Good News! You're Not Paranoid - NSA Oversight

  • Aired:  06/10/13
  •  | Views: 267,076

Charged with overseeing the NSA's surveillance programs, the FISA court wears out its rubber stamp of approval. (4:06)

THE QUESTION NOW IS CAN WE TRUST

THE PEOPLE WHO WE'VE TRUSTED

WITH OUR INFORMATION?

FORTUNATELY JUST THREE MONTHS

AGO THE SENATE HELD A HEARING

WITH DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL

INTELLIGENCE JAMES CLAPPER.

IN HINDSIGHT, HE GAVE US A TRULY

INTERESTING WINDOW INTO HIS

TRUSTWORTHINESS.

>> SO WHAT I WANTED TO SEE IF

YOU COULD GIVE ME A YES-OR-NO

ANSWER TO THE QUESTION: DOES THE

N.S.A. COLLECT ANY TYPE OF DATA

AT ALL ON MILLIONS OR HUNDREDS

OF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS?

>> NO, SIR.

IT DOES NOT?

NOT WITTINGLY.

SPY SHOULD HAVE THAT BIG A

TAIL.

I HAVE NO IDEA WHEN THE NORMANDY

LANDINGS ARE.

IS IT HOT IN HERE OR AM I JUST

LYING?

HERE'S HOW MUCH THIS GUY WAS

RUBBING HIS FOREHEAD.

THIS IS HIM AT THE START OF THE

HEARING.

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

THAT'S GEORGE STEPHANAPOLOUS'

HAIR.

NOW THERE ARE SOME SYSTEMS

ALREADY IN PLACE, THANKFULLY, TO

PROTECT US FROM ALL OF THIS.

IT WOULD, FOR INSTANCE, BE

ILLEGAL FOR THE N.S.A. TO

DIRECTLY TARGET AMERICANS.

FOREIGNERS, HOWEVER, SURE.

FOR NATIONAL SECURITY THAT'S

FAIR GAME.

THE PROBLEM IS HOW CAN YOU TELL

ACCURATELY BETWEEN AN AMERICAN

AND A FOREIGNER?

I GUESS YOU COULD ASK, DO YOU

WANT TO WALK OR DRIVE?

BUT I'M SURE THAT THE N.S.A....

YOU DRIVE.

YOU KNOW YOU DRIVE.

YOU WOULDN'T EVEN CONSIDER THAT

AS A QUESTION.

BUT RELAX.

I'M SURE THE N.S.A. HAS A MORE

SCIENTIFICALLY PRECISE METHOD OF

DISCERNING BETWEEN THOSE TWO

OPTIONS THAN THAT.

>> ANALYST WHO USED THE SYSTEM

FOR A WEB PORTAL AT FORT MEED

KEY IN SCHRECKORS OR SEARCH

TERMS TO ARE DESIGNED TO PRODUCE

AT LEAST 51% CONFIDENCE IN A

TARGET'S FOREIGNNESS.

>> WHOA, WHOA, WHOA.

51%?

THAT IS A PRETTY [BLEEP] HUGE

MARGIN OF ERROR.

THAT'S BASICALLY FLIPPING A COIN

PLUS ONE PERCENT.

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

PLEASE!

TELL ME THAT WE HAVE RETAINED AT

LEAST AN EXTERNAL CHECK ON THE

N.S.A.

>> THE FISA COURT, THE

INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE COURT,

HAS TO APPROVE ANY TIME N.S.A.

SEEKS TO PULL SPECIFIC

INFORMATION OUT OF THIS

DATABASE.

>> LAST YEAR, FOR EXAMPLE, THE

GOVERNMENT ASKED THE COURT 1,789

TIMES FOR AUTHORITY TO CONDUCT

ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE.

THE COURT DID NOT DENY ANY OF

THE SURVEILLANCE REQUESTS.

>> SO THEY NEVER SAY NO.

IT'S BASICALLY AMERICAN IDOL

WITH FOUR RANDY JACKSONS.

WE'VE ESSENTIALLY GOT NOTHING TO

HOLD THE GOVERNMENT BACK

STRONGER THAN A RUBBER-STAMPED

COURT.

>> THERE ARE A WHOLE RANGE OF

SAFEGUARDS INVOLVED.

CONGRESS IS CONTINUALLY BRIEFED

ON HOW THESE ARE CONDUCTED.

>> THAT'S LOVELY.

SO NOW INSTEAD OF BEING SPIED ON

BY THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, IT

TURNS OUT WE'RE BEING SPIED ON

BY ALL THE BRANCHES.

I THINK YOU'RE MISUNDERSTANDING

THE PERCEIVED PROBLEM HERE,

MR. PRESIDENT.

NO ONE IS SAYING THAT YOU BROKE

ANY LAWS.

WE'RE JUST SAYING IT'S A LITTLE

BIT WEIRD THAT YOU DIDN'T HAVE

TO.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

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