Video Clip of Former Director of NSA and CIA: “We Kill People Based on Metadata”

In a public debate with Just Security‘s David Cole at Johns Hopkins University, former Director of the NSA and CIA, General Michael Hayden made the provocative remark, “We Kill People Based on Metadata.” In a post on Saturday, David used Gen. Hayden’s statement as a pivot to discuss shortcomings in current congressional efforts to reform the NSA’s metadata program. Below is a 45 second video clip from the debate. Shortly preceding the clip, David quoted former NSA General Counsel Stewart Baker’s statement that “metadata absolutely tells you everything about somebody’s life. If you have enough metadata, you don’t really need content.” Gen. Hayden refers directly to that statement in his remarks.

The full video of the John Hopkins debate between David Cole and Michael Hayden is available here. 

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Ryan Goodman

Co-Editor-in-Chief of Just Security, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, former Special Counsel to the General Counsel of the Department of Defense (2015-2016). You can follow him on Twitter @rgoodlaw.