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Security agency is collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers.
-- -- top secret court order now when pressed on a similar issue back in March the Director of National Intelligence had this to -- Does.
The NSA collecting any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans are.
It does not.
There are cases where they could in inadvertently.
Collect but not not -- 112.
Hey that's interesting characterization and joining us now from Washington -- got the former NSA inspector general jolt -- thanks for being with this -- First -- how unusual.
Is a blanket request like this for millions of -- -- a billion phone calls a day covered by.
This request how unusual is it or is -- just par for the course -- the NSA.
The White House seems to be acknowledging that this is say.
In fact a genuine border but there's two things about this -- that strike me as it's peculiar.
On one of them actually is that it is collecting domestic.
Two in two foreign intelligence that's exactly what the foreign intelligence surveillance court.
With set up to do it's exactly what.
Permits -- to do what's highly unusual though is the order extends to domestic domestic calls.
Now I NSA.
Just doesn't do that ordinarily.
Might we don't know what's behind this order.
With the foreign intelligence surveillance court doesn't issue an order like this without a reason.
My guess is without knowing is that there's an investigation.
Going -- That is lives somebody let the officials to somebody who is -- either our subscriber.
Or an employee of somebody at Verizon business.
-- your listeners and viewers ought to understand.
This order doesn't extend to all of Verizon.
Let alone to other carriers just to Verizon business.
Now it's entirely possible I think.
-- -- A leading hypothesis that.
They've got an investigation going -- led to some someone -- one of these at Verizon -- -- and they want to find out who that person's talking to.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Why if the government already has its idea its eyes on a particular group of suspects.
Why -- you requested a billion calls a day records -- that's why don't you would do but barely your request he did in part to mask what you're doing.
No hold let's let's lower the heat a little bit let's suppose we've we've been led we're doing an investigation -- something and we're led to mr.
And we want to know who mr.
X is communicating where.
We don't knows that in advance.
So we're not gonna ask for an order that gives us the contents of mr.
-- phone calls why would you want to.
Why don't you ask for everyone's -- record for my phone records you're not listening.
I don't want to find if you want to find out who's who mr.
X is talking to.
You have to look at -- universe of calls and then you throw out.
All the records except the records of the person they're talking to that is the only way you can do that kind of investigation is.
Is this a sign here's the thing that bothered made.
The thought that the NSA and the FBI I would ask to -- Records on a billion calls a day that's what we're talking about here a billion calls a day first -- -- I doubt they even have a software tools to sift through that much data to find any kind of pattern.
But does that mean that we are incredibly clueless.
When it comes to preventing terror attack this country and they don't even know where to begin -- -- -- And that's that why.
Now it doesn't mean that blocked it and it may mean because if you want to find out who mr.
X is talking to.
You have to look at the universe of records you then pick out what you need to look at and you throw away the rest.
There's no other way to figure out who mister x.'s.
Co conspirators -- -- -- -- Is that all instead of -- after billions are.
-- is it just seems like.
Such an incredible overreach but I think -- the most interesting angles comes up here -- you feel like.
Based on -- NSA experience that if this it -- it might be a particular investigation.
Whereas in congress you know senator Feinstein and others are saying hey guys this is being done for years and it's an every day ninety request this is nothing special.
And that delineation there could tell us a lot more about the situation we appreciate your being here with us today thanks very much -- Brenner.
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