Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (2014) s02e08 Episode Script

Government Surveillance

1 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver S02E08 Government Surveillance Welcome, welcome, welcome to "Last Week Tonight"! I'm John Oliver.
A slightly longer edition of my show tonight for reasons that will become clear later, but just time for a quick recap of the week.
And we begin tonight with Iran.
The greatest threat to Salman Rushdie since Padma Lakshmi's divorce attorney.
All week long all week long, the world's attention was focused on the Iranian nuclear talks, taking place in Switzerland.
And for much of the week, we only had tantalizing glimpses of some of the main players.
I want to show you some buzz feed video of John Kerry taking a walk.
This is the first time we've seen the secretary of state in quite a long time.
And you can see the distance.
He's across the street from the hotel, getting some air.
Tourists here chanting "I love you, John Kerry.
" Wait.
I love you, John Kerry? Let's be clear, no lucid human has ever said those words.
Even his wife has, as at most, said, certain aspects of your personality are not displeasing, John.
But that's as far as anyone can physically go.
That talks actually extended well past their initial deadline, which is hardly surprising, given that they took place in the hotel beau rivage palace and if you think it looks spectacular from the outside, wait till you see their promotional video.
Welcome to the hotel beau rivage palace.
This 15,000-square foot spa is the first of its kind in Switzerland.
The hotel's restaurants include Anne-Sophie pic of beau rivage palace.
The 169 elegant rooms and sumptuous suites are spacious, elegant, and exquisitely appointed.
I'm just gonna say it, I want to have sex with that hotel.
Not in that hotel.
With it.
I want to fuck that hotel is what I'm saying.
My point is, why would any diplomat rush to close a deal in that place? We went on their website and found they offer, and this is true, not just Japanese bath treatments but also, an upcoming hotel bar show featuring funk rock band The Inglorious Fonkers.
Oh, sorry, you hadn't heard of The Inglorious Fonkers? Well, prepare to have that changed forever.
That is the quintessential sound and look of Swiss hotel funk.
But incredibly, despite all the hotel's attractions, Thursday brought a huge announcement.
Today, nearly round the clock negotiations with Iran about how to curb its nuclear program finally produced the framework of a deal.
Wow, now, if this holds, that is a generali massive achievement.
And the very next day, the Iranians proved how excited they were.
After marathon negotiations, Iran's foreign minister, Jouad Sharif arrived home a hero, especially among the young, who hope a nuclear deal will bring their country in from the cold.
At Friday prayers, there were the usual chants of "death to America," but more habit than conviction.
That's good, I guess.
More habit than conviction.
You know, like an atheist saying god bless you when you sneeze, or Billy Joel singing "piano man".
You, you know that song's just mouth noises to him at this point.
But look, before we all get to the excited, I should, I should point out that this deal is not technically a deal yet.
Our work is not yet done.
The deal has not been signed.
Between now and the end of June, the negotiators will continue to work through the details of how this framework will be fully implemented.
And those details matter.
And look, that won't be easy.
But just think of how incredible it'll be if they do it.
Just picture the scene.
They're at the hotel Beau Rivage Palace.
They've just signed a historic deal.
It's may the 7th, and drifting up from the hotel bar is this sound.
We have peace! Peace in our fonking time! Moving on to Nigeria.
The country whose prince is going to be sending you some of that money he owes you any day now.
After weeks of delay due to Boko Haram, last weekend, Nigeria finally held their election.
Nigeria has a new president.
The opposition candidate, retired major general Muhammadu Buhari, defeating incumbent good luck Jonathan.
Jonathan issued a statement thanking Nigerians for the, quote, "great opportunity to lead the country.
" Ok.
Thanking people for the great opportunity is a weird tone for a world leader.
Because he sounds more like a temp who's leaving after covering someone's maternity leave.
Thanks for this great opportunity.
Keep my resume on file in case Linda gets pregnant again.
Now, who here can tell me my name? Goodluck Jonathan leaves behind a mixed legacy.
But the very fact he conceded is actually a major step forward for Nigerian democracy because this election was something of a milestone for them.
This was the first real contest in Nigeria's history, which is riddled with coups and rigged elections.
But with a truly independent electoral commission and the introduction of electronic voter registration, a lid was kept on any fraud and the power of the people won through.
That's absolutely fantastic because whilst they've had supposedly democratic elections before, and they looked a lot like the real thing, they weren't quite it.
Much like imitation crab or Dave Franco.
Just not quite what you were promised.
So Nigeria's new leader will be Muhammadu Buhari.
And we actually have some inkling of how he may be as a leader, because he's done it before.
After Buhari last took power in a coup in 1983, he brutally attacked corruption, setting up military tribunals, executing drug dealers publicly and punishing bureaucrats who arrive late for work forcing them to do squats.
That's actually true.
His government literally forced civil servants young and old to do squat jumps, as punishment to something that looks like this.
Which means, in the past, he's basically been the military dictator version of Jillian Michaels.
Ben your [Beep.]
knees or I'm going to break them with this poll.
You're not acting [Beep.]
strong! You're acting pathetic! Get the [Beep.]
up, unless you faint, puke, or die keep walking! Ok, I take it back, it's pretty clear the military dictator version of Jillian Michaels is Jillian Michaels.
But finally this week, president Obama.
America's 44th "not my president.
" He's, he's selling jobs initiatives on the road at the moment, and this week he landed in unfriendly territory.
President Obama is heading to Utah late tonight, deep red Utah, a state in which he only managed to get 25% of the vote back in 2012.
Wooh, Only 25%, ouch, it cannot be easy to go back somewhere where 3/4 of the people don't really care for you, which is why I spend most of my time in this country.
That's a hard fact.
And this, this was actually his first trip to Utah as president, which drew people's attention to a potentially insulting fact.
He's hit 49 of the 50 states as president.
The only one missing is South Dakota.
Yes, much like Uber and sweatshirts without glitter on them, the president has not yet made it to South Dakota.
And it's not like the people who live there have not noticed.
Well, it's official, South Dakota will become the only state without a visit from president Barack Obama.
South Dakota is the only state president Obama has not visited since taking office.
He's just saving the best for last.
Yeah, exactly, right.
Obama came close, when he was on the standing rock reservation last year.
Part of the reservation extends into South Dakota, but Obama stayed north of the border.
Oh, come on.
He was in the neighborhood and didn't drop by? That feels like he's doing this on purpose.
The only thing more insulting than that would be if he does go, but does it inside a giant plastic bubble.
I'm not technically here.
I'm not touching anything.
This doesn't count as a visit.
But maybe my favorite detail from South Dakota's coverage is how one anchor tried to segue into some more positive news.
It's unclear how soon Obama will visit south Dakota.
But with 21 months left on his term, he does have plenty of time.
Last week, the Denny Sanford premier center officials announced Rod Stewart will perform Saturday, July 25th in Sioux Falls.
That doesn't make it better, South Dakota.
A night with Rod Stewart is only a proper consolation prize if your original goal was to have sex with Peter Gabriel.
And it's not like the people of South Dakota haven't been trying to lure the president.
Their secretary of tourism even wrote to him in 2013.
Inviting him to visit pointing out his wife and daughters had visited mount Rushmore and saying ominously, now it is your turn.
This is all just getting so desperate.
And you haven't even seen their latest tourism ad.
Mr president, South Dakota is a beautiful historic state.
So why on earth haven't you visit us? You can see all South Dakota amazing attractions The Corn Palace, Wall Drug, that crazy horse monument that we're going to try to finish soon.
The corn palace again.
Some reptile garden people seem to like And of course the Corn Palace.
That's like six different things.
Plus, if you come, you can meet some real nice people.
There's Gus who closes the buffalo gate at dusk.
Stay put you crazy buffaloes.
There's Tony who rides his bike and points at squirrels.
And we've got hobo George R.
Come on Mr president.
Sure, we didn't vote for you either time.
But we love presidents so much, we carved them into a mountain and even have a whole wax museum devoted to you guy.
You can see a Jimmy Carter that will haunt your dreams, George W.
Bush at ground zero which I guess we thought was appropriate.
You know, this is Bill Clinton but no one's entirely sure.
And don't forget you can see Rod Stewart.
So we've got that going for us.
Come on, Mr.
president, I mean for crying out loud.
You've been to Montana.
That state nothing than barbed wire fences and goat fuckers.
I'm sorry I shouldn't have said that.
It's definitely true but we still shouldn't have said it.
The point is, please come to South Dakota, Mr.
South Dakota, if you close your eyes you can pretend it's North Dakota.
Moving on.
Moving on.
Our main story tonight is government surveillance.
And I realize most people would rather have a conversation about literally any other topic, including is my smartphone giving me cancer? To which the answer is "probably" or do goldfish suffer from depression? To which the answer is, yes, but very briefly.
But, but the fact is, it's vital we have a discussion about this now, because an important date is just around the corner.
One big date to circle on the calendar when it comes to a very controversial subject, the re-authorization of the patriot act and all of the controversial provisions therein.
June 1st, they've got to come to an agreement to reauthorize or curtail those programs.
Yes, some controversial provisions within the patriot act are set to expire on June the 1st, so circle that date on your calendars, everyone.
And while you're at it, circle June 2nd as well, because that's Justin long's birthday.
You all forgot last year and he fucking noticed.
Now, over the last couple of years, you've probably heard a lot about strange-sounding programs such as X-Keyscore, Muscular, Prism, and Mystic which are, coincidentally, also the names of some of Florida's least popular strip clubs.
Welcome to X-Keyscore! Our dancers are fully unredacted and Tuesday is wing night.
But, but if you don't mind, I'd like to refresh your memory over some of this.
And let's start by focusing on the most controversial portion of the patriot act that's up for renewal.
Section 215, which I'm aware sounds like the name of an eastern European boy band.
We are section 215.
Prepare to have your hearts throbbed.
There's the, there's the cute one, the bad boy, the one who strangled a potato farmer, and the one without an iron deficiency.
They're incredible.
But the contents of the real section 215 is actually even more sinister.
It's called section 215, nicknamed the library records provision, which allows the government to require businesses to hand over records of any quote "any tangible things" including books, records, papers, documents and other items.
If that sounds broad, it's because it was very much written that way.
Section 215 says the government can ask for any tangible things, so long as it's for an investigation to protect against international terrorism, which is basically a blank check.
It's like letting a teenager borrow the car on the strict condition that they only use it for car-related activities.
Ok, mom and dad, I'm going to use this for a handjob in a Wendy's parking lot, but that is car-related, so I think I'm covered.
Section 215 is overseen by a secret intelligence court known as the FISA court.
And they interpreted it to mean the government could basically collect and store phone records for every American, the vast majority of whom, of course, have no connection to terrorism.
Unless aunt Cheryl has been gravely mischaracterizing the activities of her needlepoint club.
It's a sleeper cell, isn't it, aunt Cheryl? You'll hang for this, aunt Cheryl! You're a traitor and a terrible aunt! Not in that order! Now, the government will point out that under 215, they hold phone records, and not the calls themselves.
What hm, the intelligence community is doing is looking at phone numbers and durations of calls.
They are not looking at people's names, and they're not looking at content.
Yes, but that's not entirely reassuring because you can extrapolate a lot from that information.
If, if they knew you called your ex 12 times last night between 1:00 and 4:00 A.
M, for a duration of 15 minutes each time, they can be fairly sure that you left some pretty pathetic voicemails.
I don't care who's monitoring this call, Vicki.
We should be together! Pick up the phone, damn it! I am a human being! Not an animal! Now, the patriot act was written just after 9/11.
And for years, it was extended and reauthorized with barely a passing thought.
In fact, it became so routine that when it was extended in 2011, one newscast just tacked it onto the end of a report about a presidential short trip abroad.
Chip Reid, CBS NEWS traveling with the president in Deauville, France.
Also in France, by the way, president Obama signed into law a four-year extension of the terrorist fighting patriot act.
Also in France, by the way by the way he through that in like a mother telling her grown daughter that her childhood pet just died.
Oh, nice talking to you sweetie.
Also, by the way, Mr.
peppers is dead, see you at Christmas! Bang! But all of that was before the public was made aware of what the government's capabilities actually were.
Because that all ended in June of 2013.
Edward Snowden has just taken responsibility for one of the biggest government leaks in US history.
We learned that the government has the capacity to track virtually every American phone call and to scoop up impossibly vast quantities of data across the Internet.
Revelations that the NSA eavesdropped on world leaders.
If you've ever been to the Bahamas, the NSA Could have recorded your phone calls and stored them for a month.
Yeah, all that information was exposed by Edward Snowden.
And it's still kind of incredible that a 29-year-old contractor was able to steal top-secret documents from an organization that literally has the word "security" in its name.
Clearly, that was not great for them.
Because the only place where it should be that easy for employees in their 20's to steal is a Lids store.
Dude, are you sure I should take this? Relax, dude, it's a Miami Marlins cap.
We're not exactly selling Faberge eggs here.
It's still unclear exactly how many documents Edward Snowden stole.
Although he has consistently tried to reassure people that he put them in good hands.
Honestly, I don't want to be the person making the decisions on what should be public and what shouldn't, which is why rather than publishing these on my own, or putting them out openly, I'm running them through journalists.
That sounds great, but of course, it's not a fail-safe plan.
As was proven when the New York Times published this slide, but did such a sloppy job of blocking out redacted information that some people were able to read the information behind that black bar, which concerned how the US was monitoring Al-Qaeda in Mosul, a group now known as ISIS.
So essentially, a national security secret was leaked because no one at the times knows how to use Microsoft Paint.
And, and look, you can think that Snowden did the wrong thing, or did it in the wrong way.
But the fact is, we have this information now, and we no longer get the luxury of pleading ignorance.
It's like you can't go to Seaworld and pretend that Shamu's happy anymore, when we now know at least half the water in her tank is whale tears.
We know that know, you can't unknow that information so you have to bear that in mind.
But here's the thing, it's now two years later, and it seems like we've kind of forgotten to have a debate over the content of what Snowden leaked.
A recent Pew report found that nearly half of Americans say they're not very concerned or not at all concerned about government surveillance, which is fine, if that's an informed opinion.
But I'm not sure that it is.
Because we actually sent a camera crew to Times Square to ask some random passersby who Edward Snowden was, and what he did.
And these are the responses that we got.
I have no idea who Edward Snowden is.
I have no idea who Edward Snowden is.
I've heard the name I just can't picture it right now exactly who it is.
Edward Snowden? No, I do not.
Just for the record, that wasn't cherry-picking.
That was entirely reflective of everyone we spoke to.
Although, to be fair, some people did remember his name.
They just couldn't remember why.
He sold some information to people.
He revealed some information that shouldn't have been revealed.
I think from what I remember is that the information that he shared was detrimental to our military secrets and keeping our soldiers and our country safe.
Leaking leaked documents about the US army's operations in Iraq.
Edward Snowden revealed a bunch of secrets, I guess, or information, into Wiki, Wikileaks.
Edward Snowden leaked, uh, he's in charge of Wikileaks.
Edward Snowden revealed a lot of documents through Wikileaks.
Ok, so here's the thing.
Edward Snowden is not the Wikileaks guy.
The Wikileaks guy is Julian Assange.
And you do not want to be confused with him.
Partly because he was far less careful than Snowden in what he released and how.
And partly because he resembles a sandwich bag full of biscuit dough wearing a Stevie nicks wig.
And that is, that is critical.
Julian Assange is not a likable man.
Even Benedict Cumberbatch could not make him likeable.
He's uncumberbatchable.
That was supposed to be physically impossible.
But, but I don't blame people for being confused.
We've been looking at this story for the last two weeks, and it is hard to get your head around.
Not just because there so many complicated programs to keep track of, but also because there are no easy answers here.
We all naturally want perfect privacy and perfect safety, but those two things can not co-exist.
It's like how you can't have a bad-ass pet falcon and an adorable pet vole named Herbert.
Either you have to lose one of them, which you obviously don't want to do or you have to accept some reasonable restrictions on both of them.
Now, to be fair, the NSA Will argue that just because they can do something, doesn't mean that they do do it.
And that there are restrictions on their operations such as the FISA court, which must approve requests for foreign surveillance.
But in 34 years, that court has approved over 35,000 applications, and only rejected 12.
Yes, much like Robert Durst's second wife, the FISA court is alarmingly accepting.
Listen Robert, I'm not going to ask too many questions, I'm just gonna give you the benefit of a doubt you clearly don't deserve.
At least tell him to blink and burp less.
The burping might be the most troubling thing about that show.
So so maybe it is time for us to talk about where the limits should be.
And the best place to start would be section 215.
Not just because it's the easiest to understand, but because there's widespread agreement it needs to be reformed.
From the president to Ted Cruz to both the ACLU and the NRA To even the guy who wrote the thing in the first place.
I was the principal author of the patriot act.
I can say that without qualification.
Congress never did intend to allow bulk collections when it passed section 215, and no fair reading of the text would allow for this program.
Think about that.
He was the author.
That is the legislative equivalent of Lewis Carroll seeing the teacups ride at Disneyland and saying, this has to be reined in.
No fair reading of my text would allow for this ride.
You've turned my perfectly nice tale of psychedelic pedophilia into a garish vomitorium.
This is not what I wanted.
And even the NSA has said that the number of terror plots in the US that the section 215 telephone records program has disrupted is one.
And, and it's worth noting that particular plot involved a cab driver in San Diego who gave $8,500 to a terror group.
And that is the shittiest terror plot I've ever seen other than the plot of "A good day to die hard.
" But here, here's the big problem here, if we let section 215 get renewed in its current form, without serious public debate, we're in trouble.
Because section 215 is the canary in the coal mine.
If we can't fix that, we are not going to fix any of them.
And the public debate so far has been absolutely pathetic.
A year ago, a former congresswoman was discussing the 215 program on the news.
Watch what happened.
This vast collection of data is not that useful and infringes substantially on personal privacy.
I think at this point we should seriously consider not not - continue with section 215 and getting to -Congresswoman Harmon, Let me interrupt you congresswoman, let me interrupt you just for a moment.
We've got some breaking news out of Miami.
Stand by if you will.
Right now in Miami, Justin Bieber has been arrested on a number of charges.
The judge is reading the charges including resisting arrest and driving under the influence.
He's appearing now before the judge for his bond hearing.
Let's watch.
Oh, oh actually, you know what, bad news, we're going to have to interrupt your interruption of the Bieber news for a new interruption.
This time, featuring a YouTube video of a tortoise having sex with a plastic clog.
Let's watch.
That is essentially the current tone of this vitally important debate.
And, again, I'm not saying this is an easy conversation.
But we have to have it.
I know this is confusing.
And unfortunately, the most obvious person to talk to about this is Edward Snowden, but he currently lives in Russia.
Meaning if you wanted to ask him about any of these issues, you'd have to fly all the way there to do it.
And it is not a pleasant flight.
And the reason I know that is that last week, I went to Russia to speak to Edward Snowden.
And this is what happened.
Yes, last week I spent 48 paranoid hours in Moscow arguably the last place on earth where you can find an overweight Joseph Stallen impersonator arguing with an inconveniencing fake Lanin.
And after experiencing Russia famously warm hospitality.
I went to meet Edward Snowden who was supposed to show up in this room at noon.
However at five minutes after the interview was schedule to begin, I had a troubling thought.
I don't know.
Do you think he's coming? Yes he's coming.
Because my argument is why would he when you think about it? I've got 2,000 rubles that says he doesn't make it without understanding how much that is.
All I'm saying is, a 10-hour flight for an empty chair, I'm going to lose my shit.
Turns out it may be a bit of a problem because our Russian producer booked us in a room directly overlooking the old KGB building and the home of the current federal security bureau.
And we've just been told they know we're here.
So hm, uh.
So that happened.
Hm, Just if, if the Russian, Russian KGB is listening ring the fire alarm if he's not coming.
Oh, shit.
Oh, god.
- So sorry for the delay.
- It's fine Holy shit! He actually came! Edward "fucking" Snowden, the most famous hero and/or traitor in recent American history.
And I started with a question designed to test his loyalties.
How much do you miss America? You know, my country is something that travels with me, you know? It's not just a geography.
That's already a way too complicated answer.
The answer is I miss it a lot.
The greatest country in the world.
I do miss my country.
I do miss my home.
I do miss my family.
Do you miss Hot pockets? Yes, I miss Hot pockets very much.
Ok, hm, the entire state of Florida? Let's just let that silence hang in the air.
Hm, truck nuts? - Do you miss truck nuts? - I don't know what they are.
Lucky for you, Edward.
Not just truck nuts.
Stars and stripes truck nuts.
That is two balls of liberty in a freedom sack.
You really thought ahead.
Well, at least one of us did, you know, because of the, the quandary, the Kafkaesque nightmare that you're in.
Let's dive in.
Why did you do this? The NSA has the greatest surveillance capabilities that we've ever seen in history.
Now, what they will argue is that they don't use this for nefarious purposes against American citizens.
In some ways that's true.
But the real problem is that they're using these capabilities to make us vulnerable to them and then saying, wow, I have a gun pointed at your head I'm not going to pull the trigger.
Trust me.
So what's the NSA you want look like? Because you applied for a job at the NSA So you clearly see an inherent value in that shadowy organization? I worked with mass surveillance systems against Chinese hackers.
I saw that, you know, these things do have some purpose.
And you want your spies to be good at spying to be fair.
Right, what you don't want is you don't want them spying inside their own country.
Spies are great when they're on our side but we can never forget that they're incredibly powerful and incredibly dangerous and if they're off the leash they can come after us.
But just to be clear we're talking about two differents things here domestic surveillance and foreign surveillance right because domestic surveillance Americans give some other shit about.
Foreign surveillance they don't give any remote shit about.
Well, the second question is when we talk about foreign surveillance are we applying in ways that are beneficial? No one cares, no.
- It turns the spies - No, they don't give a shit.
We spied on Unicef, the children's fund.
We spied on lawyers negotiating What was Unicef doing? I mean, that's the question here, isn't it? The questions are these programs valuable? Are we going to be safer when we're spying on Unicef and lawyers who are talking about the price of shrimp and clove cigarettes? I don't think people will say that's good.
I think they'll say I definitely don't care.
American do not give a shit I think you're right.
About foreign surveillance.
What some people do care about is whether Snowden considered the adverse consequence of leaking so much information at once.
How many of those documents have you actually read? I've evaluated all the documents that are in the archive.
You've read ever single one? Well, I do understand what I turned over.
But, but there is a difference between understanding what's in the documents and reading what's in the documents.
I recognize the concern.
Right, because when you're handing over thousands of NSA documents, the last thing you want to do is read them.
I think it's fair to be concerned about did this person do enough? Were they careful enough? Especially when you handling material, like we know you're handling.
Well, in my defense I'm not handling anything anymore, that has been passed to journalists and they were using extraordinary security measures to make sure that this is reported in the most responsible way.
But those are journalists with a lower technical skills set than you.
That's true but they do understand just like you and I do just how important it is to get this right.
So the "New York Times" took a slide, didn't redact it properly and in the end it was possible for people to see that something was being used in Mosul on Al-Qaeda.
That is a problem.
Well, that's a fuck-up.
It is a fuck-up and this thing do happen in reporting.
In journalism, we have to accept that some mistakes will be made.
This is a fundamental concept of liberty.
Right, but you have to own that thing.
You're giving documents with informations you know could be harmful which could get out there.
If people act in bad faith.
You not even talking about bad faith, you're talking about incompetence.
We are.
But you will never be completely free from risk if you're free.
The only time you can be free from risk is when you're in prison.
While the risks were significant Snowden himself has made it clear he feels the rewards have been worth it.
You said in your letter to Brazil, I was motivated by a belief that the citizens of the world deserve to understand the system in which they live My greatest fear was that no one would listen to my warning.
Never have I been so glad to have been so wrong.
How did that feel? I was initially terrified that this was going to be a three-day story, everybody was going to forget about it, but When I saw that everybody around the world said "wow, this is a problem.
" We have to do something about this.
It felt like vindication.
- Even in America? - Even in America And I think we're seeing something amazing, which is if you ask the American people to make tough decisions to confront tough issues to think about hard problems, they'll actually surprise you.
Here's the problem.
I did ask some Americans and boy, did it surprise me.
I have no idea who Edward Snowden is.
- You've never heard of Edward Snowden? - No.
I have no idea who Edward Snowden is.
I've heard the name, I just can't picture, think right now, exactly what it is.
Well, he's, hm, he sold some information to people.
He revealed some information that shouldn't have been revealed.
Edward Snowden revealed a lot of documents through Wikileaks.
Edward Snowden revealed a bunch of secrets, I guess, or information into Wiki, Wikileaks.
Edward Snowden leaked, he's in charge of Wikileaks.
- I'm in charge of Wikileaks.
- Not ideal.
I guess on the plus side you might be able to go home because it seems like no one knows who the fuck you are and what the fuck you did.
You can't expect everybody to be uniformly informed.
So, did you do this to solve a problem? I did this to give the American people a chance to decide for themselves the kind of government they want to have.
That is a conversation that I think the American people deserve to decide.
Oh, there's no doubt it is a critical conversation.
But is it a conversation that we have the capacity to have? Because it's so complicated, we don't fundamentally understand it.
It is a challenging conversation.
I mean, it's difficult for most people to even conceptualize.
The problem is, the Internet is massively complex and so much of it is invisible.
Service providers, technicians, engineers the phone numb.
Let, let, let, let me stop you right there, Edward because this is the whole problem.
This is the whole problem, I just, I glaze over because it's like the I.
T guy comes in your office and you go, oh, shit, - In fairness.
- Oh, shit.
Don't teach me anything.
I don't want to learn.
You smell like canned soup.
It's a real challenge to figure out, how do we communicate things that require sort of years and years of technical understanding, and compress that into seconds of speech? So I'm sympathetic to the problem there.
But the thing is everything you did only matters if we have this conversation properly.
So let me help you out there.
You mentioned in an interview that the NSA was passing around naked photos of people.
Yeah, this is something where it's, it's not actually seen as a big deal in the culture of NSA because you've seen naked pictures all of the time.
That terrifies people because when we ask people about that this is the response you get.
The government should not be able to look at dick pictures.
If the government was looking at a picture of Gordon's penis, I definitely feel it would be an invasion of my privacy.
Oh yeah, if the government was looking at pictures of my penis that would upset me.
They should never, ever, the US government have a picture of my dick.
If my husband sent me a picture of his penis, and the government could access it I, I would want that program to be shutdown I would want the dick pic program changed.
I would also want the dick pic program changed.
I think it would be terrific if the program could changed.
I would want it to be tweaked, I would want it to have have clear and transparent laws, that we knew about and that they communicate to us to understand what they were being used for, why they were being kept.
Do you think that program exists? I don't, I don't think that program exists at all.
If I had knowledge that the U.
government had a picture of my dick, I would be very pissed off.
Well, the good news is there's no program named the dick pic program.
The bad news is there are still collecting everybody's information including your dick pics.
What's the odd run on that last guy having sent a dick pic recently You don't need to guess.
I'll show you.
I did.
I did take a picture of my dick and I sent it to a girl recently.
This is the most visible line in the sand for people.
Can they see my dick? So with that in mind, look inside that folder.
That is a picture of my dick.
So let's go through each NSA Program and explain to me its capabilities in regards to that photograph of my penis.
So 702 surveillance, can they see my dick? Yes, The FISA-amendment act of 2008 which Section 702 falls under allows the bulk collection.
Of internet communications that are one-end foreign.
Bulk collection, now we're talking about my dick.
You get it.
- It's not what I - You get it, alright.
I do.
Right, because it's yeah, because it's anyway.
So if you have your e-mail somewhere like G-mail, posted on servers overseas or transferred overseas or any time crosses outside the borders of the United States, your junk ends up in the database.
So it doesn't, it doesn't have to be sending your dick to a German.
Even if you sent it to somebody within the United States, your wholly domestic communication between you and your wife can go from New York, to London and back.
And get caught up in the database.
Executive order 12-333? Dick or no dick? Yes.
EO 12-333 is what the NSA uses when the other authorities aren't aggressive enough or they not catching as much as they'd like.
For example: Because, How are they going to see my dick I'm only concerned about my penis? When you send your junk through Gmail for example, Yeah? That's stored or Google servers.
Google moves data from data center to data center invisibly to you without your knowledge.
Your data could be moved outside the borders of the United States Oh no! Temporarily.
When your junk was passed by Gmail, the NSA caught a copy of that.
Prism? Prism is how they pull your junk out of Google with Google involvement.
All of the different Prism partners People like yahoo!, Facebook, Google, The government deputizes them, to be sort of their little surveillance sheriff.
- They're dick-sheriff.
- Correct.
Upstream? Upstream is how they snatch your junk as it transits the internet.
Mystic? If you're describing your junk on the phone, yes.
But do they have the content of that junk-call or just the duration of it? They have the content as well but only for a few countries.
If you are on vacation in the Bahamas, yes.
And you need to remind yourself No, I'm just not sure what to do with this.
- It's a lot of - Just hold on to it.
It's a lot of responsibility.
It is a lot of responsibility.
That's the whole point.
- Should I? - No, you should absolutely not.
And it's unbelievable that you would do that.
Actually it's entirely believable 215 Meta-data? - No.
- Good.
- But - Come on, Ed.
They can probably tell who you're sharing your junk pictures with because they're seeing who you're texting with, who you're calling.
If you call a penis enlargement centre at 3 in the morning and that call lasted 90 minutes? They would have a record of your phone-number calling that phone-number.
Which is a penis enlargement center They would say they don't know it's penis enlargement center but of course they can look it up.
If the American people understood this, they would be absolutely horrified.
I guess I never thought about putting it in the the context of your junk.
Would a good take-away from this be: Until such time as we've sorted all of this out don't take pictures of your dick.
Just don't do it anymore.
No, if we do that, if we.
Wait, hold on, were you saying 'no'? Yeah You should keep taking pictures of your dick? Yes, You shouldn't change your behavior because of a government agency somewhere is doing the wrong thing.
If we sacrifice our values because we're afraid, We don't care about those values very much That's a pretty inspiring answer to the question: "hey, why don't you just send me a picture of your dick?" "Because I love America, that's why.
" So there you have it, America.
All of us should now be equipped to have this vital debate because by June 1st it is imperative we have a rational, adult conversation about whether our safety is worth living in a country of barely regulated government sanction dick sheriffs.
And with my work here done, there was just time to take care of one more thing.
Finally, congratulations on Citizenfour winning the Oscar.
I know you couldn't be at the ceremony for obvious reasons, so - Wow - I thought we'd celebrate ourselves.
That's, that's really something, thank you.
You're welcome.
What's the over under on me getting back home safely.
Well, if you weren't on the list before, you are now.
Is that like, uhm.
Is that like a f is that like a joke? Or is that actually possible? No, it's, it's a real thing.
You're associated now.
Just to be clear, NSA, I never met this guy.
So take me off your fucking list because I do not want to get stuck in Russia! I want to go home! I want to go home! I want to go home! I want to go home! Now, just for the record.
Just so you know.
We got in touch with the NSA, the national security council and the White House and we asked them to comment on the dick pic capabilities of each of the programs Edward Snowden just discussed Which, incidentally, were some very fun emails to write to government agencies.
They didn't wish to comment on the record.
And I can see why for every possible reason.
But that's it.
That's our show.
Thank you so much for watching.
Thank you for Edward Snowden.
We'll see you again next week.
Good night!
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