NSA Drone Attacks Not What You Think: Scahill

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Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) –- Investigative Journalist and Author Jeremy Scahill discusses his investigation that NSA Metadata & Geolocators are being used for drone attacks. He speaks to Cory Johnson on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg)

And i want to talk about the publication.

Maybe we can get to your academy award nomination with "dirty wars" as well.

You have come up with something that is near and dear to the technology company, the idea that technological intelligence only is being used by the nsa to order drone strikes.

I think a lot of people are under the perception that with the drone program, we know the individuals we are tracking and they're involved in acts of terrorism, and drone strikes are a better alternative to sending in u.s. military forces.

Documents provided to us by edward snowden -- but we determined is that in many cases , what the u.s. military or cia is using is the metadata provided by the nsa's satellite technology or fake cell phone towers that have been put on the bottom of drones that are used to track down sim cards or handsets of mobile phones.

In many cases, the u.s. does not know the identity of the individuals using these phones.

They simply have build a web of their social network tracking, and they are targeting people on the metadata.

Where was this phone, who is this phone in contact with, and if enough of the selectors art -- selectors are ticked off, this person can be targeted for a drone strike.

The notion that technology has its limits, right -- human intelligence versus signal intelligence.

Is this a mastery of signal intelligence, technology over human intelligence?

The u.s. going back to the beginning of the founding of the republican some form or another used signal intelligence.

It has always been a part of major u.s. military operations.

What we're seeing with the rise of the use of drones and the ability of the nsa to tap into fiber-optic cables around the world to penetrate mobile phone networks, track sim cards to within a few feet of the user -- we are entering an age of pre-crime, where people can have a profile built on them based on their usage of their computers, electronic devices.

Instead of knowing the identity of the individual, we are targeting them based on the activity there engaged in on the internet or with her handheld devices.

It also seems that what was once the sales of military businesses is a lot more of the companies we cover in silicon valley, the companies providing the tools for the research of the nsa.

This is a booming industry.

With amazon talking about using drones to deliver their products.

One thing we have seen is that as everything goes digital, from medical records to intelligence files, but we have seen with hackers and whistleblowers is that there is a cyber war going on.

On the one hand the u.s. can use these drones as a bombing alternative to sending in pilots.

I think it's just a matter of time before we see hackers, including those sponsored by nationstates, actually hacking into the u.s. drone program and redirecting these drones.

One other point is that more than 80 countries around the world right now have weapon iced drone technology.

Only the u.s., france and israel are known to have used these drones.

It's a matter of time before other nationstates use them, and that will cause a real debate on the morality and legality under international law of using this technology to kill people.

I want to talk about your publication.

"the intercept" is an interesting thing.

The ebay founder backing it.

Glenn greenwald has come to be known internationally for his breaking of the nsa prism story.

Talk about this publication and what you're trying to do and what the business model is.

The founder of ebay has wanted to get into the world of meeting for a long time.

At a time when glenn greenwald and myself about six months ago were talking with our colleague about building a news organization that would have inherently adversarial posture towards the stage when he came to violations of the first amendment and fourth amendment of the constitution, pierre omidyar reached out to glenn greenwald.

He said, i'm thinking of starting a news organization.

Would you guys want to collaborate in some way?

He did not envision building a news organization.

He wanted us to collaborate.

Glenn and i were in rio at the time and we said, let's pitch pierre on this idea that we can work with them.

At first we were talking about building this much broader picture news organization with sports and entertainment and politics and national security reporting.

What pierre and his team come up with a brilliant idea, that pierre will create several digital magazines that will each be led by seasoned reporters or journalists in that area, and they will build infrastructure around those individuals.

"the intercept" is the first site that pierere has launched.

You have got a movie, "dirty wars," nominated for an academy award.

Is this part of what you are doing?

We are in the beginning

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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