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U.S. Surveillance Scandal; Syria's Chemical Weapons; Saudi Migrant Worker Abuse; Demanding Justice in Kenya; Drone Victims Speak; Pope's New Friend; Bolshoi Ballet Drama; The Deep Web; Heated Controversy

Aired October 31, 2013 - 08:00:00   ET



KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: There are new allegations about how the U.S. government monitors online communications. "The Washington Post" is reporting the National Security Agency has secretly broken into communication links to Yahoo! and Google servers overseas.

NSA Director Keith Alexander is denying the report. The chief U.S. security correspondent for CNN, Jim Sciutto, has more.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Explaining this simple hand-sketched drawing, complete with a smiley face may be a newly disclosed way the NSA is monitoring the Internet.

"The Washington Post," citing documents stolen and released by Edward Snowden reports the intelligence agency has tapped into the communications link, such as undersea cables connecting Yahoo! and Google data centers around the world. And because those links are overseas, they can do so without any oversight from the U.S. government.

The NSA chief delivered a partial denial.

KEITH ALEXANDER, NSA DIRECTOR: This is not NSA breaking into any databases. It would be illegal for us to do that.

SCIUTTO (voice-over): As did a written statement from the NSA to CNN, saying, "The assertion that we collect vast quantities of U.S. persons' data from this type of collection is not true."

But the NSA did not deny it access links between the servers or communications of foreigners carried on those links. The reaction from Google and Yahoo! was swift and angry.

"We have long been concerned about the possibility of this kind of snooping," said Google, "which is why we have continued to extend encryption across more and more Google services and links."

Yahoo! said, "We have not given access to our data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency."

Two European delegations upset at allegations of NSA surveillance in their countries met face-to-face with the White House and the NSA chief, who told them all NSA intel gathering in Europe is done in collaboration with European intel agencies.

So I asked them, does that make the Europeans hypocritical for criticizing the U.S.?

CLAUDE MORALES, E.U. PARLIAMENT CIVIL LIBERTIES COMMITTEE: We want to get to the truth of why there was mass surveillance. We have a set of allegations that talks about mass surveillance of our citizens.

SCIUTTO: By Americans and Europeans? Or just by Americans?

MORALES: Whoever it was, whatever partnerships it may have gained, whoever it was, we want to get to the truth of it.

SCIUTTO (voice-over): Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.


STOUT: Russia has criticized the European Union's response to the alleged U.S. surveillance. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says he believes world leaders know spying takes place.


SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): I find it rather dull to comment on that subject. I'm sure that to a large extent everybody knew everything, or at least could guess. And now all this noise is being made because it's been talked about publicly and it is not customary to talk about these things publicly.


STOUT: Russia, of course, has granted temporary asylum to the man who leaked classified information about the U.S. spying program. We'll take a closer look at the new allegations against the NSA with our regular tech contributor later in the show.

Now international inspectors report Syria has met its first key deadline as it moves to destroy its chemical weapons stockpiles. They say that they're satisfied that declared production facilities and equipment have now been destroyed. The Syrian government has agreed to eliminate its entire stockpile by the middle of next year.

For more, Frederik Pleitgen joins me now live from CNN Berlin.

And, Fred, the inspectors say that they visited 21 of the 23 sites listed by the Syrians. So what about the other two?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the other two sites, Kristie, were apparently in areas that were impossible to reach for the inspectors, contested areas, areas that are quite dangerous. The OPCW cited the security situation as being the reason why they were not able to make it to those two sites.

However they did say that the Syrians declared those two sites, and that the Syrians also declared that both of those sites had been abandoned and that the equipment in those sites had either been rendered unusable or had been taken away to any one of those 21 other sites that were visited by those inspection teams.

And the OPCW is saying that it's quite satisfied with the progress that's being made. The deadline by which Syria was supposed to have destroyed all of its production and mixing and filling equipment that it had for chemical weapons was November 1st, which is, of course, tomorrow. That deadline has already been met today.

And the OPCW is saying that this shows that Syria appears to be, at this point complying, and also that the whole Syrian state, the bureaucracy still seems to be working to a point where they can actually manage the destruction of their chemical weapons, Kristie.

STOUT: All right. The production facilities have been destroyed. Now destroying the weapons, that will come next. What are the challenges there?

PLEITGEN: Well, there's a lot of challenges. One of the challenges is that there are simply so many and so much tonnage of chemical weapons in Syria. Of course the country has one of the largest chemical weapons programs -- or had, since it's in the middle of apparently destroying it, one of the largest chemical weapons programs in the world.

One of the interesting things that the OPCW has said according to AFP is that it put -- it's put that entire stockpile, over 1,000 tons of chemical weapons under seal and that those seals appear to be tamper-proof.

Now what the Syrians have is mustard gas, which is a highly potent blister agent, very dangerous stuff. And then of course also sarin, which is apparently what was used in that attack in Damascus in late August of this year, and VX, which is by far the worst nerve agent that is out there and is also something that Syria has as well.

One of the positives that the OPCW has noted is that apparently most of these agents are in precursor form. They haven't been mixed to chemical gases just yet. And so therefore, other chemicals can actually be used to destroy the precursors instead of having to burn the actual chemical weapons once they've been mixed.

That's something that would take a very long time, where you'd have to build facilities. And that would also be very, very costly. So the OPCW says that it's still very much possible to keep the deadline that is out there right now of mid-August.

However, it's on board and the international community is going to have to approve a plan that the Syrians have put forward for the destruction of those chemical weapons . That is going to happen in the middle of next month, and then the destruction will most probably move forward.

Again, of course, the one variable in all that is the security situation inside Syria, of course, with that civil war going on, Kristie.

STOUT: All right. Frederik Pleitgen, giving us the progress report, many thanks indeed for that, Fred.

Now turning now to Saudi Arabia and a shocking YouTube video that's raising human rights concerns. It appears to show a Saudi man beating a domestic worker for speaking to his employer's wife. CNN cannot verify the video's authenticity but Saudi officials say that this case is under investigation.

International human rights groups have long condemned what they say is the widespread abuse of migrant workers in the country. Mohammed Jamjoom is covering the story for us. He joins us now live from CNN Beirut.


MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, it's an absolutely horrific video in which you see what appears to be a man, possibly a migrant worker, as he is repeatedly brutalized.

We must warn our viewers this is very disturbing and very difficult to watch. Saudi officials I've been speaking with say they're taking it very seriously but they still haven't found the person who's abusing the man in the video or the man who's been abused. Here's our report.


JAMJOOM (voice-over): The worker sits, scared and submissive. This slap, just the beginning of the physical abuse he's about to undergo. His tormentor, angered because he thinks the worker had spoken to his wife, is hard at work.

A man who Saudi government officials believe is from the kingdom, asks, "Why did you come here when she was here?"

"I swear I didn't mean it," pleads the man, who from his clothes and accent appears to be a migrant laborer.

"I swear to God I didn't know," he says.

To protect the victim, we blurred his face. But the agony in his voice makes his pain all too real.

It goes on like this for a while, all captured on video that went viral on YouTube. CNN cannot verify its authenticity.

Government officials aren't sure where it happened, but they're taking the allegations very seriously.

"Why did you call my wife?" asks the Saudi man.

"I didn't. I swear I didn't," cries the man. Then he's slapped again.

Condemnation has come as fast as the criticism has been fierce. The Saudi government-backed human rights commission tells CNN it has launched an immediate investigation, that it wants the abuser arrested and tried. But they're attempting to find and help the victim.

As awful as the incident captured on video is, it is not an isolated one. Global human rights groups have documented widespread abuse of migrant workers in Saudi Arabia in the past. One reason for that, the power is in the hands of the employers.

AZFAR KHAN, INTERNATIONAL LABOR ORGANIZATION: Nobody can come into the Arab states or in the Middle East without a sponsor.

JAMJOOM (voice-over): Azfar Khan with the International Labor Organization, tells me that means many of these workers are asked to surrender their passports which can make them vulnerable to abuse.

KHAN: What is lacking in the Middle East and many of these countries is that the workers don't have representation.

JAMJOOM (voice-over): It's a huge problem that only seems to be getting worse -- this latest case being a prime example.

The real brutality begins toward the end of the video.

"Sit down! Kneel down!" yells the Saudi man, as he begins to flog the victim with a belt.

The screams of "no" are bloodcurdling. Before the end, the Saudi man asks the worker if he wants to die.

Did the beating go on? What happened to the victim afterwards? Like the fate of so many abused and forgotten foreign workers, for now, hardly anyone knows.


JAMJOOM: Now Mohamed Mahdi (ph) with Saudi Arabia's human rights commission tells me that they really need to find out who did this; they want this person to be prosecuted, to be brought before justice.

And they want to help the man who was abused in this video. He says that what's key is to tell Saudi Arabia to send a message to the country, that this kind of behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated, Kristie.

STOUT: So will there be change ahead? I mean, what are the prospects for reform, for better human rights protections for migrant workers there in Saudi Arabia?

JAMJOOM: Look, the government of Saudi Arabia says that it's doing all that it can. Earlier this year, they passed the first domestic abuse law in Saudi Arabia. That was a law that had been reviewed for many years and it was passed by the cabinet in order to help protect women and children and domestic workers who are abused in Saudi Arabia.

But the problem there is very complex, because you have a sponsorship system in Saudi Arabia. You have, at the very least, 9 million domestic workers in Saudi Arabia, migrant laborers. That's over half the entire workforce in that country.

And they don't have that many rights. And human rights groups have completed about this for years because it is based on a sponsorship system.

So when a worker goes into Saudi Arabia or other countries in the region, they usually have to surrender their papers, their passports and they can do anything, get anything done unless they have the approval of the sponsor.

So if the sponsor is abusing them -- and it appears in this video as that - - as though that might be the case -- they have very little recourse. So rights groups are saying not only is it great that this law was passed, it needs to be implemented.

And workers there, we have very little recourse, need to have options and choices so that they can go and complain and go to court, do whatever needs to be done so that they are not abused any longer, if they are in that type of abusive situation, Kristie.

STOUT: That's right, including the migrant worker featured in that very, very disturbing YouTube video. Mohammed Jamjoom reporting for us, thank you.

You're watching NEWS STREAM. And coming up, outrage in Kenya. Rights groups say a teenage girl was gang-raped and her attackers walked free with little to no punishment.

A Pakistani family say that they were unintended victims of a U.S. drone strike and they are taking their message to Washington.

Also ahead, we are live in Moscow for the dramatic trial of a Bolshoi ballet dancer.




STOUT: Welcome back. You're watching NEWS STREAM and you're looking at a visual version of all the stories we've got in the show today. Let's go to Kenya where protesters have marched in Nairobi today. They are demanding justice for a teenage girl who was allegedly gang-raped.

According to rights groups, the 16-year-old was attacked by six men in June and outrage has been growing after reports that suspects in the case were ordered to merely cut grass as punishment and then released.

More than a million people have signed this online petition demanding the attackers face tougher penalties. This was set up by the campaign group of Oz (ph). Victims' rights groups say that sexual abuse is often treated as what they call a lesser crime by Kenyan authorities.

Senior international correspondent Arwa Damon is coverage this story from CNN Johannesburg. She joins us now live.

And Arwa, this rape has shocked the entire country, our viewers as well.

What response have you seen?

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's been a number of different responses on many levels. There was that demonstration that took place earlier today that saw upwards of 500 individuals converging in front of the office of the inspector general, chanting, "No to rape," chanting, "Justice for Liz."

That is the name that the 16-year old is going by. It's a nickname for her.

Her case is particular, especially horrific, not just because of the gang rape, but the fact that she was also thrown into a sewage ditch for dead. She was only found after some passersby, neighbors, heard her cries for help.

She is, according to Kenya's "Daily Nation," that's the paper that actually broke the story, currently wheelchair bound and is also suffering from some sort of bowel condition because of the rape and sexual assault that she had to endure.

But of course the rage goes beyond this particular case and it also even goes beyond the way that Kenyan authorities have handled, that you were mentioning earlier about how some of the perpetrators were allegedly brought to justice.

Three of the individuals were, in fact, identified but then they were seen cutting grass at the police station as a so-called punishment then later set free.

So at this stage, really no one is being held accountable. And that was really the spark that started this petition that's been signed by millions. The -- what sparked the protest that we saw earlier today.

Now Kenyan authorities are promising that they're going to take this case very seriously, that they are going to try to apprehend those who were responsible.

But women's rights' organizations are promising that they are going to keep up the pressure until there is an end to rape, until there is an end to this culture of impunity, whereby which the perpetrators of rape, sexual assault, are quite simply able to get away with their crimes.


STOUT: Will there be an end to this culture of impunity? I mean, just how pervasive is sexual violence in Kenya? And how do authorities usually handle reported cases?

DAMON: Well, here's the issue. Because of the stigma that's associated with rape and sexual assault a lot of the cases, in fact, go unreported. We do have a statistic we can share with you and our viewers, though. And this is according to a government report that was released last year in conjunction with the United Nations.

It says that at least 32 percent, Kristie, of Kenyan girls younger than 18 experience some form of sexual violence.

That percentage, though, likely to be much higher. There are also great concerns that are being brought up by women's rights organizations because when, in fact, these girls do show the courage to go forward and try to bring their cases to the police, they're not being treated seriously enough.

This is not a current priority for the Kenyan government. And that is why perhaps we're seeing right now with this most recent case being brought into the international spotlight is something of a grassroots movement to really try to put the pressure that would be needed for at least as an initial step to have Kenyan authorities take allegations of rape and sexual assault seriously, begin bringing those individuals to justice.

The bigger challenge, of course, though, is going to be trying to change the culture that exists around rape in a country like Kenya, a very male- dominated society, where men feel as if they have a certain amount of ownership over women's bodies. And of course eliminating the stigma that is associated with being a victim of rape.

STOUT: Yes, but this grassroots movement, as you put it, is a powerful one, with an online petition having, what, 1.2 million signatures on it.

Arwa Damon reporting for us, thank you, Arwa.

Now a journey for a better life, it turned to tragedy for dozens of people in Niger. The bodies of 87 people, most of them women and children, have been found in the Sahara Desert.

A non-governmental organization says many of the bodies were severely decomposed. It says that they died of dehydration after their vehicles broke down in the desert. They were apparently traveling to Algeria, fleeing poverty in Niger.

Unmanned drones are supposed to target suspected terrorists. But sometimes innocent civilians are hit. This young Pakistani girl and her family say that they were victims of one such strike. And they recently visited Washington to tell U.S. lawmakers about what happened to them. And Chris Lawrence sat down to talk with them.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She speaks in a soft voice, this 9-year-old girl who survived an American drone strike in Pakistan.

LAWRENCE: Were you hurt? Were you in pain?

NABILA UR REHMAN, SURVIVED DRONE ATTACK (through translator): My hand was hurt and when I looked to it, there was blood coming out. And I tried wiping it away with my shawl. But then the blood just kept coming out and coming out.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): The little girl and her family have come to Capitol Hill to tell members of Congress about the drone strike they claim killed their grandmother.

ZUBAIR UR REHMAN, GRANDMOTHER KILLED IN DRONE ATTACK (through translator): I remember that it was dark and I could hear my grandmother screaming. And it smelled very bad. And there was -- later I found out that my grandmother was blown to pieces. And then I felt that I was on fire.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): The family lives in North Waziristan, a tribal area of Pakistan. The strike killed the children's 67-year-old grandmother.

JEREMY BASH, FORMER DEFENSE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: They do not target women and children. They target terrorists.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): Former Defense Department official Jeremy Bash says missions are called off if the drone operators see civilians.

BASH: A mission can be deferred if a child or a woman comes into the shot.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): Bash says when it comes to targeting terrorists in that part of Pakistan, there's no good alternative to drones.

BASH: We can't send in tanks. We can't bombard the place with artillery. We can't send in B-2 bombers.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): But it's little consolation to children who've lost their grandmother and now have to go back to the constant sound of surveillance.

LAWRENCE: Are you scared? Are you angry?

NABILA UR REHMAN (through translator): I can see my family but we will be scared when we hear the drones coming over. I can't sleep at night.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): She's hoping that her trip to Capitol Hill will convince lawmakers to scale back some of those deadly flights -- Chris Lawrence, CNN, Washington.


STOUT: You're watching NEWS STREAM. And the trial for the Russian ballet dancer accused in an acid attack resumes today. We'll take you live from Moscow for more on the drama at the Bolshoi Ballet.




STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching NEWS STREAM.

Not many people can say that they have upstaged the pope. But one little boy did just that at a Vatican City family day. Jeanne Moos shows us how he stole the show.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JEANNE MOOS, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The pope was a kid magnet, getting hugs, poking noses, giving kisses with kids perched on the steps for Family Day in St. Peter's Square.

But one boy in particular caught not just the pope's eye but the world's. He left his seat and came to inspect the pope. Even kissed his cross before wandering off to explore the stage, but this 6-year old kept coming back to play peek-a-boo with the pope.

Standing alongside, like a papal guard, when the pope stood to speak, a cardinal tried to move the boy along, but he wasn't moving. When Pope Francis started shaking hands, he tried to break it up, then switched tactics, and began to usher others up to meet the pope.

MOOS (on camera): The pope sure does do a lot of head patting.

MOOS (voice-over): But this kid's hair tousling was followed by soulful eye contact and later attempted bribery. A security officer used candy to try to lure the boy to leave. The kid took the candy and stayed, hugging the pope's legs.

It turns out the boy was an orphan from Colombia -- South American like the pope. He was adopted a little over year ago by an Italian couple. Mom and Dad were out in the audience, separated from the adoption agency kids granted front-row seats.

After doing a few neck exercises, the boy made his boldest move yet, taking a seat in the pope's empty chair. This photo was Instagrammed out by the Vatican with the caption, "A special guest, with #PopeFrancis."

MOOS (on camera): At some point after he vacated the throne, the pope's shadow finally disappeared from the stage.

MOOS (voice-over): When the pope himself left later in his Popemobile, we half expected to see the kid at the wheel. He may not yet be a man, but on this day, he sure was the man -- Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


STOUT: You're watching NEWS STREAM. And still to come, we have more on the unfolding surveillance scandal. Take a closer look at accusations at the National Security Agency access data from Google and Yahoo!

And this star ballet dancer in Russia is on trial, accused of masterminding an acid attack.




STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching NEWS STREAM and these are your world headlines.

All of Syria's stock of declared chemical weapons have now been placed under a tamper-proof seal by inspectors. Earlier, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons says Syria had also destroyed all its declared equipment for making chemical weapons.

A U.N. Security Council resolution passed in September requires Syria to eliminate its chemical weapons arsenal.

Pakistani intelligence officials say three people have been killed in a U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan. It is the first U.S. strike inside Pakistan since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asked U.S. President Barack Obama to stop drone attacks. The three dead have not been identified but are believed to be militants.

In the last few minutes, an earthquake has shaken Taiwan. The magnitude 6.6 quake struck south of Taipei. There are no reports of damage just yet. I'll be going straight to Mari Ramos at the CNN Weather Center for a closer look at the affected area a little bit later here on the program.

Washington's National Security Agency is facing a fresh storm of criticism about its surveillance program. This time from the Internet giants Google and Yahoo!. According to allegations published in "The Washington Post," the NSA secretly broke into communication links that connect the company's data centers around the world. The NSA has denied the allegations.

Here is how "The Post" explained how the NSA is getting the data. It used Google as an example, say you're on the Internet using Google and you want to access GML or surf something. Those requests are received by Google's front end servers. They act as your single entry point to Google's troves of information.

The front end servers are connected to Google's cloud of data centers. This massive internal network is connected by private fiberoptic cables. Much of the communication between these data centers had not been encrypted. "The Post" says the NSA, working with British intelligence, can intercept data at this point. The operation is code named "Muscular."

That is separate from the previously disclosed Prism program which gathers data from major tech companies under court order.

Let's bring in our regular contributor, Nicholas Thompson. He is the editor of He joins us now.

And, Nick, first, why do this? As just mentioned, the NSA can already get access to Google and Yahoo! accounts through a court approved process, i.e. Prism. So why did it feel that it had to infiltrate Google and Yahoo! this way?

NICHOLAS THOMPSON, NEWYORKER.COM: Well, if we've learned anything about the NSA in the last few weeks, it believes that it should have access to all data and if there's some data that has to get through a court order, that's complicated. It takes time.

And if you can tap into all of the data and just grab whatever you want, then there's more there and it's easier to access.

What's so interesting about this is that they had a very good relationship with Google and Yahoo!. Google and Yahoo!, unbeknownst to users, were giving the NSA almost everything they wanted. And yet they still wanted more.

It's -- I compare it to somebody who you offer room and board to; you share your house. You let them in and then they rob you. They ransack your house. They're just doing everything behind your back, too.

So a very complicated relationship between the NSA and Yahoo! and Google right now.

STOUT: Now the NSA staff they drew a smiley face on that data file, showing the point where the agency intercepted the transfer of user data between Google data centers. I mean, they actually drew a smiley face. What does that reveal about the psyche and the thinking of those working at the NSA?

THOMPSON: It's incredibly juvenile and it shows a sort of disrespect for the possibility that you might get caught. It's the kind of thing you do if you have absolute total confidence that what you're doing is right and that what you're doing won't be exposed. It's sort of an internal joke for people at the NSA.

I mean, it's also -- it's also important though, from a technical reason; they drew the smiley face at the place where SSL encryption ends. So data -- at this time, this document is dated January 9th, 2013.

At the time, data was encrypted, then it was sent to Google's private cloud, as you showed in that nice diagram, where it wasn't encrypted. And that's what the smiley face was drawn for.

Now what happened in the spring is that Google encrypted all of that stuff in the cloud. So we don't know right now whether the program described in "The Washington Post" story with details dated January 9th, is still effective or whether the things that Google did -- Google and Yahoo! or particularly Google did in the spring have protected the data since then.

STOUT: And now that we know, again, according to this link, that the NSA through this Muscular program has spied on links to the data centers worldwide for both Google and Yahoo!, what kind of damage is it going to do to their businesses?

THOMPSON: That's an extremely important and interesting question, right? So Google and Yahoo! depend on trust of consumers. They depend on us trusting that our privacy is safe with them, they depend on the corporations who work with them, trusting that their data is secure.

And it turns out that people think that Yahoo! and Google and other American companies are vulnerable because, A, the NSA has working relationships with American companies; because, B, the NSA tends to target large companies and because, C, there have been these exposed weaknesses.

That's a huge problem for them because people might then say, you know what, I'm not going to use GML; I'm going to use something else.

Now if I worked for one of the companies, you know, I would make the case that, look, your data is even more secure because we've figured out. We're large companies. We can encrypt it better than the small companies. The NSA goes after everybody; there have just been a lot of stories about the big companies.

But customers, corporations are going to have to choose do they want to work with one of the large behemoths or do they want to use a smaller service?

So it's -- it is going to have an unknown effect on the business.

STOUT: And how is it that NSA staff were able to do this?

How is it that the NSA is so good, apparently, at hacking and surveillance when the government even build a proper health care website?

How is it that they can infiltrate Google and not do that?

THOMPSON: This is, to me, the most stunning part of it. We have this clear example of total government incompetence with the building of We have clear examples of government technical incompetence in almost all other regards. We know about Google and Yahoo!'s technical brilliance.

And yet it seems from these slides that NSA hackers, developers, were actually really, really good. So where did they get these people? Where did they hire these brilliant coders who were able to do so much? We don't know.

It's -- you know, over the last 10 years, people have been saying that the NSA's capabilities were weak because the young, the brilliant coders, the people who know everything didn't want to go work for the U.S. government. They want to work for private companies, or they want to make tons of money.

And yet somehow the NSA appears to have brought them in.

STOUT: It's incredible.

Now Google is now the game of catch-up to better encrypted data links, incredible story.

Nick Thompson, thank you so much for joining us. Take care.

THOMPSON: Thank you, Kristie.

STOUT: Now turning now to Russia, where the trial is resuming today for the Bolshoi Ballet dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko. Now he is accused of masterminding an acid attack on the famed theater's artistic director. And Dmitrichenko has pleaded not guilty.

But an alleged accomplice did plead guilty and says that he acted alone.

Diana Magnay is following the trial in Moscow. She joins us now live.

And, Diana, again, the trial has resumed. It is, I understood it, there are three defendants in this case. Bring us up to speed. What's the latest?

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kristie. Well, this is a trial which really exposes the layers of intrigue and bitter rivalries within the famed Bolshoi Ballet.

You do have three defendants in the dock, as you said, Pavel Dmitrichenko, who is accused of masterminding this horrific acid attack on Sergey Filin, who was the artistic -- is the artistic director of the Bolshoi. That attack happened back in January.

Now Dmitrichenko says that he wasn't responsible for it, that he basically had had a conversation he admits to with the second, a second defendant, Yury Zarutsky, when he completed about Sergey Filin and said that he didn't like his style of management, and that he'd like to see him roughed up.

But he says that Zarutsky then took the situation into his own hands and that his savage conduct had nothing to do with Dmitrichenko. The third man in the dock is a driver, Andrei Lipatov, who was accused of having driven Zarutsky to and from the crime, who's also pleaded not guilty.

And Zarutsky says I am guilty and that he acted alone, and that is possibly because he might get a reduced sentence if it's proven that he acted alone. The maximum sentence for these three men if found guilty is 12 years, Kristie.

STOUT: And also what is the latest known about the condition of Sergey Filin, the victim of this acid attack?

Will he be able to return to his role at the Bolshoi?

MAGNAY: Well, that's unknown as yet. Filin is due to appear in court to testify in court next Wednesday. He's been going through extensive treatment in Attan (ph) in Germany, massive surgeries on his face, on his eyes. He has managed to recover about 80 percent vision in one eye, but the other eye is still pretty bad. He can only see large objects apparently.

So he'll still be going to and forth for treatment and it's still unclear whether he'll be able to resume his role at the Bolshoi with this kind of limited vision. But he will be in court on Wednesday, which will obviously be a big next step in the trial and we'll keep you up to date with that. We'll be there to see if we can talk to him before or after.

This is a trial, though, which will be -- probably go on for another two months or so, and a trial of course which people in Russia are really watching very closely because of the savagery of the attack and because of what it reveals that goes on behind the scenes at this very famous ballet company.

STOUT: Indeed. Diana Magnay reporting live for us from the Russian capital, thank you.

Now coming up next, we'll be speaking to Mari Ramos about that earthquake which just struck Taiwan.

And then you may have heard about the closing of the underground website Silk Road. But that was just one small part of something known as the Deep Web. We'll tell you all about it right here on NEWS STREAM.




STOUT: Welcome back. Now earlier this month the FBI shut down an online illicit market called Silk Road. And the site, it was impossible to reach without using special security software, invisible to most web users. It's part of what's known as the Deep Web. Let me try to explain the Deep Web for you.

Now imagine that this is the Web that most people see and use every day. Now this Web is defined by one simple fact: search engines like Google are constantly crawling through all these websites, cataloging every link so you can find it.

But there's a part of the web that search engines can't or won't access, and that part is the Deep Web. It's not just websites that are intentionally hidden like Silk Road. Most of the Deep Web is mundane, databases holding things like flight listings or government records. And search engines aren't good at searching through databases.

So most of that remains in the Deep Web. And there's a lot of it. Estimates say that the Deep Web is far larger than the Web most of us interact with on a daily basis.

Let's delve further into the Deep Web.

Lev Grossman wrote about it for the recent issue of "Time" magazine. He joins us now live from CNN New York.

Lev, good to see you again. And first tell me now that we know what the Deep Web is, how can I access the Deep Web?

LEV GROSSMAN, SR. WRITER, "TIME": Well, one of the funny things about it is it's a lot easier than you think. All you have to do is download a software called Tor, which is at It takes about 2-3 minutes to download over a broadband connection and set up.

It is about as idiot-proof as you can imagine. It doesn't take a technical genius to get on the Deep Web. In fact, it's very simple.

STOUT: Now who built the Deep Web and why?

GROSSMAN: Well, one of the things that interested me about this story is that the Deep Web was originated as a government project. It came out of the Naval Research Laboratory and was sort of forgotten about in 1996, went online in 2003.

So the government built this thing. And now we have the situation that's come about where on the one hand, you have the government continuing to fund the maintenance of the Deep Web while at the same time criminals are using it, terrorists are most likely using it.

And you have other branches of the federal government, like the NSA and the FBI, trying to crack this thing, which was built and is currently even funded by the government.

STOUT: Can I ask why did the government build it?

GROSSMAN: Well, there I hasten to add, there are a lot of really good reasons for the Deep Web to exist. Intelligence agents use it; law enforcement uses it. Political dissidents in foreign countries use it. Journalists use it. There are many, many reasons why people want to be anonymous and untrackable on the Web.

Unfortunately, criminals like to be anonymous on the Web, too.

STOUT: That's right. I mean, the Deep Web is an ideal place for intelligence agents, for journalists, et cetera, for covert intel, but also for illicit activity, for drug dealers, hit men, et cetera.

Now if the U.S. government created the Deep Web, why is it so difficult for it to monitor it and to clean it up?

GROSSMAN: Well, interestingly enough, unlike the recent health care website disaster that we had, the government did a really good job. Well, the people who designed this thing did an incredibly good job of setting it up. It's elegant. It is borderline uncrackable.

One of the things that came out of the Snowden leaks earlier this year was that the NSA has been hammering on this thing for years and has made very little headway in getting in. It is just -- it's just too good.

STOUT: And in your article, you talked about when the Deep Web which was created by the U.S. government started to get corrupted.

At what point did illicit activity start to take root there?

GROSSMAN: Well, we don't really know, but pretty early on. This thing goes live in the formal way 2003, 2007 we start to see screenshots from jihadi how-to manuals explaining to people how to use Tor to hide what they're doing. 2006, I believe, was probably the first known drug dealing site that went up on there.

The things really took off in 2009 when you -- when you have the advent of Bitcoin, which is an online virtually untrackable currency. So not only can people navigate the Deep Web and nobody knows who they are, they can also buy things and nobody can track the money.

STOUT: Is that the reason why the Silk Road managed to thrive for so long? Because it was operating for, what, 2.5 years because of that double layer of anonymity through the encryption and also Bitcoin?

GROSSMAN: Two and a half years, almost a million customers, over $1 billion worth of drugs and other contraband sold. And yes, the secret of the Silk Road was a combination of the anonymity of Tor and the Deep Web combined with the anonymity and untraceability of Bitcoin.

It creates together this platform for illicit activity, which is unlike anything that we've ever had before.

STOUT: And after the fall of the Silk Road, what's next for the Deep Web? I mean, there's a lot of attention on it now. Will we see more illicit online marketplaces like Silk Road take its place? What will it look like?

GROSSMAN: That's exactly what we're going to see. One of the interesting things about the case against this guy who's been nabbed for setting up the Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, is he made a lot of mistakes. He didn't get caught because his model was bad. He got caught because he let traces of himself slip here and there; he was kind of an amateur.

He didn't really know what he was doing. But theoretically, you could do something like the Silk Road and if you did it carefully and properly and with some technical know-how, it would be very, very hard to stop.

STOUT: Lev Grossman, it's a fascinating article. I encourage everyone out there to read it online. Lev Grossman of, thank you so much for walking us through the Deep Web.

GROSSMAN: Thank you.

STOUT: Now let's get back to that earthquake in Taiwan that we told you about earlier in this hour. Here on NEWS STREAM, Mari Ramos joins us with a closer look at the area affected. I understand south of Taipei in Taiwan, Mari, what's the latest?

MARI RAMOS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Kristie, the (inaudible) of this quake has been revised by the U.S. Geological Survey now at 6.6. What you're looking at over here on this Google map is the area where the epicenter occurred. So there is no threat of tsunami because the epicenter was over land in this case.

You can see it right over here, Taipei about 160 kilometers to the north and east. There's that epicenter and the latest information from the U.S. Geological Survey 6.6 magnitude quake, about 45 kilometers to the south- southwest of Hilev (ph).

Now this, a quake was a relatively shallow quake just a little bit over 9 or just a little bit under 10 kilometers in depth. So that would have generated quite a bit of shaking here.

And as you can see from the shake map which is showing us right over here the areas where they have the most shaking, the darker oranges and even a little bit of that red that you begin to see pop up on this map.

Those are the areas that would have experienced a greater shaking from this earthquake. So there's a lot of towns and cities that dot this area.

What you're seeing now is a combination of the shaking and the population centers. These bars show us where the people live and you can see that, even though there was some pretty strong shaking, possibly even severe shaking as you can tell from our scale up to the north, up to the top of the screen, I should say, look at this.

There are some population centers along the valleys in this region, the larger population centers here to the north, those areas would have preceded it possibly maybe strong shaking. So there are no reports of damage or injuries.

One of the things about this part of the world is that most of the structures are built to sustain earthquakes of this magnitude. So we're not expected to see widespread damage from this. So that's the good thing.

There are some times in the U.S. Geological Survey mentioned this in their report, you can have secondary effects from earthquakes in this area. And one of the biggest threats -- I bet you can already spot it -- is because of the mountains, landslides are a huge concern in this area; this was some pretty strong shaking.

So the threat for landslides, especially around this area and Brandon Miller is helping me.

Can you put up the shake map once again?

In these areas right in here, that would be the areas where possibly we could see those problems with landslides. And we will, of course, keep you posted on this story if anything else develops, Kristie, that 6.6 earthquake, magnitude earthquake in Taipei, Taiwan.

Let's go ahead and move on. Let's go ahead and talk about something else. We have Typhoon Krosa making landfall in the Philippines earlier today. Landfall happened around 4:45 pm local time.

This picture just amazing. Here you see the northern island of Luzon right there near Santa Ana. You can see the eye of the storm making landfall, maximum sustained winds, that's winds wrapping right around that center of circulation, would have been close to 150 kph gusting to over 180 kph. So this is a very powerful storm system.

This is the latest satellite image. And you can see how it's made some progress here, across that northern tip of Luzon. Winds are still close to 150 kph. And you can see how widespread the cloud field is, even affecting that area that was just affected, rocked by that earthquake there in central parts of Taiwan.

The rain spreads farther to the south; it looks like Manila and the larger population centers will be spared from the storm. After that, moving into the South China Sea, still was a typhoon, could be a threat over the weekend for places across Southeast Asia, Kristie.

STOUT: All right. Mari Ramos there, thank you. Take care.

You're watching NEWS STREAM. And still ahead, a big stink about hot sauce. We'll explain why one city is feeling cool towards this iconic brand of chili sauce.




STOUT: Welcome back. Now when is it too early to worry about getting your child into a particular school? Well, here in Hong Kong, that race begins at birth. You can read a report on the fight for places at kindergarten at, right here on the home page.

Now I want to tell you about a heated controversy surrounding this spicy condiment. Some people call it rooster sauce because of the picture of a rooster on the bottle. Its real name is Sriracha after this town in Thailand. But the iconic brand, it was created by a man from Vietnam who moved to California and the company produced 20 million bottles last year.

And while it's a cult favorite among spicy food lovers, some people who live near the new Sriracha factory are finding it's not to their flavor. Miguel Marquez explains.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Call it Chiligate 2013, Sriracha hot sauce, its telltale green top and rooster on the bottle is in the hot seat. Complaints the smell emanating from its new plant in East Los Angeles is making people sick.

CELESTE GAMEZ, LIVES NEAR SAUCE PLANT: It smells more like pepper. It's very stinging.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Celeste Gamez, a college freshman who lives in the shadow of the plant, says the chili makes her sneeze and her throat sore. Others have completed the city of Irwindale of headaches and difficulty breathing. The city now filing injunction to force the plant to either fix the problem or shut down.

DAVID TRAN, OWNER, HUY FONG FOODS INC.: Now it seems like Irwin, they are not friendly to me.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): David Tran is the Vietnamese immigrant who turned the mix of red jalapeno peppers, garlic salt and vinegar into a multimillion dollar global brand. He says the plant, which was chosen to be built here by the city of Irwindale, cost $40 million and has state-of- the-art air filter, even taking the media to the roof to prove it.

At fault, its harvest and chili grinding time, truckload after truckload of the hot peppers brought in over a three-month period in the last week, the air quality department has logged 11 complaints, it sent an inspector finding no smells, no violations at the plant.

While Sriracha might look hotter than Hades, it's nowhere near, rating only about 2,000 points on the Scoville scale. That's about half where Tabasco sauce is and nowhere near the hottest chilies in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One, two, three.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Here's a man eating a Naga Bhut Jolokia chili, one of the hottest.

Sriracha's jalapeno, nowhere near that hot. And the new plant has brought needed jobs to the area, even those who suffer agree.

GAMEZ: If it's possible to fix the problem, then that would be best because even one of my friends recently got a job there.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): How hot is too hot? Now in the hands of a judge -- Miguel Marquez, CNN, Los Angeles.


STOUT: There's no problem. Got to love that hot sauce.

And that is NEWS STREAM. But the news continues at CNN. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is next.