Glenn Greenwald vs. the NSA

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald discusses his continued reporting on the NSA's surveillance of telephone and digital records, and his upcoming congressional testimony on the program. Plus, the latest on NSA leaker Edward Snowden, with whom Greenwald says he is "regularly" in touch, and last week's surprisingly close vote in Congress over whether to limit the NSA's scope. Greenwald says he sees public opinion around surveillance shifting: "Americans are now more concerned about civil liberties than about terrorism."

Comments [39]

Spike Spiegel from Rio

in criptography we trust

Aug. 03 2013 07:16 AM

Who watches the watchman?

Jul. 30 2013 11:48 PM
Leo from Queens

Interesting how NO ONE brings to the discussion the fact that the NSA is being run by Booz Allen Executives which rotate between their 'governmnet' jobs and their corporate jobs as they ask a docile, and in the case of Feinstein and Mike Rogers, head over heels intelligence chairmen for billions of dollars each year for these programs. In many cases these are not needed or effective and can be done with less money. Since these programs are secret no one questions their need or costs and since Booz Allen like every corporation, must grow their revenues year over year (98% of their revenue comes from the Federal government), they come up with higher costs and more programs and more security threats that require more investments year over year. 30-35% of what is being spent now by the NSA is pure profit as these contracts are not signed unless they have a 30% margin - The costs for executive salaries and inflated salaries for people like Snowden are already part of the costs of the contract.
These are billions of giveaways to an industrial complex that will find more threats than what really exist.

Jul. 30 2013 01:34 PM

J. Edgar Hoover used his position in the FBI to spy on Americans and create dossiers on powerful people. For what purpose? Blackmail? Extortion? There is no legitimate reason, for example, to have FBI agents following Martin Luther King, Jr., to gather information about his sex life. Hoover also created the notorious program Cointelpro. We know that during his tenure, FBI agents routinely spied on law abiding American citizens who participated, for example, in civil rights groups, religious groups, anti-war, environmental. The problem is quite simply that the constitution was clear that the government must leave the citizens alone, stay out of our lives, unless they have probable cause, supported by declarations under penalty of perjury by people with personal knowledge, showing that the citizen is involved in a crime. Hoover generally didn't have that, and neither does the NSA.

Who has access to the information compiled by the NSA? Do they hand it over to Wall Street? Do foreign nations routinely review dossiers prepared by the NSA on American politicians? Is the information used to blackmail politicians into doing what others want? Is the information used to create Obama's Kill List? Does the NSA compile Kill Lists for all the dictators and despots created and supported by the U.S.?

This much is clear: there is no legitimate reason for the NSA mass spying program, and it must be shut down. We have a totalitarian government, which easily could be called a world government, controlling everyone (unlawfully downing the plane of Evo Morales), droning people everywhere, kidnapping, ordering people killed. This is a totalitarian regime. We must demand that it be dismantled, and all the information about anyone be destroyed. The NSA should be shut down. The federal government can do their job with the FBI and CIA, or don't do it at all. The federal government claims the NSA will protect us against terrorists, but who will protect us from the NSA?

Jul. 30 2013 01:11 PM
Chris Garvey from Libertarian Party

It is probable that the capability to spy on anyone can be hacked, even by "The Terrorists" to spy on anyone, including our Government and its "secrets".

Jul. 30 2013 12:04 PM
Chris Garvey from Libertarian Party

In 1994, when Libertarians opposed The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) wiretapping law passed in 1994, we anticipated that giving the Government and their foreign & domestic consultants the physical capability to make unsupervised wiretaps on anyone, would enable abuse of that ability, to spy on anyone.
Snowden and Greenwald have confirmed our warnings.

Jul. 30 2013 11:55 AM
Who are the spies? from point of information

The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act has been implemented by an Israeli Company.
Verint Systems (NASDAQ: VRNT is a company providing analytic software and hardware for the security, surveillance, and business intelligence markets.Verint was for many years a majority-owned subsidiary of Comverse Technology[4] and it was formerly known as Comverse Infosys.[5] As with Comverse, approximately half of Verint's employees have been located in Israel.

Jul. 30 2013 11:45 AM

@ "Impatient", 10:02 AM:

"MSNBC is worse than Fox News"

MSNBC and Fox News are like two sides of the same coin. I'm not sure which of the two is worse but they are both utterly reprehensible and reprobate, lubricious and thoroughly vile.

Jul. 30 2013 11:22 AM

Mainstream media's analysis of the issues relating to electronic communications is fundamentally flawed: they are no different than snail-mail communications. The NSA was never authorized to read snail-mail without a warrant; why apply different rules to electronic mail?

It's time to restore mutual respect and order to ALL of our communications; instead, it seems that we're deferring to those who profit from building and operating equipment and systems that monitor electronic communications.

Snowden, Manning and Greenwald have provided ample information to REQUIRE us to re-think our approach towards electronic commnications. Condemming them for exposing outrageous and serruptitious criminal conduct is not ony wrong, it's having the effect of exonerating the true bad guys: those who have, under the guise of 'security,' stolen our right to private communications.

Jul. 30 2013 11:16 AM
Chris Garvey from Libertarians

Libertarians opposed this in 1994:
The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) is a United States wiretapping law passed in 1994, during the presidency of Bill Clinton (Pub. L. No. 103-414, 108 Stat. 4279, codified at 47 USC 1001-1010).

CALEA's purpose is to enhance the ability of law enforcement and intelligence agencies to conduct electronic surveillance by requiring that telecommunications carriers and manufacturers of telecommunications equipment modify and design their equipment, facilities, and services to ensure that they have built-in surveillance capabilities, allowing federal agencies to monitor all telephone, broadband internet, and VoIP traffic in real-time.

The original reason for adopting CALEA was the Federal Bureau of Investigation's worry that increasing use of digital telephone exchange switches would make tapping phones at the phone company's central office harder and slower to execute, or in some cases impossible. Since the original requirement to add CALEA-compliant interfaces required phone companies to modify or replace hardware and software in their systems, U.S. Congress included funding for a limited time period to cover such network upgrades. CALEA was passed into law on October 25, 1994 and came into force on January 1, 1995.

In the years since CALEA was passed it has been greatly expanded to include all VoIP and broadband internet traffic. From 2004 to 2007 there was a 62 percent growth in the number of wiretaps performed under CALEA -- and more than 3,000 percent growth in interception of internet data such as email.[1]

By 2007, the FBI had spent $39 million on its DCSNet system, which collects, stores, indexes, and analyzes communications data.

Jul. 30 2013 11:15 AM
Chris Garvey from Liberrtarian Party

Greenwald is correct about the Government's long history of abuse of privacy. As early as 1796 to 1800, Federalist postmasters opened the mail of their political opponents. The Federalists passed the Alien & Sedition Acts, and used the laws to jail journalists. Despite the touted external "dangers" from the English and the French, the American people were sufficiently outraged to vote out the Federalists in 1800, forever.

Jul. 30 2013 11:06 AM
Genevieve from New Jersey

I've really enjoyed the show this week; Anna is doing a phenomenal job hosting! Props to you!

Jul. 30 2013 10:48 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

John from office, read article 3 section 3 of the United Sates Constitution. It defines clearly and with no uncertain terms what treason is.
To remind you the United States Congress never took a vote on a declaration of war on global terrorism. So emotional psychodrama is only psychodrama.

Jul. 30 2013 10:42 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

Yeah, the “bad” guys are so stupid as to communicate their so-called “plans” via an internet that is being monitored. Yeah, the two young men who committed their heinous crimes were part of a super group. LOL

Jul. 30 2013 10:34 AM
WSB from Manhattan

Greenwald is disingenuous at best. He equates Manning and Snowden with Daniel Ellsberg as if that's some get out of jail free card. Why does Greenwald NEVER acknowledge that Ellsberg was in fact prosecuted by the government. The charges were only thrown out due to prosecutorial and judicial misconduct.

I'm all for having the necessary and proper discussions and debates about these programs. But I'm not for letting people leak top secret information without repercussions. Greenwald isn't a journalist, he's basically become a spokesman.

Jul. 30 2013 10:33 AM
Rich Zaiff from nyc

Greenwald made a very deceptive statement at the end of his interview when he implied that NSA wasn't monitoring the "bad guys," but was monitoring everyone. Where does he think the "bad guys" are hiding? The whole basis for the monitoring is that the "bad guys" are hiding among us masquerading as peaceful citizens.

Jul. 30 2013 10:32 AM
blacksocialist from BKbaby

john from office - who are "my people" knuckledragger? and if I do help "my people" will you do the same with yours, and lead them out of the caves and into humanity? just pathetic

Jul. 30 2013 10:32 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Fair enough John, maybe it was "ED from Larchmont"

Jul. 30 2013 10:30 AM
John from office

Remind Mr. Greenwald the Manning was a member of the military, not a private citizen.

To the Negro socialist, try working to get your people off the floor.

Jul. 30 2013 10:28 AM

"john from office" wrote,
"Angry that his Brazilian boy toy cannot live with him in the USA."

That's gratuitous and doesn't help your credibility.

Jul. 30 2013 10:28 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Amen Joe, and one day the "bad guys" will be me, you, John and anyone who "opposes the sate."

Jul. 30 2013 10:28 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Oh, it's not only gov'ts. that abuse power. People w/other kinds of power, in the private sector, abuse it too.

Jul. 30 2013 10:26 AM

Thank you for having Greenwald on.

Please address the correlation between funding sources and how members of congress voted on the recent NSA bill.

Jul. 30 2013 10:25 AM
john from Office

Sheldon Sheldon Sheldon, I never attacked either of these people for their sexuality. I did attack Manning's defense that he was too delicate and was offended by war and battle details, that caused him to disclose. That defense is offensive to every homesexual that has served their nation honorably.

Jul. 30 2013 10:24 AM
Guy from NYC

Is there a screener working today, or are you just taking anyone's calls? These last two calls were unhelpful.

Jul. 30 2013 10:24 AM

the "bad guys"...are you kidding me? The point is it's all warrantless...

Jul. 30 2013 10:23 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Mr. Greenwald said the NSA contractors didn't need any kind of authorization (don't remember his exact words) to go into anyone's phone or email records. But Mr. Snowden said something about being able to do that if he got a "personal email." What does that mean, who issues it, & is it required before the employee can tap into the records?

Jul. 30 2013 10:23 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

@ John, you are right: Greenwald and Snowden may be "enemies of the state" but they are friends of our constitution and (so far) of this country.

God Bless them - keep on.

Jul. 30 2013 10:22 AM
blacksocialist from BKbaby

john from office - your ignorance knows no end... just pathetic

Impatient - was that last question rhetorical? you people need to go back to your caves....

Jul. 30 2013 10:21 AM

Does Mr. Greenwald have an opinion on the comparative threat to a constitutional republic posed by Mr. Snowden's revelations and the disclosures made by Mr. Greenwald concerning Mr. Sunstein's blueprint for the government's surreptitious manipulation of public discussion?

Jul. 30 2013 10:19 AM
BL Moderator

[[We have not removed any comments, but please remember the WNYC posting policy, which asks you to refrain from personal attacks and keep your comments civil.

-BL Show Producer]]

Jul. 30 2013 10:18 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

@John you did not? Unless I'm confusing you with "Martin", I vaguely remember you bringing up the sexuality of Manning and Snowden.

Jul. 30 2013 10:16 AM
Larry McGovern from Dobbs Ferry, NY

Could Mr. Greenwald comment on the hypocracy of the Democrats who railed against these very same programs when undertaken by the Bush Administration? And has any such Democrat been able to explain how he or she can damn the Bush program and be supportive of the far worse Obama NSA program?

Jul. 30 2013 10:16 AM
john from office

I listen to NPR and WNYC exclusivly. I do have a problem with self appointed saviors and traitors like Manning, Snowden and this vile piece of dreck, Greemwald. I did not attack his sexuality, I do doubt his motives.

Jul. 30 2013 10:08 AM

Halloran -

Why attack Fox News alone? Why even bring it up? MSNBC is worse than Fox News bur people who post here don't rail against their garbage journalism. Or do you just enjoy listening to people that agree with you?

Jul. 30 2013 10:02 AM

@john from the office

"Vile, arrogant enemy of the state"? That's a curious way to describe a journalist who actually holds those in power accountable which, we've been told for years, is the function of journalism. Or is your view of "journalism" more like Fox News or what goes on with the Sunday talk shows, the range of permissible discussion somewhere between Lindsay Graham and Chuck Schumer?

Of course, you don't have to like Greenwald personally, but the fact that he chooses to live with his lover is hardly unusual; the institution of marriage is usually predicated on sex. Or are you against co-habitation generally? Or just gay co-habitation? Or should we exclude any journalist who lives with a partner?

Finally, it would be interesting to know your feelings on the State in general. Do you love your government? Do you hate it, but only on Fox News terms? Or are your views generally incoherent?

Jul. 30 2013 09:47 AM
Lenore from Manhattan

Thank you for having Glenn Greenwald on. This is a story that won't go away. The vote in the House last week showed that. Diane Feinstein doesn't see anything wrong with the NSA but lots of other folks do.

Jul. 30 2013 09:40 AM
jaffer ismail m from aa,ethi

I dont ve anythin to say

Jul. 30 2013 09:35 AM
john from office

Why are we giving a soapbox to this vile, arrogant enemy of the state. Angry that his Brazilian boy toy cannot live with him in the USA. He should be arrested.

Jul. 30 2013 09:33 AM

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