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CONNECT THE WORLD

Nine Americans Killed in Afghanistan

Aired April 27, 2011 - 16:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: The U.S. suffers its bloodiest day in years in Afghanistan after nine Americans are shot dead by an Afghan military pilot. The Taliban say they carried out the attacks.

So how much have they infiltrated the Afghan security apparatus?

Also coming up tonight, millions of gamers at risk after their personal details are stolen.

So, what can we all do to better protect ourselves online?

And marching on to the big day -- preparations ramp up for the royal wedding.

These stories and more tonight as we connect the world.

I'm Becky Anderson live at Buckingham Palace with our continuing coverage of the run-up to Friday's big event.

More on that as we move through this hour.

We begin, though, tonight in Kabul, where an Afghan military pilot has turned his own gun on coalition partners, killing nine Americans. It's believed to be the worst attack of its kind in almost a decade of war. NATO says the pilot opened fire after an argument. But the Taliban call him an infiltrator and informant, claiming him as one of their own.

Nick Paton Walsh joins us now with details from Kabul.

What do we know at this point -- Nick?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, simply, this is one of the worst incidents in terms of American loss of life to hostile fire in, as you say, a number of years, really. In terms of this actual gunman, it's not clear whether he was Taliban or not. But we're hearing of increasing numbers of incidents like this, really. And the pressure is certainly upon NATO here, to seem to be on top of this issue.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WALSH (voice-over): Outside the Afghan Air Force compound at Kabul Airport, all was quiet. But inside, an Afghan pilot had shot dead nine Americans, eight servicemen and a contractor, after an argument inside a building close to NATO's main operation center.

"I'm here to ensure security," he says.

But behind these barriers, NATO's top officials were reeling from another case of an Afghan in uniform turning on the NATO personnel they're meant to be working with.

The gunman has been named as Ahmad Gul. He was 48, described as religious. He'd been a pilot for 20 years. The Taliban had claimed he was their sleeper agent. But his relatives deny that. His brother told a local TV station that Gul had mental and financial problems.

Even so, the Taliban has declared infiltrating the Afghan security forces as a priority and used police and army uniforms like these seized in raids around Kabul this month.

(on camera): Well, here you can see the scale of the problem. These were all seized in just one raid alone. And the police are telling us they have three more container loads, all of original army and police uniforms, that have been stolen.

(voice-over): NATO showed us their efforts to weed out insurgent imposters from the Afghan police -- a biometric system, fingerprints, for a country where documentation is shaky, at best, and even retina scans.

But even here, there's a problem. There are 181,000 police in this Afghan database, but only 125,000 in reality. A third of the records are inaccurate.

NATO were helping the Afghanis re-vet every policeman in the country in the next eight months. But with four attacks by men in Afghan uniforms in just a fortnight, it can't happen fast enough.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

WALSH: Well, trust between the Afghans and NATO troops is absolutely vital, not just in terms that they stay cooperation on the ground, but that larger, strategic picture of handing security over, in the country, to Afghans so NATO can withdraw.

And at the moment with these attacks and their unfortunate regularity, there's a sort of feeling, I think, that they're hamstrung until they seem to get control of this particular issue, in a -- in a race, really -- this is all extremely prescient -- to get the Afghans ready so NATO can contemplate withdrawing -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Our man on the ground in Kabul.

Nick, thank you for that.

Well, this comes in the wake of a string of so-called rogue attacks. Nine days ago, an insurgent wearing an Afghan Army uniform opened fire inside the Defense Ministry in Kabul, killing two. April the 16th, a suicide bomber, also wearing an army uniform, killed five foreign and four Afghan soldiers that are based in Jalalabad.

Well, and earlier, a suicide bomber in a police uniform killed a police chief in Kandahar. And also this month, two U.S. soldiers were shot and killed by a border policeman in Northern Afghanistan. And in February, two German soldiers were killed, either others wounded, by a gunman in an Afghan Army uniform. And then last year, last November, an Afghan border policeman killed six U.S. soldiers during a training mission.

Well, all these attacks raise troubling questions about security and the men being trained to take responsibility once NATO troops withdraw. Yet another wake up call came just a few days ago. You may remember the extraordinary prison break, when hundreds of Taliban inmates tunneled their way to freedom.

Well, the Afghan government says there's evidence that they had help from prison staffers, suggesting that it was an inside job.

Well, earlier today, when I was in our London newsroom, I talked about this with Abdullah Abdullah, a former Afghan presidential candidate.

And I began by asking him what's the extent of the Taliban infiltration. this is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ABDULLAH ABDULLAH, FORMER AFGHAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The recent examples are not encouraging, what -- what's happened in the Ministry of Defense or what happened today in the Kabul Airport or -- or the present situation with the president in Kandahar.

There is some level of -- of infiltration, I would say. But again, this could be corrected provided the people of Afghanistan are given a sense of direction or this government has a sense of direction. They are not mixing the enemy in place of a friend or a friend in place of the enemy.

And also, we're dealing with the countries which are supporting the Taliban are actually took us to be -- us to be very (INAUDIBLE) and our people should know about it.

ANDERSON: What sort of capacity do Afghan security forces -- and by that I mean the army, police, to a certain extent, prison officers -- what sort of capacity do they have at this point?

ABDULLAH: The prison situation that has been a remarkable sign of incompetence when it comes to the institutions, security institutions. But that shouldn't be taken as -- as the example to judge the whole capacity of the institution -- the institutions.

I would say that the Afghan National Army increased (INAUDIBLE), especially in the past two years, there have been remarkable progress as far as building these institutions are concerned.

But the problem is with the -- with the leadership in this country, which is giving confusing messages to our people, as well as the institutions. And the Taliban now are called their brothers by President Karzai. And these institutions, the Afghan National Army has to fight with President Karzai to be our brothers.

Then that -- there lies the big problem.

ANDERSON: Given the security situation in Afghanistan today and given the fact that the U.S. insists that the succeeded for drawing down troops, starting in the summer, is realistic, I wonder whether you agree with the States on that.

ABDULLAH: In regards to the transition and also to the timetable, my trying to emphasizing with the United States was that you have invested a lot in blood and treasure. So have the people of Afghanistan, in order to solve the new phase in Afghanistan in another for Afghanistan to -- to move toward the future, rather than going -- going back to the old days.

In order to -- to consolidate these achievements, really, you need to have clarity and the utmost whatever (ph) uncertainty about your presence here.

Are you here until tomorrow?

Because they -- the perception of the people differs from two extreme ends. One is that the United States is leaving tomorrow or the other one is that the United States wants permanent bases in Afghanistan. And in between, the people of Afghanistan are confused and the enemies of peace and stability in Afghanistan, in the region or within Afghanistan, the Taliban and terrorist organizations, they are taking advantage of this. And -- and we cannot utilize the main capital, which is in the people, which are supportive of the process, supportive of a engagement by the international community.

And they want a normal Afghanistan, rather than Talibanized Afghanistan.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, Afghanistan's former foreign minister, Abdullah Abdullah, speaking to me about the news out of Afghanistan today.

Well, we are coming to you live tonight from Buckingham Palace. You'll see it behind me, as we count down to the moment Britain's future king ties the knot. With just two days left, we've seen the final rehearsals today for a spectacle that guarantees unmatched ceremony. We'll get you a front row seat for that coming up.

And we'll investing the hacking furor surrounding Sony PlayStation -- what not just gamers, but all of us need to know about our online exposure.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well, the sun had not yet quite risen in London this morning when members of the British military hit the streets for a right royal rehearsal. Coming up, we'll bring you a preview of Friday's pomp and circumstance. And though it may be nice to look at, some feel this is all a little bit outdated. We're going to discuss the monarchy in the modern age a little later in the show.

I'm Becky Anderson in London.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.

It's just before quarter past nine here.

A look at the other stories that we are following for you this hour.

And the U.N. Security Council is currently holding a televised meeting to discuss the situation in Syria. This comes after the Council failed to reach an agreement on a statement about the growing violence in the country.

Well, then witnesses in the Syrian city of Daraa say terrified residents are staying inside, fearful of snipers stationed on rooftops. Now this amateur video reportedly shows tanks rolling toward the city, considered the center of the anti-government unrest.

Well, video shot earlier this week shows tanks inside the city. Witness report nine more deaths in Daraa today.

A Syrian human rights group says 447 people have now died in the uprising.

CNN, of course, can't confirm the authenticity of these videos. We are not able to get into the country at this point.

Well, Libyan rebels say that they've secured the city of Misrata, but regime forces continue to shell the city from the outside. Much of the Western Libyan city is now being called a wasteland. Misrata has sustained heavy damage during two months of fighting between Gadhafi loyalists and the rebels holding the city.

Well, in a surprise move, Barack Obama has made public his full birth certificate. The U.S. president released the document to end a two-and-a- half year debate over whether or not he was actually born in America. It's an issue that has been consistently fueled by the enterper -- entrepreneur, Donald Trump, and which Mr. Obama likened to a sideshow.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now, I know that there's going to be a segment of people for which no matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest. But I'm speaking to the vast majority of the American people, as well as to the press. We do not have time for this kind of silliness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, a rare move by a U.S. president, to be sure.

I'm joined now live by Ed Henry, who is at the White House -- Ed, is it all silliness or is this a legitimate constitutional concern?

ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think that certainly a lot of people here at the White House feel like it's an illegitimate question, that this was put to rest a long time ago, real quickly, during the 2008 presidential campaign, when this was first raised.

The president's campaign, as a senator, put out what was known as a certificate of live birth, not the actual birth certificate, for a simple reason. The state of Hawaii, years ago, decided not to hand out the actual copies of birth certificates. Instead, they keep those in a vault now in the state and give you this separate document you're seeing, a certificate of live birth. That is the actual real one that they released today.

Previously, they put out a smaller version of that that just gave you the raw facts that is considered a legal document in the state of Hawaii. You can get a driver's license, etc.

But there have been conspiracy theorists here in the United States who have insisted that this smaller version of the form, since it was not the real thing, was somehow a cover for maybe the president was born in Kenya or born somewhere else and thus, Constitutionally, would not be eligible to be president of the United States.

They have dismissed that here. There are some in the Democratic Party who believe it's really racism at work, that there are some people who just don't want to accept that an African-American is president of the United States.

And I can tell you, just yesterday, when I asked Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, about all of these questions swirling from Donald Trump and some other Republicans, he dismissed it and suggested it would be pointless to put out the real birth certificate, because conspiracy theorists will always keep asking more questions.

Then, 24 hours later, they put it out.

Why?

Aides basically say the president made the calculation enough is enough, let's end this silliness once and for all -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Well, let's see if that knocks it on the head or not.

All right, Ed, thank you for that.

HENRY: We will see.

ANDERSON: Ed at the White House, of course.

HENRY: Thank you.

ANDERSON: I'm here live outside Buckingham Palace 36 hours before the royal wedding. Excitement building and the crowds are growing. But not everyone is thrilled about the latest royal news or the existence of the royal family themselves, for that matter. We're going to debate the pros and cons of monarchy in a modern age.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: There we are live from Buckingham Palace all week, as the clock ticks down to Friday's royal wedding.

And joining me in the studio is my colleague, Max Foster, who's practically moved -- moved into this CNN work space in media city. He hasn't left in days.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Right.

ANDERSON: And Charlie Jacoby with us tonight, a royal commentator and journalist who's been reporting on the royal family nearly as long as the bride and groom, I believe, have been alive.

We're going to come to you guys in just a moment.

First, the sights and sounds of the morning 48 hours before the main event, a dress rehearsal of sorts on the streets of London.

CNN's Nic Robertson was there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The royal couple will emerge from Westminster Abbey over there and then they will be escorted by the Household Calvary, these troops on the horses here. They are lifeguards and royals in blues. Many of the soldiers on those horses there are front line troops served in Iraq and Afghanistan. And from Westminster Abbey, they'll escort the carriages around, past the houses of parliament, just around the corner, and left up Whitehall, toward Buckingham Palace.

It is about a 15 minute route march.

There are two carriages. One will take the royal couple. It will have the captain's escort. There will be 24 horse guards escorting one of the carriages with the royal couple. The other carriage will take the Queen and Prince Philip. And they will have about 100 soldiers and horse guards protecting them along the route.

The rehearsal is not just about practicing formation, pace and timing and knowing when to turn left and when to turn right. It's about what to do if the unexpected happens. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to be lining the route.

What will the soldiers do if somebody jumps over the barrier, if somebody gets excited in the crowd or there's a protest aimed at disrupting the royal wedding -- or worse still, a possible terror attack?

If that happens, then quite possibly, one of these soldiers could save the day, maybe even save lives.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ANDERSON: Nic Robertson on the streets of London this morning. He was outside Westminster Abbey, where the royal couple will be married at 11:00 a.m. on Friday. Set your clocks. After that, they'll make their way to Buckingham Palace. The route will take them past the houses of parliament and Downing Street, then through the horse guards parade. After that, a long straight shot down the royal mall, where people are already camping out for a chance to see the newly wedded couple. They really are.

And finally, to Buckingham Palace for two receptions -- two receptions. That's what they get in royalty. My goodness. An appearance on the balcony and, hopefully, a kiss.

(CROSSTALK)

FOSTER: Not confirmed still.

(LAUGHTER)

FOSTER: How can you believe?

ANDERSON: Di and Charles, of course, were the first to do that, weren't they?

CHARLIE JACOBY, ROYAL COMMENTATOR: They were.

ANDERSON: Yes.

JACOBY: Absolutely. Yes. They -- they -- they stood up there and everyone said they're not going to do it, they're not going to do it.

ANDERSON: Right.

JACOBY: And then they did it.

ANDERSON: All right, listen, guys, we saw the set up, the preparations for the actual sort of processions and stuff today and -- and the military. We also, of course, saw the royal couple go into Westminster Abbey...

FOSTER: We did.

ANDERSON: -- and for their rehearsal.

FOSTER: All sorts of callaba (ph) going on. There's all the police running around. And then there was bomb squad people checking the Abbey. And then they closed the whole area off. And then in these cars swept.

This is them leaving. And this was literally, I think, about 10, 15 minutes ago. So they were in there about an hour. So you had William, you had Catherine, you had Harry, you had all of the Middletons. They went in for an extensive rehearsal. We understand it's the last rehearsal ahead of the royal wedding.

Look at the crowds that, you know, they could only go in one way. There's no sort of back entrance. So everyone was there to see it.

ANDERSON: Charlie, you've done all this before, haven't you?

JACOBY: I have, yes. Births, deaths and marriages are my specialties.

(LAUGHTER)

ANDERSON: It's an amazing place, Westminster Abbey. I mean, you know, they -- it must be pretty intimidating for them as they went in tonight.

JACOBY: It is. It's not actually that big compared to St. Paul's Cathedral, where Charles and Diana got married. That held 2,900 people, whereas this is only going to have about 1,900.

ANDERSON: Ooh.

JACOBY: But it is turning, as you say, into a complete fortress at the moment, with police bristling and...

ANDERSON: How -- how does this compare to -- to weddings of the past?

JACOBY: It's got to be the one for the 21st century. But it's not going to be as big as Charles and Diana. And I think that's a conscious move. I mean that was a huge affair of state. That was a real show off affair. This is going to be big, no doubt about it. We might even get more -- more than the 600,000 people who line the streets out there to watch the wedding. But it's not going to be quite the same.

FOSTER: Don't you think there's more interest now, though, because of the media -- the bigger media, the Internet age?

JACOBY: Yes. But then there was a greater -- a respect in those days. We loved the royal family for being sovereign.

And now we sort of slightly think of them as celebrities, don't we?

So...

ANDERSON: Yes, we're going to do...

JACOBY: -- it's true.

ANDERSON: -- a bit more on whether we like the monarchy at all a little later in the show. And you guys are going to stick with me through the hour.

JACOBY: Of course we will.

ANDERSON: There are literally thousands of people involved in the preparations for the wedding. And there are just as many here and around the media village preparing to cover it.

I was out and about earlier to witness what is a truly international affair.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: This is a media extravaganza like none other. There are more than 9,000 journalists accredited from more than 60 countries around the world.

Now, the usual suspects are here -- the Brits and the Americans have got an enormous footprint. But the rest of the world has also got its lens firmly focused on the big event.

(voice-over): Meet Olivia. She's one of the team of 15 from the broadcaster, Sky Italia. She tells me the glamour has got the Italians all abuzz.

(on camera): What is the appetite at home?

OLIVIA TASSARA, SKY ITALIA: Italians are very excited. And I think they have never been so interested in (INAUDIBLE) than -- than today, because this couple is so young and Kate is very glamorous and modern and beautiful. And so that's very -- very interested them.

ANDERSON: The Swedes are here, too.

JONAS BJORCK, TVA: I'm heading to the Westminster Abbey.

ANDERSON: They celebrated their own royal wedding in 2010. So you might think that, frankly, they'd be a bit bored with royal nuptials by now. Not so, though, according to TV reporter Jonas Bjorck. He says the monarchy bond makes it all the more exciting.

BJORCK: And remember, last year, we had the marriage between our crown princess and a man who was a commoner. And now Britain is marrying a prince with a woman who is a commoner.

KATE AMARA, HEARST TV: Good morning.

So what we've...

ANDERSON: Kate is one of hundreds of American journalists covering the big day. Her role is what can only be described as a multi-media miracle.

(on camera): Just explain your role here.

AMARA: I am a reporter for 29 different television stations in the US.

ANDERSON: Do you ever get confused?

AMARA: All the time. We -- we have stations in Boston, Orlando, where Disneyworld is, California. They all have different names, different sign-outs, you know, this is Kate Amara reports, that kind of thing.

So what city it's in, what the weather is like, what time of day it is. We have a station in Hawaii. I do get very confused, very.

ANDERSON (voice-over): From Chile to China, it's clear this is an event nobody wants to miss.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ANDERSON: All right, it's (INAUDIBLE) to think how many hours of coverage the press pack here, chaps, are going to provide between now and Saturday morning.

It's remarkable, isn't it?

JACOBY: It is extraordinary, isn't it?

I mean there -- there's -- they're just stiff with foreign people. Extraordinary.

(LAUGHTER)

ANDERSON: We saw the BBC and -- and, you know, in -- in those -- there's hundreds, if not thousands, here.

But it is. It's a real international event, isn't it, for the media?

FOSTER: It is. And the BBC is reporting on all of the American networks being here. So what -- it's a bit crazy.

I -- we were trying earlier about how -- the international appeal of this. But, you know, I was speaking to a wedding guest. And she's known William since he was a little boy. And she just looked at me and she just does not understand it.

And people -- a lot of Brits don't understand the international interest.

Would you agree?

JACOBY: Absolutely. Yes.

FOSTER: Right. This is a...

ANDERSON: Why is that, do you think?

JACOBY: Well, they see a -- the British, particularly, see this as a template for, you know, the great country wedding.

But it's not, is it?

I mean it -- it's like something out of Hollywood.

ANDERSON: Right.

JACOBY: The way that the foreign media have treated this day is extraordinary, because you -- you see people coming in from China, from India, local stations who don't have royal families. And that needs to be explained before you get on to the bit about, you know, what's actually happening on the day.

ANDERSON: Are you surprised by how much interest this is?

JACOBY: Well, not after the -- the royal wedding of 1981. And, you know, the media is so much more fluid these days, so much more able to come here and broadcast. But -- but then again, the number of different countries out there.

ANDERSON: Charlie, you know the royal family well. I mean you've been covering them for years.

How will they feel about this attention?

JACOBY: I think they'll be -- the English word -- chuffed. I think they'll be delighted by all this, because this is -- this is a great showcase for them. It's a great platform for them to be on the stage saying, highway, this is what we're all about.

ANDERSON: And it's not like they didn't organize this, at the end of the day.

FOSTER: Yes, that's (INAUDIBLE)...

ANDERSON: It's not by chance this has happened.

FOSTER: -- oh, and it's so carefully orchestrated.

ANDERSON: (INAUDIBLE) for a month.

FOSTER: I know. And they very cleverly managed the process. And they throw you these bits of information. And we scoop them up.

But, you know, it's not -- in many ways, it's not all it -- it's not that much of a news stories. It's an event, so you -- what is there to challenge?

You know, we're -- we're talking about the wedding cake. You know, what is -- what color is it?

We're sort of a -- so we -- we need that information to (INAUDIBLE).

ANDERSON: It's not (INAUDIBLE), is it?

(LAUGHTER)

FOSTER: No.

ANDERSON: But it's...

(CROSSTALK)

ANDERSON: I'm not saying it's not interesting.

FOSTER: Well, we've got...

ANDERSON: I'm just saying it's a thing.

FOSTER: -- you know, there are certain debates, you know, the succession debate...

JACOBY: Yes.

FOSTER: -- and, you know, more -- but, you know, we are spoon fed this information and they've managed it, I have to say. I'm not complimenting them, but they have done it very well.

JACOBY: Well, I would compliment them. I -- I mean this is exactly how you need to run a royal family. And -- and we quite like them here in the UK. And so I'm pleased they've done it that way.

ANDERSON: Cute.

All right, stay with me, guys.

We're going to take an advertising break and pay for this.

All week, we've been asking you what are your plans for watching the royal wedding?

Well, one couple from right here in the U.K. actually told us that they are planning an all day celebration in the street.

Take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATT: Hello.

I'm Matt and this is Becky.

We live in Pinegate (ph) Warrington and we're having a street meet for the royal wedding on the 29th of April.

BECKY BYRNE, IREPORTER: We're also doing a street party for the little children. We're having a bounty castle at the block end of the cul- de-sac.

MATT: And I'm doing a band, a blues band, where everybody can come and try their hand at guitar, banjo, singing, anything they want.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Good on you, Becky Byrne for sending that.

And if you think you can outdo that couple, head over to iReport.com and tell us what you're planning. We'll use your videos as we move through this special coverage this week here on CNN.

Well, still ahead, gamers are left twiddling their thumbs after Sony pulls the plug on its PlayStation network. That may be the least of their concerns. You're going to see how some of their most sensitive information may have been swiped.

That coming up after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: A very warm welcome back. You're with CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson in London. Let's get you a check of the headlines this hour.

Military officials say eight US troops and an American civilian contractor are dead after an Afghan pilot opened fire at the airport in Kabul. The Taliban claim they sent the pilot on a suicide mission. The gunman's brother says he had no connection to the militants.

The UN Security Council is meeting on the situation in Syria -- these are live pictures coming to us from UN headquarters -- after failing to agree on a statement on the growing violence. The US ambassador said Washington condemns the violence in the strongest possible terms and called on Syria to end the crackdown. Meanwhile, a witness in the Syrian city of Daraa says conditions are growing worse by the day.

In Libya, rebel fighters have secured the center of Misrata, but Moammar Gadhafi's forces continue to pound the city from the outskirts. Meantime, UN investigators have arrived in Libya to look into possible human rights abuses.

Palestinian factions have taken a big step towards unifying their governments. Officials from Fatah and Hamas tell CNN they've reached an initial deal for elections and a new parliament. Hamas says key security issues are still to be -- have been resolved.

And Prince William and Kate Middleton spent Wednesday evening at Westminster Abbey for a private wedding rehearsal. William's brother, Prince Harry, and the Middleton family were among those attending.

Those are your headlines, here on CNN this hour.

Names, addresses, passwords. It's a nightmare. Possibly even credit card details, all compromised by what experts are calling one of the worst internet security breeches in years. Sony has taken its PlayStation network offline after a hacker broke into the system last week. Jim Boulden explains what millions of users may have to lose.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's known as PSN, the PlayStation Network. One of Sony's big draws to get people to upgrade to the PlayStation 3 was online gaming. Boot up a game like "Black Ops" and play friends and strangers around the world.

It's estimated 70 to 80 million people joined the PSN, but only a fraction of them needed to use a credit card to get, say, premium content. Or, as Sony hopes, use the PS3 as more than a game machine for teenagers. Plug in your credit card and you can stream or download films, hopefully for the company, a Sony film.

TIM INGHAM, "COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMING" MAGAZINE: Sony has positioned PlayStation 3 not as a games console. Indeed, it's come out and said that it doesn't see it as a games console, it sees it as an entertainment hub that sits in the middle of the lounge and provides movies, TV.

BOULDEN: But Sony now admits the PSN was hacked last week, forcing the company to bring down the network on the 20th. So, for days, Sony has made no money from the PSN, and it's taken nearly a week for Sony to inform users to watch out for credit card fraud.

NICHOLAS THOMPSON, "THE NEW YORKER": There's a real dilemma that companies face when they're hacked. Do you quickly tell everybody so they can take precautionary and defensive measures? Or do you wait and really try to figure it out?

BOULDEN: Sony also joins the list of companies facing a PR nightmare on the back of promises of secure online payment channels.

INGHAM: PlayStation Network is a hugely profitable part of, not only Sony PlayStation, but Sony itself. And online service are at the very heart of what Sony sees its ten-year game plan as an -- in entertainment. So, for it to pull the plug for a week is a really, really big deal.

BOULDEN: A big deal to its reputation and to its bottom line.

GAME ANNOUNCER: PlayStation 3.

BOULDEN: Especially if people start to second-guess just how safe these online payment channels really are. Jim Boulden, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: So, it begs the question, doesn't it? What can users do to protect themselves from a situation like this? Well, our next guest says absolutely nothing. Parry Aftab is one of the world's leading experts on cyber crime. She's an internet privacy and security lawyer and executive director of Wiredsafety.org.

I was hoping that you'd come up with something which would satisfy us all a little bit than "we can't do anything." We'd be naive to think that we can't protect ourselves out there.

PARRY AFTAB, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WIREDSAFETY.ORG: Well, I think we've been a little naive and, in some cases, we've been a little lax with our own security. So, while we wait for Sony to fix this, there's certain things we can to do to protect our other networks and our money in the meantime.

ANDERSON: Like what?

AFTAB: Well, notify your credit card carriers or PayPal, whatever system you're using to pay on the PlayStation Network. Let them know that you need to change those accounts and that they may have been compromised.

Make sure that you, when you go on your Facebook and other accounts, that you change your security sessions, logins, and passwords if you've used the same one for your Sony account as others.

And on Facebook, make sure that you use their new security settings that allow you to login and authenticate your devices, your cell phones, your mobiles, and your other devices, so that only those can access your account even if somebody else had your login and password.

ANDERSON: That's fantastic advice. Anything else we should be watching out for?

AFTAB: I think parents need to find out if they have a Sony PlayStation in their house. Many of them don't recognize it. And although Sony is now turning this into an entertainment hub, it is still largely used by teen boys and sort of 14 to 25-year-olds.

So, find out if you have one, find out if you have any information that could have been compromised, and reach out immediately and protect it. Reach out to the -- to your credit card and credit services and let them know that your account might have been compromised so no one else can steal your identity.

And make sure that you hold companies like Sony accountable for letting you know as early as possible when these things happen.

ANDERSON: Yes, Parry, stick with me for the moment. Many PlayStation users are steamed that it took Sony so long to explain exactly what had happened. Some say they are still not satisfied with the response. Have a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sony needs to make a bigger effort into helping out the PlayStation users, because they had said that they had sent e-mails to everybody on the PlayStation Network about the problem, but I personally have not even gotten one.

I had to be told by my friend that this has even happened, because right now in my school, I can't even get on the PlayStation Network anyway, so it wasn't a problem for me initially. So, I had to be told by a friend that this was actually happening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sony handled it so poorly that I'm definitely going to be concerned about my data in the future because there are only a handful of websites that I really give my debit card info to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Yes, they're pretty outraged, aren't they, Parry? They're right -- right to be outraged, aren't they? This is justified, isn't it?

AFTAB: They absolutely have a right to be outraged. It's like somebody calling and telling you that there's a burglar in your house, but there's a roadblock to keep you from going home to protect things.

They've shut down the network and, in many ways, communication. Now, there are laws in the United States and throughout the world with data protection services that require that you disclose early and a lot.

And I've even contacted Sony to get information to reach out through the charity that run, Wired Safety, and I haven't received a call back, nor have I received an e-mail on the PlayStation account.

So, what we need to do is make sure there's enough information out there, people know what to do, they're not afraid because this is the future.

ANDERSON: Yes, well, I hope you've been listening out there. Parry, we thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

AFTAB: Thank you, and this is a hacking --

ANDERSON: There's little doubt that they are -- excuse me. There's little doubt that they are in the global spotlight right now, but just how relevant is the British monarchy in the 21st century? Is it time to hand over the reins? Well, that debate, coming up after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well, on bended knee, these are the Williams, and these are the Kates. They hail from around Europe, Spain, Italy, France, and Belgium to name a few, and they've all been flown into London in the hope of being crowned the best Will and Kate lookalike.

Besides the best resemblance, judges also looking for the most royal wave. And from the Kates, the best toss of the bouquet.

For the record, the winning Kate was from Britain and the best William lookalike hailed from Milan in Italy. Why am I not surprised?

Well, here's a question. If William and Kate have children, a girl first and then a boy, which one will follow their father onto the throne? It may same archaic in this day and age, but the laws of succession here in the UK are very clear. Little brother gets priority over his big sister. But as Max Foster now reports, the British government is looking to make some changes.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They'd only just got engaged, but the question was inevitable.

TOM BRADBY, ITV CORRESPONDENT: People are bound to ask -- it's a bit of an obvious question but, children, do you want lots of children? Is -- see what comes? What's your --

HRH PRINCE WILLIAM OF WALES, UNITED KINGDOM: I think we'll take it one step at a time. We'll sort of get over the marriage thing first, and then, maybe, look at the kids. But obviously we want a family. So, we'll have to start thinking about that.

FOSTER: If they have a daughter followed by a son, the boy would still be first in line to ascend to the throne.

KEITH VAZ, BRITISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER: I think they're all sitting down praying that Prince William and Kate Middleton have a son first, because if they do, of course, there is no need to consider this for some time to come.

FOSTER: But the principle is still offensive to people, isn't it?

VAZ: It is, indeed. It's offensive to many people. It's offensive to me.

FOSTER: So, whether or not they have a boy or a girl first, it should change.

VAZ: Absolutely.

FOSTER: The problem goes back to 1701 and the Act of Settlement, which laid out who could succeed to the throne. It dictates what happens to this day.

FOSTER (on camera): What Keith Vaz wants to do is, effectively, update that ancient Act of Settlement, so he's proposed a bill. It's very brief. Here are the notes. In it, he suggests in determining the line of succession to the crown and to all the rights, privileges, and dignities belonging thereto, no account shall be taken of gender.

Now, he doesn't just need to get it through the parliament here in the UK. He also needs the support of every parliament in all 15 realms or countries where the queen is monarch. And so far, he has the support of just one. Here's the letter from the prime minister of St. Lucia.

FOSTER (voice-over): But the British government has now confirmed to CNN that it has been working on this matter behind closed doors. The cabinet office told me the government accepts there are provisions which could be discriminatory.

Discussions have started with those Commonwealth countries who would be directly affected by any change in the rules and are continuing. But it would not be appropriate to release details at this stage.

I understand that these discussions would also deal with the religious discrimination inherent in the laws surrounding succession. If William was Catholic, he could not succeed to the throne. He couldn't become king, either, if Kate had been a Catholic.

REBECCA PROBERT, LEGAL HISTORIAN: The reason that's bizarre is because you don't forfeit your right to the throne if you marry somebody who subsequently becomes a Catholic.

So, the act doesn't actually even achieve what it sets out to achieve. He could marry a Scientologist, a Satanist, a Muslim, or a Methodist, and that would have no impact whatsoever on his right to succeed to the throne.

FOSTER: There have been failed efforts to update these ancient succession laws in the past, and Buckingham Palace told me that it's a matter for government. Max Foster, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: A matter for government. We'll hear from the British prime minister, David Cameron, in just a moment. First, though, I want to bring in two guests. Emily Robinson is a staunch republican and Ian Roberts, joining me here tonight, as well, joining us from the British Monarchist League. Thank you both for being here.

EMILY ROBINSON, VICE CHAIR, REPUBLIC: Thank you.

IAN ROBERTS, BRITISH MONARCHIST LEAGUE: Thank you.

ANDERSON: To start off with, David Cameron today did make a statement, made his views on this succession debate very clear. I want you both to have a listen to what he said.

(VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER OF GREAT BRITAIN: Everyone in Britain would take a view that in the future, it is right that you shouldn't be disqualified from the throne if you marry a Roman Catholic and if your firstborn is a girl rather than a boy, they should be able to take the succession.

I think those things are things that should be settled for the future. But we always have to remember that she's not just our queen, she's the queen of 50 other realms around the world. And so, everyone has to agree to this. So, the process is underway.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Emily, you're not really interested in this debate at all, are you? Why are you so opposed to the monarchy?

ROBINSON: Well, I think in a way, this debate says it all, really. We're having this intense discussion about whether the son or daughter of Kate Middleton will be our future head of state. When there are all the millions of other little boys and girls out there who stand no chance at all.

And I think that's our fundamental problem, really. I think I would like to live in a country where every child growing up can aspire to the office in the country.

ANDERSON: You're a staunch monarchist, Ian. Why?

ROBERTS: I think for the exact opposite. The monarchy are head of state but, in truth, power is held by the prime minister, an elected official that --

ANDERSON: Then why bother with the royal family, then?

ROBERTS: Figureheads. Ceremonial figureheads that people can rally around. Like now, we're seeing people getting together, having street parties with family and friends.

ANDERSON: He makes a good point. You're having a street party.

ROBINSON: We are, but we're having a street party that shows you can do all of the fun things. You can make the most of the weather, hopefully, and the bank holiday. But you don't have to believe in inherited privileges to do that.

We're going to be celebrating democracy. We're going to be showing that you can be a patriot and still be a democrat.

ANDERSON: All right. Let's -- recent poll by ICM Research gives us an idea about how Brits feel about the monarchy. I want our viewers to know this, 67 percent of respondents say the royal family is relevant, while a third of the British public thinks the monarchy has lost its purpose.

And when asked how Britain would fare without a royal family, 63 percent of Brits believe the country would be worse off, 26 percent say better off, 11 percent don't know.

This support for the monarchy hasn't changed for decades. The republican argument isn't getting any stronger at this point. Certainly not getting any stronger support.

ROBINSON: Well it's a bit -- what I would pick out of that poll is that 26 percent of people think that Britain would be better off without the royal family, and among 18 to 24-year-olds, that's 37 percent. Now, that shows to me that we are making progress.

Also, I think there's a problem with polls in that a lot of people really don't think about the monarchy that much. They don't really care that much, and so we get an awful lot of don't knows, don't cares. Now, that isn't necessarily strong support for the institution, it's just a sort of -- we haven't really had this debate in this country yet.

ANDERSON: Ian?

ROBERTS: I think the biggest statistic going is no poll in this country. It is the United Nations human development index that clearly shows that out of the ten most-developed countries in the world are constitutional monarchies.

And the top three of those, the top three most-developed countries themselves, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, are constitutional monarchies. They -- they are --

ANDERSON: What's your point? I mean, it's --

ROBERTS: They are democratic, they are open, people can be educated, there's wealth among society, except if there's some poverty. But I think, really, what republicans say is ludicrous.

ANDERSON: Ludicrous?

ROBINSON: Well, I would say that this is -- quite getting cause and effect a little bit the wrong way around.

The reason that a lot of the democracies -- sorry, the monarchies are very stable democracies is actually because the reason that they were -- they've been able to retain the monarchy is because they have been so stable.

So, they haven't been challenged, they haven't been put to the test in the way that a lot of the other countries have. So, it's the stability that's allowed the monarchy to kind of carry on.

ANDERSON: Ian, people will say that the monarchy simply isn't relevant these days. What's the -- what's that poll that I just read out going to say in 50 years time, do you think?

ROBERTS: Who knows? I think none of us can see into the future, but I challenge my learned friend, here. Again, our monarchy has been challenged over centuries. We have -- we've had the Magna Carta, we've had the republican years. This is one of the reasons why we're so reticent about having the republican debate is because the republican government.

ANDERSON: Last word, last word.

ROBINSON: I just think that the hereditary principle is indefensible in the modern age. I think we can say that it's a great symbol of nationhood, but what is it saying about our nation? I think we want to live in a nation that believes in its citizens and believes that anyone can do this job, not just one family.

ANDERSON: And this staunch monarchist sitting beside me isn't even going to watch the wedding. He tells me he's going to climb a mountain in Wales. I'm not completely convinced of that, as big a monarchist as you are.

ROBERTSON: I --

ANDERSON: We've got to take a break, mate. Thank you guys for joining us.

ROBINSON: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Guests on Friday have been told to show up pretty early, so after the service there'll be a need of some canapes. Up next, what's on the menu at Buckingham Palace for the reception. Max Foster reveals all on that, at least. Stay with us. We are back in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Royal wedding cakes through the ages, there. Charlie Jacoby and Max Foster are back with me in the studio, here. Amongst British weddings I've been to, they cut a traditional fruitcake. I know you're going to do cakes for us in a moment, but I believe you're also an expert in royal canapes these days.

FOSTER: That's right, everything. I know more about this wedding than I do about my own. It's terrible, isn't it?

So, after the wedding, there will be a canape reception hosted by the queen in there, 600 people, all the senior people and close family and friends, as well.

And we went in and saw the chef preparing them all. Amazing little morsels. A canape is bite-sized. So, it's definitely not a buffet. It's very clear to us, it's not a buffet. A buffet is somewhere where you go to a table with a plate and pick it up. You have to serve yourself.

ANDERSON: Finger food, darling.

FOSTER: Yes. And we had a debate today about whether or not this is the wedding breakfast. We asked Clarence House, and there won't be a wedding breakfast. This is the canape reception. There'll be a dinner in the evening.

ANDERSON: I do believe there'll be a survivors breakfast afterwards, organized by Prince Harry, because after that reception, of course, Prince Charles, Charlie, is hosting a reception for the mates, effectively. And I hear that there's a breakfast about 6:00 in the morning on Saturday.

CHARLIE JACOBY, ROYAL COMMENTATOR: I think it is. Pares down as 1900, 600, 300 mates --

(LAUGHTER)

FOSTER: Yes.

JACOBY: -- and about five of them have taken a sandwich and that's all that's left.

ANDERSON: Last man standing. It's -- it's going to be a hell of a day. You've been inside here a number of times, I know. What will -- Max has been in and seen all the preparations as so far as the canapes or finger food is concerned. What else is going on in there?

JACOBY: Well, a superb facade behind us, isn't it? A lot of brick and a lot of port and stain, and behind that is going to be like a hive of bees right now. And I haven't been in in the run-up to this wedding.

But it -- as you saw, when you went in to see the cakes, there's going to be people practically but not quite running. They have this way of moving through the royal household, gliding across carpets as if they're mini hovercrafts.

(LAUGHTER)

FOSTER: Yes, the cakes, I know Fiona Cairns is making the main big, white wedding cake. But it's coming from somewhere out of London. And imagine the panic bringing it down. I don't know if it's all ready, but she's got to bring it.

It's very intricate, it's white with a modern twist. But it's got all these flowers all over it, which Kate has specifically requested. And they represent all sorts of different things. So, they're a certain -- there's a thistle, representing Scotland, and there's oaks representing oak --

ANDERSON: Bucklebury, I think, isn't it? Yes.

JACOBY: Yes.

ANDERSON: Acorns.

FOSTER: And England, yes. And it's all got this meaning. There they are, they're all being made, and we saw them being made. And it's going to be pretty spectacular. It's going to feed all 600 people at the reception.

But -- wait for it -- there's a second wedding cake. A groom's cake, which William has ordered. Made by McVite's. It's made by those -- you know, those rich tea biscuits?

ANDERSON: Ah, yes.

FOSTER: Mixed with chocolate. And we saw that being made, there you go. And it's an old family recipe, apparently. And he's grown up with it. And it's also going to be tiered and a great monster of a cake. So, there's 1200 portions of cake available.

JACOBY: They have got quite a sweet tooth, the royals do. And I bet the Prince William side of will, in as stately a manner as possible, make a lunge for the chocolate one with the biscuits.

FOSTER: That was going to be interesting, which one goes first. There'll be some competition there, isn't there?

ANDERSON: So, they're not cutting the McVite's cake. They'll be cutting the white one, I believe. Or I assume.

FOSTER: Well --

ANDERSON: Or maybe both?

FOSTER: Yes.

JACOBY: I'm sure they'll cut both. But they're -- and there you have it. Both sides, Catherine Middleton, quite traditional, quite fruitcake. Prince William, quite chocolaty, quite --

(CROSSTALK)

ANDERSON: Goes to the tower if you call her a fruitcake.

(LAUGHTER)

ANDERSON: Listen, they are --

FOSTER: It is a fruitcake, by the way. I needed to confirm that, because there's some debate about that.

ANDERSON: This is a very different wedding, isn't it, from that in the past? I mean, this is a much, much more modern wedding. And the impression, certainly, that they want to give is this is, they're sort of quite down to earth, the Middletons and Kate, particularly, has had a lot to do with the preparations. And that was very different from weddings in the past.

JACOBY: Quite more accessible now, isn't it? In the past, you'd have a royal naval chef, and you'd make cake and he'd order up special boxes so you couldn't see what was -- what, even, shape it was going to be. And then the boxes would be moved in front of the press, and that's all you ever got to see.

So, no. The whole thing is more accessible and more open. And quite frankly, more fun.

ANDERSON: Good. Guys, thank you. Always a pleasure. Thank you. Charles Jacoby with us, this evening.

Well, some folks who might well be in need of a few canapes are the fans camping out not far from this studio. Our digital producer Phil Han went to find out how they are getting on.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHIL HAN, CNN DIGITAL PRODUCER: Forty-eight hours to go to the royal wedding, and the excitement is unbelievable. You can see over my shoulder, there are at least three dozen people setting up shop. Let's go talk to a pair of them right now.

This is Jeanette and Gemma, and they're a mother/daughter pairing. Guys, you're here. What's it like?

GEMMA FREEMAN, CORNWALL RESIDENT: It's amazing. Great atmosphere, everyone's getting prepped up and excited, and all the press are here, and you can definitely feel the excitement of the royal wedding.

HAN: And why have you guys decided to come?

JEANETTE FREEMAN, CORNWALL RESIDENT: Because we love Will and Kate. We think they're going to make a great future for our country. We're really looking forward to them being king and queen. And we want to tell our grandchildren we were here. And it's just a wonderful atmosphere.

HAN: You've never done this before, so are you well-prepared.

(CROSSTALK)

JEANETTE FREEMAN: Well, we hope so.

GEMMA FREEMAN: We think so.

JEANETTE FREEMAN: We hope so. We'll tell you on Friday.

GEMMA FREEMAN: You come back on Friday and look at us then. But yes, I think so. We've got our raincoats and our sleeping bags, and our chairs, so I think we're OK.

HAN: And I'm going to talk to another guy, his name is Thomas. And he was actually present for the marriage of Queen Elizabeth II. Thomas, you've been to a lot of events. Is this one any more special than any other?

THOMAS MOORE, SALT LAKE CITY RESIDENT: I'm older and they're younger. Yes, great.

HAN: Does it get any easier?

MOORE: More fun.

HAN: What do you think this Friday's ceremony's going to be like?

MOORE: It's going to be a party. I think it's going to be a great, great, national party.

HAN: Well, it's probably going to be a party for them. How do you think it's going to be for you guys over the next two nights?

MOORE: Oh, a real party. We're already -- we've made friends with people I've never known. She's from East London, I'm from the United States, I'm from Salt Lake City. And we're having a great time.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Good stuff. Phil Han, out and about for you. Let's find out just very quickly what the forecast is for Friday. We're sort of 36 hours away at this point. A high of 17, a low of 10. Showers, it says, but some sun breaks. So, we'll take that. We'll take that rather than showers all day. I reckon the sun will come out for them.

Be part of CNN's global viewing party for William and Kate's royal wedding. Join Anderson Cooper, Piers Morgan, Cat Deeley, Richard, Quest, myself, Max, of course, as we all bring you every moment of the London celebration live. That is Friday at 9:00 in the morning, our coverage starts in London, 10:00 in Brussels and in Berlin, and whatever time it is in your part of the world, at that time, right here on CNN.

I'm Becky Anderson, that is your world connected this evening. Thank you for watching. The world news headlines and "BackStory" will follow this short break.

END