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Government Surveillance; Energy Drinks and Children; Interview With Oregon Senator Ron Wyden; Energy Drink Makers Targeting Kids?; The Facebook Comeback

Aired July 31, 2013 - 16:00   ET


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: It's not just Big Brother watching you. If low-level analysts have easy access to your data, it's little brother, maybe even baby brother, too.

I'm Jake Tapper. And this is THE LEAD.

The national lead, it is perhaps the most invasive NSA spying program exposed yet, key store, e-mail content, Facebook, I.M. chats, all of it compiled into a handy, easily searchable database at the NSA. Is it being used on you?

Also in national news, how much coffee do you give your kids to help them get through the busy day? Before you answer, what about so- called energy drinks? I'm talking about brands like Red Bull and Monster. They're accused of marketing to your children.

And our pop culture lead, remember when everyone in Hollywood was adopting children from foreign countries? That trend is now so early aught. The status symbol in today's Hollywood is owning your own spy satellite. Wait until you hear what George Clooney is doing with his.

Good afternoon, everyone. I'm Jake Tapper. Welcome to THE LEAD.

We will begin with the national lead. We have been told over and over again that the NSA is not tracking Americans online or looking at the contents of our e-mails without a warrant, but guess what? They totally can do it anyway if they want to, according to yet another blockbuster report by Glenn Greenwald for "The Guardian" newspaper using more information from stranded NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Greenwald's report claims that NSA has a program caused Keyscore that stores virtually all of a user's online activity in a database. It's not supposed to be used domestically on Americans, but "The Guardian" says it could be without any prior warrant necessary. Your private correspondence, your political views, your health records, all of it could be in a database in a snap to search like pulling up client info in QuickBooks.

The news of Keyscore broke just as senator grilled some of the nation's top intelligence officials today about why they need such potentially invasive programs to keep us safe.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D-VT), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: The phone records of all of us in this room, all of us in this room reside in an NSA database.

I have said repeatedly just because we have the ability to collect huge amounts of data does not mean that we should be doing so.

TAPPER (voice-over): Strong words this morning as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee trying to understand just how the National Security Agency could know so much about private citizens and still go unchecked by those elected to represent us.

LEAHY: Government is already collecting data on millions of innocent Americans on a daily basis based on a secret interpretation of a statute that doesn't on its face appear to authorize this kind of bulk collection. So what's going to be next? When is enough is enough?

TAPPER: Just 10 minutes prior to this moment in the hearing, Glenn Greenwald, "The Guardian" journalist who brought the world the scoops about U.S. government surveillance programs leaked by Edward Snowden, broke another story, this one with the catchy headline NSA tool collects nearly everything a user does on the Internet.

It's called Keyscore.

GLENN GREENWALD, "THE GUARDIAN": The key to Keyscore is that it's a program used by the NSA to collect all Internet activity, everything they can collect, store it, and then allow their analysts, low-level analysts with access to terminals to search whatever it is they want and find out what your e-mails say, what Internet sites you visited, what Google search terms you have entered, and pretty much anything else you do on the Internet. It's an all-purpose spying device that really has no real limits.

TAPPER: Keyscore, it seems, may be the type of tool Director of National Intelligence James Clapper tried to rub away the memory of during his congressional testimony in March.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you could get me a yes or no answer to the question, does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?



CLAPPER: Not wittingly.

TAPPER: That, as Clapper later admitted, was not true.

GREENWALD: Lying to the Senate is every bit as much of a crime and a felony as anything Mr. Snowden is accused of doing, and so we ought to think about as a nation whether or not we're comfortable allowing our highest political officials to break the law, and not only not be prosecuted but not lose their job. TAPPER: Trying to play catchup in transparency, Clapper's office today released its own set of stunning documents, among them, a previously classified congressional briefing paper outlining the Patriot Act provision allowing for an early warning system involving logging all domestic e-mails and phone conversations of Americans, with this attempted assurance, only a tiny fraction of such records are ever viewed by NSA intelligence analysts.

But -- and here's where Greenwald's story today is really important -- the question is not whether they're viewed as an official policy, but whether they can be. Snowden told Greenwald yes.

EDWARD SNOWDEN, LEAKED DETAILS OF U.S. SURVEILLANCE: I sitting at my desk certainly have the authorities to wiretap anyone.

TAPPER: Though members and supporters of the U.S. national security apparatus disputed that.

GREENWALD: There's no question but that Edward Snowden has been completely vindicated by the documents and by the disclosures as a completely honest whistle-blower, one of the most significant whistle- blowers in American history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who double-checked Mr. Snowden?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, there are checks at multiple levels. There are checks in terms of what an individual might be doing at any moment in time.


LEAHY: They obviously failed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In this case, I think we can say they failed, but we don't yet know where.


TAPPER: The NSA did issue a statement in response to "The Guardian"'s report on Keyscore.

I want to read part of it -- quote -- "The implication that NSA's collection is arbitrary and unconstrained is false. NSA's activities are focused and specifically deployed against and only against legitimate foreign intelligence targets in response to requirements that our leaders need for information necessarily to protect our nation and its interests."

Just a moment ago we showed you a now infamous exchange between Senate Intelligence member Ron Wyden and the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, from March in which Clapper said the NSA was not wittingly collecting information on Americans. He later admitted that that was the -- quote -- "least untruthful" answer he could give at the time. Try using that line the next time you get into a fight with your significant other. Let us know how it goes.

I'm joined now by the senator from Oregon, Ron Wyden.

Thanks so much for joining us, Senator.

SEN. RON WYDEN (D), OREGON: Thank you for having me, Jake.

TAPPER: I know there's only so much you can say about "The Guardian" story today about the Keyscore program, but broadly speaking, the concern is that American data is being swept up in these vast reservoirs of information, and who knows what happens to it.

Do you think as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who is privy to this information, do you think there are enough rules to prevent anyone low-level intel analysts or anyone without a warrant from accessing this information?

WYDEN: Jake, here's what I can tell you specifically, because I can't get into the "Guardian"'s story.

What I can tell you is last December during the debate about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, I specifically spoke on the floor of the United States Senate about what is really called the backdoor search loophole in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

And that's a loophole that allows for the examination of phone calls and e-mails on Americans without a warrant. That's somebody that I believe needs to be closed and apropos of your conversation, I think this is a unique time in our constitutional history. I don't think we should let this time go by without striking a better balance between security and liberty.

TAPPER: You seem to be suggesting though that there are not constraints, not enough safeguards on who has access to this information that we all now know about?

WYDEN: I particularly believe that the bulk collection of hundreds of millions of phone call records on law-abiding Americans is a very substantial invasion of privacy.

When you know who somebody called and when they called and where they called from, you have basically been establishing a human relations database. For example, if you know that someone called a psychiatrist twice in the last 36 hours, once after midnight, you know a lot about that person. And it could have great implications for them, say, with their employer.

TAPPER: The director of national intelligence, Mr. Clapper, released some information today. And there seemed to be two significant items in what he released.

One is about this bulk e-mail collection program that operated until 2011. Intelligence officials had said they shut it down on their own, though it was you and Senator Udall who pushed for it to be shut down. You have said in the past that intelligence officials gave statements about the value of this bulk e-mail collection program, statements that were not true. With today's declassification by Clapper, can you say with any more specificity what wasn't true in the assertions that these officials were making about bulk e-mail data collection?

WYDEN: I can't get into the details, but let me be very specific about what concerned Senator Udall and I.

In the document that was declassified today, it talked about how the bulk collection of e-mail was a vital capability. That was the specific language used by the intelligence community. And Senator Udall and I believed early on that that was not the case. We kept pressing the point. We were able to show that it was in effect worthless.

That's the reason that it was eliminated. And yet the intelligence community, when they first described it a few days ago, they said it was for operational reasons. The fact of the matter is, Jake, on issue after issue, too many of the leaders in the intelligence community have not just kept the Congress in the dark.

The Congress have been given inaccurate statements and in effect been actively misled.

TAPPER: Another line of defense from Clapper is that they scoop up tons of information, but it's OK because they have rules about how to access it. Now, you have said there are a couple issues with that, first that the scooping itself violates privacy.

But, second, there are questions about whether there have ever been any violations. Friday, intelligence officials acknowledged in a letter that there have been some violations. With today's declassified information, can you shed any new light on what these violations on Americans' privacy were?

WYDEN: I can't get into those details, but again I will try to add a little bit of context.

First, those violations that the intelligence community, General Clapper specifically referred to, were violations of court orders, Jake, violations of court orders with respect to the bulk collection of the phone records.

So when you hear somebody from the community say there aren't any violations, we will point to that one very specifically. Second, what was stated in the letter to Senator Udall, myself and 24 other United States senators in my view didn't fully portray the extent of the problem. The problem is in my view significantly more troubling than was represented by the intelligence community.

TAPPER: All right. Senator Ron Wyden, we have been talking about this issue for weeks. We have wanted you as a guest, and we are going to continue to come back and try to get you on the show to talk more about this very important issue.

WYDEN: We will do it again.

TAPPER: Thank you, Senator. Appreciate it.

WYDEN: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: Coming up, move over, Joe Camel. Energy drink companies are being accused of intentionally marketing to children. Is this stuff even safe for your kids to drink?

And, later, have you had your daily dose of propaganda today? No? Well, then you might want to start following the new Instagram account of Syria's murderous dictator. Stay with us.


TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

In more national news, they go by names like Rockstar, Monster, and Full Throttle. They promise to make you feel good. And some of their commercials have even featured cute little cartoon characters like this one. I can't possibly imagine why anyone would accuse energy drink companies of marketing to kids.

Right now, the Senate Commerce Committee is grilling executives from Rockstar, Red Bull and Monster in a hearing on whether their companies are intentionally targeting young people.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Insisting to us they don't market to children. Take a look at that cover. That's a 12-year-old boy on that cover. Enzo Lopez is a motocross athlete. He's been signed by Red Bull to promote their product.

Do you think that he appeals to older people? He appeals to kids his own age. That's what it's all about.


TAPPER: And joining me now is Dr. William Spencer. He's the legislature of Suffolk County, New York, and he successfully stopped energy drink from sending free samples to kids in his county. He also testified today on Capitol Hill.

Dr. Spencer, thanks so much for being here.


TAPPER: What made you first get involved in this?

SPENCER: Certainly. In my town, I'm a physician, ear, nose and throat doctor that takes care of a lot of children. And what I've seen is just an alarming increase in emergency room visits that are associated with caffeine intoxicity.

TAPPER: Really? Like what happened? How bad does it get?

SPENCER: Well -- TAPPER: Just from drinking too much?

Kids, what happens to them?

SPENCER: Certainly, children are more vulnerable, different metabolisms. But they're really more susceptible to becoming jittery, anxious, and sometimes what happens is that they confuse these energy drinks with sports drinks. And so, when they're thirsty, when they take one of these beverages in order to rehydrate, they're actually dehydrating themselves further.

TAPPER: A spokesman for the energy drink industry says that there has been no evidence tying these drinks to adverse health effects in children. Do you disagree with that?

SPENCER: I disagree strongly. We've seen over the past five years nationally a tenfold increase in the amount of emergency room visits --

TAPPER: Directly related to drinking these drinks?

SPENCER: Directly related to caffeine, and many times these drinks.

TAPPER: When you say caffeine, I mean, are -- sometimes are these kings drinking coffee? Are these drinks more dangerous than coffee?

SPENCER: Well, they are, because these drinks they keep increasing the concentration of caffeine, but they also have other additives that in a way potentiate the effects of caffeine. So the concern is that with coffee, coffee is large volume and it's hot and you have to ingest it slowly, where a lot of times these drinks are consumed very rapidly.

And also, before competing, where a lot of times, you don't drink coffee and then compete, but you may run around on a soccer field, after an energy drink.

TAPPER: Lastly, you come from New York, the state of Mayor Bloomberg. How would you respond to those who say this isn't your job as a doctor, it's not your job as a legislator, this is the parents' job?

SPENCER: Absolutely. I think that's my point exactly. My concern is with a deceptive message, when you say energy -- it's not energy, it's a stimulant. When parents are confusing these drinks with sports drinks, and when the companies are marketing directly to children with free samples, they're shifting away the parents' focus, taking away the opportunity to parent. And when I see a deceptive practice on an unlevel playing field, I feel as a public elected official, I have a responsibility to get involve.

TAPPER: All right. Dr. Spencer, thanks so much for being here.

SPENCER: Thank you. Thanks for the opportunity.

TAPPER: We should mention we invited representatives from the three leading energy drinks companies to appear on THE LEAD. But they declined. And they did not release a comment. The American Beverage Association has said in the past that data on ER visits linked to energy drinks do not include information on the overall health of the person who was hospitalized.

Coming up, like, like, like, like. You can bet on seeing some pretty excited status updates from Facebook shareholders because despite a rocky road, the company's stock is suddenly skyrocketing.

And later, while the tabloids want to know who actor George Clooney is dating, we're more interested in how he helped buy a spy satellite.

Stay with us.


TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Now, it's time for the money lead.

Wall Street had all the -- will they or won't they tension of an episode of moonlighting today. But after shooting at more than 100 points at one point, the Dow ultimately failed to break the closing record, ending the day about down 20 points. Of course, if you're a Facebook shareholder, you're probably thinking record-shmecord. That's because their stock rose above $38 a share today for the first time since the social network went public.

So what helped Facebook claw its way from laughingstock to surging stock?

CNN's Zain Asher is live in New York.

Zain, what gives?

ZAIN ASHER, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Jake. Well, it's all about mobile advertising after Facebook's IPO last year. The company struggled to find a way to make money off of mobile uses. But as you saw in the earnings report last week, it looks like they've finally done it.


ASHER (voice-over): After slightly more than 14 months, investors who bought Facebook stock at $38 a share have broken even.

It was supposed to be a home run, a "can't miss" investment for the lucky few who were able to get in on the ground floor. Within days, the stock had sunk. But since then, Mark Zuckerberg has gotten married, dipped his toe into politics, and philanthropy, signing Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, giving pledge to one day give away more than half of his fortune, which is growing right along with Facebook's share price.

The Facebook comeback accelerated last week after its second quarter earnings report exceeded all expectations. Shares have surged about 40 percent, since the release. Since the IPO, the company has worked to move ads from the side of its page and into the news feed, making them more mobile friendly.

DAVE KERPEN, CEO, LIKEABLE MEDIA: So, people are seeing the ads the same way that they see their friends' updates: And that's what's gotten a lot of great responses for advertisers.

ASHER: How effective the ads are depends on Facebook's 1.1 billion users, 819 million of whom now use the mobile app every month.

A year ago, Facebook was getting less than 15 percent of its ad revenue from those mobile users. Today, it's 41 percent, enough to turn one of the Facebook's biggest naysayers into a Facebook shareholder.

MATTHEW MCCALL, PRESIDENT, PENN FINANCIAL GROUP: I was probably one of the harshest critics of the IPO and of the stock. And I was telling people to stay clear of the stocks. However, as the company changed, as they move to making money off mobile ads, it then became a very attractive stock. It actually became extremely different company.


ASHER: And Facebook's soaring shares have been a big boost to Zuckerberg's net worth. He is, of course, the company's largest shareholder. According to "Forbes", his net worth increased by no less than $4 billion over the past week alone -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Zain, thanks so much. Fascinating report.

Coming up, most Americans get two precious weeks off, and that's if they're lucky. But Congress was about to skip town for a five-week vacation. Well, they call it a district work week. But they're leaving behind a massive to-do list when they go.

And this just in: George Zimmerman is back in the news. Again, we'll tell you why he was stopped by police.

Stay with us.


TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

The world lead as nations around them burn, Secretary of State John Kerry sets a goal for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. With carnage in Syria and chaos in Egypt. Why now?

The politics lead. Two more days before summer vacation for Congress. President Obama may have bus tickets ready for them. Details of a visit to Capitol Hill that reportedly got testy action, and there wasn't a Republican in sight.

And a buried lead -- a stunning portrayal of President Richard Nixon by Richard Nixon, and his top aides. Home movies hidden for 40 years reveal the man behind the victory signs in a new CNN film that's getting a ton of buzz. (MUSIC)