Does Obama Need to Scale Back NSA Surveillance?

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Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Good Harbor Security's Jacob Olcott, Riskive's James C. Foster and CIO and Chairman of Ritholtz Wealth Management Barry Ritholtz discuss the NSA and cybersecurity with Trish Regan on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)

In light of the allegations, does the president need to scale back the nsa surveillance program?

He will be faced with a lot of public interest to do that, especially from our friends overseas.

They will want to make positive steps to reduce the amount of spying apparently happening overseas.

Yet, isn't everyone doing this.

Doesn't it go both ways, can't we assume china, germany, russia, that they are trying to listen to us as well?

Everyone who has the capability to do this is doing it today.

Those that do not have the full capability are frustrated they do not have it.

They will throw their arms up and say this is not fair, not the right thing to do.

Lex it seems to me if everyone is doing it, we are running the risk of not doing it, being behind the curve?

The president will probably wait for the nsa review to come out before he makes any decisions.

What could he do right now to save face?

I think he is doing it right now.

Lex by saying he did not know this was happening?

You have to believe him first of all.

A lot of things we're doing from a country perspective that do not float to the top.

I think he is being completely forthright and truthful to say i did not know we were doing all these things.

The reality is intelligence since 9/11 has taken a major shift.

I think globally our competitors have done the same exact thing as us.

They have tried to take the race to intelligence.

This cybersecurity race, do you think it is an overall good thing for the world right now?

And can be dangerous.

It can have deep economic impact on american businesses.

It was conducted for cloud companies.

American companies can expect to lose 20-30 thousand in sales because of the nsa allegations.

Definitely something that will affect long-term business.

Let me ask you, what happens when germany's own wiki leaks person comes out and says snowden is not alone, i have information on germany, what then?

If that was a leak for the entire global capability, i think it would be really interesting.

As i listen to you, sounds like we are doing it, which means they are doing it, which means edward snowden is out there and likely to say something?

You would certainly think so.

Keep in mind, the united states has a much rotter private contractor approach to national security intelligence, defense.

You go to germany, their defense and intelligent networks are part of the government, not a series of subcontractors.

We have really gone through the weird process of either ti zink big swaths of the defense establishment, and that is how you end up with snowden leaking.

Normally you end up with a rogue private leaking, which is what we saw in the original wiki leaks.

I want to get to another discussion topic.

If your business -- you are a business and perceived as having a closeness, what does that do to your ability to sell around the world right now and are there examples of those misses of companies that do?

Certainly in the cloud environment you see a lot of pushback oversees about the connections that some american companies appear to have with the united states government.

Examples being, major cloud source providers doing business, whether it is microsoft, amazon, etc.? or google?

How much information is being shared back to the government.

One of the big questions.

It affects every business.

If you look at the reports that came out, over 76% of the businesses have been compromised.

That is small businesses, and medium businesses all the way up to the largest enterprises in the company.

If you have been compromised, the cost of operation and cleanup has now occurred.

Means your margins are going down and your cost of operations is going up.

This is hurting america.

Let's listen in briefly to the general.

What we have found again and again is absolutely inaccurate reporting.

If we are going to have this debate, and we should, we should do it on the facts that are presented before us.

If you have all done something wrong on the general alexander put it best, he knows we can bring out the wire brush him and we have done it.

The way we go forward is to make sure the programs are protected and the people who are taken the oath and are doing their best not be demonized in the process.

This is the time for leadership in a chaotic world.

Not the time to apologize.

That was not general keith alexander.

That was mike rogers, chairman of the intelligence committee.

What he seemed to be saying is there is bad reporting out there.

Is that suggesting the happy u.s. is not listening in on the 35 world leaders?

I think one of the issues is the oversight taking place in the government today.

What you heard from chairman rogers is the frustration level from congress about the administration disclosure over the years.

The fact is congress needs to do a much deeper examination of some of the policies and practices and techniques, such deeper than what they have been doing in the past to have the comfort level to go to the american people and say we know what is going on and approved.

Overall, edward snowden revealing this information, good or bad?

Awful for national defense.

The greatest compromise an american hate -- american secrets in the history of our country.

We will leave it there.

Thank you.

You are sticking with us for the

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