Internet Archive releases a treasure trove of NSA TV clips

All of your favorites are here, from President Barack Obama to Edward Snowden himself.


Kevin Collier


Published Oct 23, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 3:33 am CDT

Move over, Netflix and Hulu. The Internet Archive now lets you sift through the real must-see TV: more than 700 news clips about the National Security Agency.

Want to see what Bill Clinton has to say about the FISA Court? There he is on CNN, telling Fareed Zakaria that he believes their procedures should be made more public.

Want to see Director of National Intelligence James Clapper tell senator Ron Wyden (D-Oreg.) that the NSA doesn’t collect any information on millions of Americans—something Clapper later admitted was blatantly untrue? It’s there, in a C-Span broadcast from March, two months before former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked the court papers ordering such a program.

That’s right. All of your favorite are here to opine on the NSA, from Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) author Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), to President Barack Obama, to some of the few known clips of Snowden himself.

It’s a one-of-a-kind project for the Archive, television archive director Roger MacDonald said.

“We utilize closed captioning to research for relevant short clips,” MacDonald told the Daily Dot. It was a perfect chance to debut that technology, given that “digital surveillance is on everybody’s minds,” he said.

The timing of the program’s debut was intentional, MacDonald said. It’s just before the silk anniversary of the Patriot Act, which gave the legal authorization for the NSA to collect all Americans’ phone metadata. On Saturday—the actual anniversary—thousands of activists are expected to converge in Washington, D.C., in a rally to protest NSA surveillance.

Photo by kulturarvsprojektet/Flickr

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*First Published: Oct 23, 2013, 6:35 pm CDT