Meet the Press   |  December 15, 2013

Hayden: No deal with Snowden

A deal with Snowden that would prevent future leaks would only motivate future Snowdens, Gen. Michael Hayden says.

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>> in terms of the met adata of phone calls .

>> let me ask you about snowden because this is top of the mind for me. should there be any kind of deal for him, any kind of amnesty?

>> i would strongly oppose that. look, i know there is a great fear he's got a lot more out there.

>> will we ever know what he's got? the "new york times" says we won't this morning.

>> i don't know. i really don't.

>> what are the repercussions?

>> he seems to have a negotiating edge on us because he has this overhang in terms of negotiating. i wouldn't do it. i understand the attraction, but i wouldn't do it because that simply motivates future snowdens to do these kinds of things.

>> if the government has all this data, our electronic fingerprint, as it were, inside this haystack. is there a way to encrypt that data? i've heard you can encrypt the data, and if the government wants access to it, then they need a warrant, essentially, to crack the encryption, to be able to look at it.

>> first thing, it doesn't have all that data. the only place where we're really exhaustive or comprehensive is in the metadata of phone calls . i'm comfortable with it, but i understand others not being comfortable with it. i think the key, david, is what do you do with that data? how do you access it? under what provisions do you ask that data question? that might get the appropriate balance between privacy and liberty.

>> to protect the democracy, do we have to be less safe in order to preserve our freedoms?

>> yes. obviously. look, we can do more. and those who say it's a false choice between our liberty and security, those folks aren't responsible for either. we make these kinds of choices all the time. the thing that we have to do is make it an informed and mature choice so we understand what is reasonable and not reasonable based upon the totality of circumstances. look, david, the afternoon of september 11 , i changed some things at nsa within my authority but based upon my understanding as to what was reasonable and unreasonable that afternoon compared to that morning.

>> and the public does have to engage in this debate and make some decisions and put pressure on politicians as a result, whichever direction that goes.