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EDUCATION with Student News

Quick Guide & Transcript: NSA wiretapping debate, Google plays by China's rules

(CNN Student News) -- January 26, 2006

Quick Guide

Secret Wiretaps - Listen in on a speech that President Bush made at an ultra-secret government agency.

Palestinian Elections - Discuss how a changing Palestinian political landscape could affect the Middle Eastern peace process.

Great Firewall of China - Observe how Google is playing by a different set of rules when it comes to China's Internet.



MONICA LLOYD, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: We're so glad you tuned in to this Thursday edition of CNN Student News! I'm Monica Lloyd at the CNN Center. President Bush goes public defending a once-private program. Does eavesdropping on Americans endanger civil liberties, or protect us? A new color makes a splash on the Palestinian political landscape. How it could affect the Middle East peace process. And a pig lets herself go to the dogs. Which of these animals is not like the others?

First Up: Secret Wiretaps

LLOYD: Making his case: President Bush says a National Security Agency eavesdropping program helps prevent terrorist attacks and save lives. He talked about it at the agency's headquarters. Deanna Morawski tells us why the government's getting so much criticism, for something it says helps keep Americans safe.


DEANNA MORAWSKI, CNN STUDENT NEWS REPORTER: This is the super-secret spy agency in Maryland where President Bush spoke Wednesday to employees of the NSA, which is conducting the wiretapping program that's come under so much fire. In a public speech afterward, he continued to advocate the need for this kind of spying in an era of terrorism.

U.S. PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: The American people expect me to protect their lives and their civil liberties, and that's exactly what we're doing with this program. I'll continue to reauthorize this program for so long as our country faces a continuing threat from Al Qaeda and related groups.

MORAWSKI: News of the clandestine wiretapping became public last month... Igniting a firestorm of controversy. Who leaked the information to the media is still unclear... But here's what we do know: President Bush secretly authorized the program shortly after the September 11th attacks.

It allows the NSA to intercept e-mail and phone communications by people in America -- without a court-issued warrant -- as long as one party is outside the United States. And the program is limited to communications with people who the government says are known al Qaeda members or their affiliates. But critics say that using electronic surveillance on American citizens -- without a warrant -- is an abuse of power -- and illegal.

AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: What we do know about this pervasive wiretapping virtually compels the conclusion that the president of the United States has been breaking the law.

MORAWSKI: Critics say the eavesdropping threatens privacy rights and civil liberties. They argue the need for judicial checks and balances, adding that the courts have historically supported presidential requests for wiretaps that were important for national security. President Bush has vigorously defended the legality of the program, citing Article II of the Constitution... as well as a post-9/11 law in which congress authorized the president to use force against al Qaeda. A Senate hearing on whether he has the authority to allow the program - as he claims - is scheduled to begin in less than two weeks. For CNN Student News, I'm Deanna Morawski.


Word to the Wise


clandestine (adjective) kept or done in secret

source: www.dictionary.comexternal link

Palestinian Elections

LLOYD: Just like your parents vote for representatives and senators in Congress... Palestinians have chosen who'll represent them in their Parliament. But they weren't voting for democrats or republicans. Instead, Palestinians chose between two main groups: Fatah and Hamas. Fatah has been the dominant group for the last ten years. But it seems some Palestinians are ready for a change. Unofficial results show Fatah got about 46 percent of the vote. But Hamas, which the U.S. State Department says is a terrorist group, isn't far behind.. with 40 percent... That'll give it a strong presence in parliament. Zain Verjee tells us more about the two groups and how they each appealed to voters.


ZAINE VERJEE, CNN REPORTER: In the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, a sea of colored flags symbolized voters' main choices: Yellow for the Fatah Party -- founded as the Palestine Liberation Movement nearly half a century ago by Yasser Arafat. It became the ruling party when the Palestinian Authority was founded in 1994 -- and was not seriously challenged in the last parliamentary election a decade ago. A year ago, after Arafat's death -- Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas was elected Palestinian president by a landslide. Fatah won popularity during what Palestinians call the 'armed struggle' against Israel, but over the past decade it has participated in peace talks. Fatah's one-party rule has now won it a reputation for corruption and it has presided over increasing chaos. The green flags fly for Hamas -- the Islamic Resistance Movement founded in 1987. Its covenant calls for the destruction of Israel and it seeks a fundamentalist state. Its weapon of choice: The suicide bomber. Dozens of attacks have taken a heavy toll and Israel has struck back against Hamas leaders. But while Hamas is labeled a terrorist group by the United States, it has long had a political wing --winning a reputation among Palestinians for its social welfare activities. Hamas campaigned on a clean-government platform and won favor among many just by providing an alternative.



AZUZ: Time for the Shoutout!

Which of these countries has a communist government? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it:

A) Germany

B) Russia

C) China

D) Japan

You've got three seconds--GO! China's government is communist, which means it has total control over the country's politics and economy. That's your answer, and that's your Shoutout!!

Great Firewall of China

LLOYD: China's government also controls the media. Think about it: you're free to write an article in your school newspaper criticizing your own country. But Chinese students who do that, could be breaking the law. And they can't just visit any Internet site they want to-- the government controls that too. Mike Chinoy logs on with a look at how American companies like Google have to play by a different set of rules in China.


MIKE CHINOY, CNN REPORTER: The Internet is booming in China...over a hundred million users, a huge market for the world's Internet giants. But China's communist rulers are determined to control what's on the Internet. And now, Google is bowing to Chinese censorship regulations. It's launching a China-based search engine that will block information not approved by the Chinese authorities.

In a statement, Google said: 'In order to operate form China, we have removed some content from the search results available in in response to local law.'

DUNCAN CLARK, CHINA INTERNET ANALYST: Google has to comply with restrictions here to be in this market. There is a specific element with the Chinese government that the commercial interests of what will become the largest Internet market in the world, over the next say 5-10 years. Its already the second largest Internet population based. Companies cannot ignore their commercial instincts.

CHINOY: Even before Google's move, Beijing had constructed what's been dubbed the Great Firewall of China, to keep sensitive information out. So this is how it works. On this computer, I've brought up and I'm going to put in the name of one of the Chinese organizations the government hates the most: The Falun Gong spiritual group. There are 4,390,000 entries. The first one is Falun Gong's own homepage. There's another that's about Falun Gong's leader, further down others that are supportive of Falun Gong -- one from

Now I'm going to put the same name in at the Web site that's designed just for China and see what we get. This time there are 11,000 entries, but of a very very different character. The first one, Falun Gong

practitioners jailed for libeling the government, another outlawing the Falun Gong cult, another the Falun Gong's anti-humanity, anti-science anti-society nature; all parroting the Chinese government's line. A dramatic example of an American company is helping the Chinese authorities control the message that goes out to their people.

And it's hardly the only example. Last December, Microsoft shut down the Web site of a dissident Chinese blogger. A few months earlier, Yahoo gave Beijing the name of a dissident Chinese journalist. He got ten years in jail for his Web postings. Ironically, Google's Chinese kowtow comes as the company is resisting efforts by the U.S. government for access to its records. If they took the same attitude in Beijing, they'd probably be out of the China market as fast as the click of a mouse. Mike Chinoy, CNN, Hong Kong.



LLOYD: If you missed this week's broadcast of "Reach for the Stars," don't miss the encore! The story of Christa Mcauliffe, the first teacher to travel into space, will air again January 30th. has the show time and classroom materials you're looking for!

Before We Go

LLOYD: Before we go... Maybe your family has adopted a dog or two. So why shouldn't this pig be allowed to do it? The dogs' owner knew something was up when the border collie puppies, weren't eating their own food but they still kept getting bigger! Turns out momma pig was nursing them, along with her own kids. There's no word yet on whether they'll start oinking instead of barking.


LLOYD: You've got just one more day to go in the school week, and we hope you'll spend it with CNN Student News. I'm Monica Lloyd. More headline news is next!

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