruising to be used as evidence search of washington's camera though found that he had hundreds of similar photos of young women dating all the way back to two thousand and eleven and in unrelated incident another d.c. officer forty seven year old linwood barnhill was arrested today and linked to a child prostitution ring after authorities found
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a missing sixteen year old girl in his apartment d.c. police are now looking into the possibility of more victims. and new york governor andrew cuomo recently released the commission to investigate public corruption this report calls out hypocrites exposes corruption within politics tonight's resident investigates more take a look. earlier this year new york's governor cuomo made up this thing called the commission to investigate public corruption the commission headed by a new york politician named kathleen rice what turns out is
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a big old hypocrite the commission just released their first self-righteous report where they expressed outrage at all the corruption going on its spewers other politicians naming them outright and accusing them of them basil and misusing funds you name it the reports ben declares that while all of this conduct by public officials is wrong it's also be legal so the document goes on to detail how to fix these deplorable yet middle actions which include pay to play arrangements for misuse of campaign funds conflicts of interest and this one is the kicker loophole it's the kicker because kathleen bright is so old guilty of using those legal loopholes herself. you see in new york corporations can only donate up to five thousand dollars to political candidates every year but there's a very legal loophole which allows them to give more money to candidates by creating l o p which can donate up to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars per
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year corporations can create a bunch of l.p.'s so through this loophole they can donate virtually limitless amounts of money to candidates and that's just how kathleen rice has pocket is more than on million dollars since two thousand and ten she's received forty four donations of above the normal five thousand dollars limit. hello these shady elves these whose owners are really hard to trace figuring out who's really behind them is next to impossible races spokesperson of course is coming to her defense he says that she joined the commission to fix those loopholes he said if you're going to be serious about public service then you've got to be serious about fundraising i guess you've got to be serious about posturing too because that's the only thing the commission seems to be doing they're already negotiating with the politicians they point the finger at to water down the peanut they've issued others on the
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commission are just as guilty of things they condemn in the court to it's not just right the whole thing is so gross and it boils down to it if you're going to be serious about public service then apparently you better be willing to be as serious a hypocrite to tonight let's talk about that by following me on twitter at the resident. and that will do it for now for more on the stories we covered from the latest on the n.s.a. to what's going on in congress go to youtube dot com slash r.t. america or check out our website dot com seisure says you can follow me on twitter sam sachs for now take it easy. i think.
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i would rather ask questions to people in positions of power instead of speaking on their behalf and that's why you can find my show larry king now right here on our t.v. question lol.


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