R.K: Well it seems to me like the way the intelligence agencies are working is: if the technology is available, they're going to use it regardless of what effect it has on people's constitutional rights or our freedoms.
C.R.: And lots of contractors use the technology. There's of course the technology development, but there's all of these so-called intelligence contractors, Booz Allen Hamilton is just one. They have a conflict of interest because they are making enormous amounts, billions and billions of dollars are being made and they would probably shrug and say well okay if it doesn't work, what's the harm?
Everybody's phone numbers in these 1.6 billion pieces of data that are flowing in Bluffdale and into the NSA computer and they say it's several trillion now pieces of data. Even the FBI has twenty records for every man woman and child on one of their programs. So people kind of shrug and laugh and say what's the harm well if they want to collect this data, well one harm actually Edward Snowden actually points to directly is the economic harm.
Here were are facing a shut down of government with seventeen trillion dollar debt ceiling and these trillions of dollars are going for this useless and actually counter-productive, it's worse than useless, it's actually hurting the effort. The Boston Marathon Bombing being an example in point. Russia gives a specific warning about the brother, then a later notice comes that this brother has traveled to the Chechnya area and in fact the FBI doesn't even look at it.
They are looking at the time at Occupy protestors in Boston. So this massive collection that has spread them way too broad, not focused is actually hurting the effort and that Boston Case is not the only one. Major -
R.K.: Well what did Snowden say about economic impact?
C.R.: Well he just says that this is having a counter-productive effect in economic terms. We didn't really talk about the shut down too much. In economic terms, this is huge amounts of money. The person who actually talked more about that was Tom Drake because a lot of his points went directly to this fraud,waste, and abuse.
There was a very inexpensive program that would have allowed privacy protection and compliance with the fourth amendment and instead Hayden scraps it and goes for this expensive program because there's many contractors making money off of that and it does not accomplish the privacy protection and it's not legal. It is actually violating the fourth amendment. So -
R.K: So we've got to wrap up now. Anything you want to finish up with?
C.R.: No, I just, the only thing I would encourage all listeners to do now is to really pay attention to the intelligence committee hearings in the senate. Judiciary hearings, are going on in the House. Maybe you don't care for the Libertarian congress person if you are in one of those districts. But you know what? There is a chance right now because this is transcending the normal party politics and so there is a chance now that like I said, they only lost the first reform attempt by seven votes and I would just encourage all listeners to really, if you want to help Edward Snowden, and help yourself and help people, the citizens of other countries in the world who are victims of economic espionage etcetera like Brazil, this is what we need to do.
We have to pay a lot more attention to what congress is doing. We have some power. We saw with Syria that if we can show the politicians that we are not going to be happy with this, even writing comments, today's Washington Post has a brand new disclosure out about how the NSA is collecting email lists and chat lists, you know, all of your friends on chat and stuff. So there's a whole brand new disclosure out this morning.
Look at the comments under this Wasington Post. The good thing is that many people now are taking that next step of doing something. At least they're writing comments. And you know what? Politicians read the Washington Post.
R.K.: All right
C.R.: I want to just encourage people to keep alert and keep acting.
R.K: And you're helping with the work that you've done as an activist and as a writer. And OpEd news has been publishing your writing as you put them out there.
C.R.: Thank you.