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Cell Phone Use and Your Privacy; Guess Jeans Has New Child Model; Seven-Year-Old Medical Marijuana Patient; Rice Meets with Lawmakers on Benghazi

Aired November 27, 2012 - 10:30   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Joining me is Parry Aftab, one of the first lawyers in the world to practice Internet law. I admire you because this is complicated, isn't it?

PARRY AFTAB, MANAGING DIRECTOR, WIREDTRUST.COM: It's very complicated, Carol. Good to see you again.

COSTELLO: Great to see you.

Let's talk about this Rhode Island case. It's before the state's Supreme Court right now. Is it likely that the justices will overturn that lower court ruling?

AFTAB: It's really unclear right now. And the courts are all over the place. And what we need to recognize is there is no guaranteed decision anywhere. And we have to now start looking at how we can protect ourselves and how we can arm law enforcement with the tools they need to protect us.

COSTELLO: So right now if a police officer came into my home and I was, you know, suspected of committing some crime, he could just confiscate my cell phone, look at my cell phone and take any information he wanted out of that phone and use it against me.

AFTAB: Well, he can take your cell phone. It depends on where you're located as to what information can be used and how far it can go. You've got to remember that if it's -- other than the 180 days on the third-party storage which in the case of Verizon or someone else that they're keeping it that long, would allow law enforcement to get that information merely on a letter saying it's relevant to an investigation.

They have to have clear grounds to be able to use that cell phone to find out what you're doing.

COSTELLO: So -- so how do I protect myself? Because in my cell -- and we have iPhones now, there's all sorts of information. And it's not just, you know, who you've called and who you received calls from.

AFTAB: It's what you do and who you talk to, and what you're buying, and pictures that you've taken, the people have sent you to. And GPS and through all of the apps, how much you've eaten, when you ate, when you took your medications, it's everything. And I think that's why the Senate is looking at this. This law is almost 30 years old. It worked very well.

And the Electronic Communications Privacy Act is in effect our federal wiretapping law. And what it said is electronic communications require subpoenas and warrants and court orders to get unless they're 180 days old and stored someplace else. No one in 1986 ever had the dream of what could happen to cell phones 30 years later.

COSTELLO: Oh you got that right. Will it be difficult for those lawmakers who you know want to put more privacy rules into place because the government uses cell phone records, you know, in cases against terrorists, to track down terrorists.

AFTAB: And we have those protections now. And you can subpoena Verizon, you can subpoena AT&T Wireless. You can subpoena Facebook and get this information. But it requires a subpoena. Now what we're doing is looking at what doesn't require a subpoena. What can you do without a court order or a warrant? Can law enforcement just pick it up and look at it, see what it says, and act on that. And that's really the issue here.

I suspect that the Senate will be looking at other ways of dealing with this maybe requiring subpoenas for records that were more than 180 days old. And you'll see a lot of the cell phone providers don't keep the records that long. Maybe this is one of the reasons.

COSTELLO: Maybe so. Parry Aftab, privacy and security lawyer joining us this morning. Thanks so much.

AFTAB: Thank you Carol.

COSTELLO: She's one of the new faces in the latest ad for Guess jeans. And guess who her mom is? We'll talk more about this and showbiz.


COSTELLO: Like mother, like daughter apparently. The late Anna Nicole Smith who used the Guess jeans ad campaign to help launch her career didn't live to see her six-year-old daughter step into her shoes. And yes, become a Guess Kids model.

Nischelle Turner joins us from Los Angeles. And I have such mixed feelings about this, Nischelle.

NISCHELLE TURNER, HLN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Yes. No, I feel you on that. I definitely do. We all remember those Guess jean ads for Anna Nicole Smith. And it's kind of like, well, guess who's in them now her daughter, Danielynn Birkhead. She is all of 6 years old, Carol. And yes, these photos now have people talking. We've been talking about it all day.

Not everyone is a fan either. Guess says that it's a first for them, having a legacy model for them. And it's been good traction and marketing because we have been talking about it. Now the ads look very innocent and very charming. So this little girl actually may have a future in front of the camera. But as charming as this story could be, there's a lot of people who remember how her mother could not keep it together in the public eye. And there is concern about what will happen to this little girl who, by the way, looks just like her mother. Now her father, Larry, is saying this was simply an homage to her mother and not a career move.

For now, she seems to be just being a little girl and that's what Larry says. He plans to let her just be a kid. Now I saw an article in the New York "Daily News" where her dad says that Danielynn wants to be a doctor, a birthday cake baker or and an owner of an ice cream truck. So that's good news because I don't know if the modeling profession has been decided yet.

She's just being a little girl at this point and that's good to hear. Because it is kind of scary when you look at her and she looks just like Anna Nicole Smith.

COSTELLO: Boy she really does. It's eerie. You're right. I don't know -- that second picture bugs me. Because what six-year-old girl leans on a pole -- on a branch? I don't know. It's just -- like that one doesn't bother me. But the second one does. Let's see the second one.

TURNER: Yes. You know -- it's --

COSTELLO: There it is.

TURNER: That one's -- that's the one -- that's the one you're talking about right there. Yes. There we go. That's the one you're talking about. That is a little more adult that -- than all the rest because the rest of them she's kind of playing in the sand and she's being a little kid, making funny faces. That one, yes, I can see where that could kind of bother you.

COSTELLO: Yes, OK. I just had to get that out. Nischelle Turner, thanks.

TURNER: I'm glad.

COSTELLO: Thanks, Nischelle, I appreciate it.

TURNER: All right Carol.

COSTELLO: For the latest in entertainment headlines, watch "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT", 11:00 Eastern on HLN.


COSTELLO: Could you imagine an education focused on marijuana? Well imagine no more because it's a reality. Humboldt State University in Northern California is holding interdisciplinary studies right now focusing on medical marijuana. It's being run by different professors and lecturers.

Medical marijuana is a hot topic now as more states allow its use and two states, as you know, they've approved the drug for recreational use. So here's a question -- "Would you let a first or second grader or any child use medical marijuana?"

Some family members in Oregon say yes. Seven-year-old Mikala Comstock has an aggressive form of leukemia. Mikala is a registered medical marijuana patient. Her mom gives her the drug every day. Not surprisingly, there are some, including her father, who have concerns about this. I mean after all, she's 7 years old.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now with more. And we wanted to get your opinion on this.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, you know the first question a lot of people are going to ask is, is this even safe to do. And this ends up being the crux of a lot of questions surrounding marijuana. What is hard from a purely scientific standpoint is that it's an illegal drug in the United States. So it's hard to do studies on a drug that's illegal.

So you often look to other countries to try and get data. And it's also -- and here we're talking about a child. So it makes it more difficult to do these studies in children. So we don't know a lot about the safety overall. We do know -- in Mikala's case, there are 51 other children in Oregon who are all registered to be able to get medical marijuana.

So she's not the only one. This is something that the doctors have obviously prescribed for not -- not just her but a lot of this --

COSTELLO: So -- so tell us how this -- how marijuana is administered. Because it's not like she's sitting down and smoking a joint, right?

GUPTA: Right. There's all sorts of different ways as well. And people are used to thinking of it that way. But it also can be in baked goods. In can be in a capsule form where you're actually taking some of the active ingredients THC is the ingredient people talk about quite a bit. It can give you that feeling of being high, but it can also, it's a very good nausea medication, for example.

And this is -- this is not anecdotal anymore. This has been proven in studies dating back to the 1970s. So people who are getting chemotherapy for example can take this to try and prevent the nausea associate with that so --

COSTELLO: So in Mikala's case, it did ease her pain. And some have even gone so far, I think she's in remission right now, right?

GUPTA: Right. Right.

COSTELLO: So some say that the marijuana helped kind of cure her leukemia. Is that possible?

GUPTA: Yes, you know, if you're talking specifically about its effect on the cells, I think that's harder to say. But all the other stuff, I mean chemo is a very toxic drug. Probably a lot more toxic than cannabis is. But all the side effects that you get from that, the marijuana, the pain as you mentioned just from the cancer itself, a lot of those types of things can be treated to some extent with -- with you know, the THC the way that she was getting it.

Now doctors will say are there other ways to do it that are less toxic, more -- have a higher impact. We don't know. In her case it seems to work and as I say in a lot of other patients who are young.

We do know in people who start before the age of 15 and keep doing it throughout their life even sporadically tend to have an impact later on in life. They lose about eight IQ points on average. Again these are hard studies to come by. That was a study out of the Netherlands.

But for adults who do this, you know, at past age 15 or past adolescence, certainly the long-term impact in terms of safety, there's not a lot really written to say that it's necessarily a problem.

COSTELLO: It's easy to sit back and criticize the parents in this case. Criticize the mom. But when you have a seven-year-old kid in terrible pain, you want to relieve their pain.

GUPTA: Yes. You know, and I read the whole article. I've been following the story. I don't know what the relationship is between the parents and the doctors here. There are clearly doctors in Oregon who think that this is a viable form of treatment. I'm not sure what -- where the communication breakdown is.

There is even FDA-approved of versions of this that can be given to adults as well as children. There are options for them. They're doing it a little differently. I'm not sure why that is. But as a treatment, though, in adults, I think we're beyond the anecdotal, beyond the sort of, you know, there's actual studies.

In children it's harder to come by. But again, you are getting more and more children part of these registries.

COSTELLO: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks so much.

GUPTA: Any time. Thank you.

COSTELLO: It is 45 minutes past the hour. Time to check our top stories.

Senator John McCain, he's been meeting with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, about what happened in Benghazi and what she said. Let's listen.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: -- it's overwhelming leading up to the attack on our consulate. The tragic deaths of four brave Americans and whether Ambassador Rice was prepared or informed sufficiently in order to give the American people a correct depiction of the events that took place.

It is clear that the information that she gave the American people was incorrect when she said that it was a spontaneous demonstration.


COSTELLO: Unfortunately, our live shot is freezing for some reason. You heard John McCain begin to explain what happened in that meeting between -- OK. We've got it going again. Let's listen.


MCCAIN: -- other Americans who are fully aware that people don't bring mortars and rocket-propelled grenades to spontaneous demonstrations.


MCCAIN: Are we going to -- go ahead.

COSTELLO: All right. Here's Lindsay Graham. Let's listen to the Senator.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: I'm more disturbed now than I was before that the 16th September explanation about how four Americans died in Benghazi, Libya by Ambassador Rice I think does not do justice to the reality at the time and in hindsight clearly was completely wrong.

But here's the key -- in real time it was a statement disconnected from reality. If anybody had been looking at the threats coming out of Benghazi, Libya it was jump out at you, this was -- an al Qaeda storm in the making.

I'm very disappointed in our intelligence community. I think they failed in many ways. But with a little bit of inquiry and curiosity, I think it would be pretty clear that to explain this episode as related to a video that created a mob that turned into a riot was far afield.

And at the end of the day, we're going to get to the bottom of this. We have to have a system we can trust. And if you don't know what happened, just say you don't know what happened. People can push you to give explanations and you can say I don't want to give bad information.

Here's what I can tell you, the American people got bad information on 16 September. They got bad information from President Obama days after. And the question is, should they have been giving the information at all? If you can do nothing but give bad information, isn't it better to give no information at all?

So my belief is not only is the information bad -- and I'm more convinced than ever that it was bad -- it was unjustified to give the scenario as presented by Ambassador Rice and President Obama three weeks before an election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator, can you support her as Secretary of State knowing that?

SEN. KELLY AYOTTE, (R-NH) ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: I want to say that I'm more troubled today knowing, having met with the acting director of the CIA and Ambassador Rice because it's certainly clear from the beginning that we knew that those with ties to al Qaeda were involved in the attack on the embassy. And clearly the impression that was given, the information given to the American people was wrong.

In fact, Ambassador Rice said today absolutely it was wrong. I don't understand the CIA saying clearly that that information was wrong. And they knew by the 22nd that it was wrong. Yet, they have not cleared that up with the American people to date in coming forward and saying that they were wrong, including the President of the United States having parroted also, talked about the fact that this was the reaction to a video, the attacks in Benghazi.

And what troubles me also is that -- obviously the changes made to the unclassified talking points were misleading. But just to be clear, when you have a position where you're ambassador to the United Nations, you go well beyond classified talking points in your daily preparation and responsibilities for that job.

And that's troubling to me, as well, why she wouldn't have asked -- I'm the person that doesn't know anything about this, I'm going on every single show. But in addition, the fact that it's not just the talking points that were unclassified but clearly it's part of her responsibility as an ambassador to the United Nations. She reviewed much more than that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator, can you support her as Secretary of State nominee? Can you --

GRAHAM: Before anybody could make an intelligent decision about promoting someone involved in Benghazi, we need to do a lot more. To this date we don't have the FBI interviews of the survivors conducted one or two days after the attack. We don't have the basic information about what was said of the night of the attack that's been shared with Congress as of this date.

So I remember the John Bolton episode pretty well. Our democratic friends felt like that John Bolton didn't have the information needed to make an informed decision about ambassador Bolton's qualifications, John Bolton to be ambassador. And Democrats dug in their heels saying we're not going to vote, we're not going to consider this nomination until we get basic answers to our concerns.

All I can tell you, that the concerns I have are greater today than they were before. We're not even close to getting the basic answers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator, what are you --


COSTELLO: All right. We're going to step away from this. As you see, those very powerful GOP senators were not very happy with the outcome of their meeting with Ambassador Susan Rice. And I believe if President Obama does nominate Susan Rice for Secretary of State, her road to nomination is going to be kind of a train wreck, at least, as it stands right now.

We're going to take a break. When we come back, we're going to go to the White House to see if we can get any reaction. Dan Lothian is there.


COSTELLO: Moments ago, three GOP lawmakers addressed the microphones. They were talking about a meeting they just left with Ambassador Susan Rice. They were trying to talk out what exactly happened when Susan Rice appeared on national television to talk about Benghazi. And you may recall she said that the Benghazi attack on that consulate in -- on that consulate in Benghazi, Libya was the result maybe of this anti-Islam film. It turned out not to be the case.

The meeting was supposed to smooth things over between Ambassador Rice and the senators. But as you can hear from Senator Lindsay Graham, don't think much smoothing over occurred. Let's listen.


GRAHAM: In real time, it was a statement disconnected from reality. If anybody had been looking at the threats coming out of Benghazi, Libya it was jump out at you, this was a -- an al Qaeda storm in the making. I'm very disappointed in our intelligence community. I think they failed in many ways.


COSTELLO: All right. Let's head to the White House now. Dan Lothian is there. If anything, Dan, it sounds worse.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it does. And keep in mind that these were meetings that were requested by Ambassador Rice herself. A chance for her to sit down along with Mike Morrell, the acting director over at the CIA, and sort of lay things out as they happened, you know, back when those Benghazi attacks occurred.

And coming out of the meeting as you have just been playing there, there are still a lot of concerns. The White House and the President in particular has defended Ambassador Rice for all of her hard work. Also defended the fact that the information that she gave out at the time was based on real-time information that they had gotten from the intelligence community.

It later turned out not to be exactly accurate. And what you're hearing from the senators is that because that information may have been murky at the time, that she and others in the administration should have had some pause and should have said, "Look, we don't know what happened. We don't have good information. So we're not going to give bad information out."

We're still waiting to find out if we can get any reaction from the White House to the latest development in terms of this tone from lawmakers. What we have seen over the last few days is sort of a ratcheting back of some of the harshest tones. Senator McCain had been out front, talking about how he would block a nomination of Ambassador Rice to Secretary of State. Keep in mind, there has been no nomination. She's at the top of the list to replace Secretary Clinton when she leaves the State Department. But no nomination has been made yet.

Nonetheless, there has been this firestorm. There has been this harsh rhetoric. But over the last few days, they pulled back a bit saying they want to listen, hear her out, hear her essentially defend herself. But after the meeting today, as you see there, they still have a lot of tough questions -- Carol.

COSTELLO: A lot of tough questions. Dan Lothian at the White House. I'm sure you'll continue to follow this story throughout the day. Thanks, Dan.

And thank you for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello.

CNN NEWSROOM with Ashleigh Banfield continues after a break.