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CONNECT THE WORLD
A Week of Erratic Presidential Behavior; President Trump Slams Jewish Democrats as Disloyal; U.K. Prime Minister in France After Visiting Germany; Wildfires Burning at a Record Rate in the Amazon Rainforest; How Our Data is Being Weaponized for Political and Financial Gain; Ethics of Big Tech Data Under Fire in Netflix Film. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired August 22, 2019 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson, live for you from London. And we
start this hour some with choice words from the President of the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am the chosen one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Taken alone, maybe not so unusual for this President to a self- aggrandizing turn of phrase on his fitness to confront China on trade. But that strange almost biblical proclamation was not an isolated force.
Earlier, he basked in the praise of a right-wing conspiracy theorist who called him the second coming of God. He told a World War II hero that he
wanted to award himself the Medal of Honor. And finally, he put a bow on the day, by contradicting his own statements on gun reform and taxes.
Should we just chalk this up to Trump being Trump or something more. "New York Times" quotes former administration officials who say the President's
erratic behavior stems from new pressures. Fears of an economic recession getting louder, potentially harming his re-election campaign.
Let's get to Joe Johns at the White House. Joe, I guess there is a question here which needs answering. Is there method in what many see as
the U.S. President's madness at present?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well frankly no one knows what's in the mind of President Trump, Becky, as you know. And we've tried
to read tea leaves before. But the "New York Times" article there may be onto something in that as we approach an election year, so many things that
might not be deemed political can be seen through a political lens.
For example, not just questions about the economy but also there's a lot of talk -- as you mentioned at the top there -- about religion. There's been
talk about gun control and the NRA. Gun control as well as Evangelical people as well as Catholics helped propel the election of Donald Trump in
2016. And now there are concerns from polls and other places that he might have more trouble with those groups this year, that may be part of the
JOHNS (voice-over): President Trump seizing the spotlight, sending mixed messages and contradicting himself on issues like gun legislation.
Oh, I happen to have protect for background checks. We're going to be doing background checks.
JOHNS: Yet sources tell CNN, Trump had a long conversation with NRA leadership the day before and is standing by gun lobbyists.
TRUMP: We also have to remember the gun doesn't pull the trigger, a person does. And we have great mental illness.
JOHNS: The President also stoking outrage by repeating an anti-Semitic trope.
TRUMP: If you vote for a Democratic, you're very, very disloyal to Israel and to the Jewish people.
JOHNS: Claiming this about previous criticism.
TRUMP: It's only anti-Semitic in your head.
JOHNS: President Trump also tweeting out a comment from a conservative conspiracy theorist writing. Thank you to Wayne Allyn Root for the very
nice words. President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world not just America. Like he's the King of
Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God.
The President going as far as using biblical terms to describe himself.
TRUMP: I'm the chosen one. Somebody had to do it. So I'm taking on China. I'm taking on China on trade. And you know what? We're winning.
JOHNS: And taking aim once again at his predecessor.
TRUMP: So Russia outsmarted President Obama. President Obama and others brought the families apart. But I'm the one that kept the families
JOHNS: But that's just not true. Separations were rare under the Obama administration. The Trump administration has only intensified family
separations at the border. Also, on immigration, the President ramped up rhetoric on constitutionally guaranteed birth right citizenship.
TRUMP: You walk over the border, have a baby. Congratulations, the baby is now a U.S. citizen. We are looking at birth right citizenship very
seriously. It's frankly ridiculous.
JOHNS: The question of a possible recession.
TRUMP: I'm not looking at a tax cut now. We don't need it. We have a strong economy.
JOHNS: That's not what Trump said Tuesday.
[11:05:00] TRUMP: Payroll tax is something that we think about and a lot of people would like to see that.
JOHNS: And the President's using a familiar insult to again attack Denmark's Prime Minister after she dismissed his idea of buying Greenland.
TRUMP: I thought the Prime Minister's statement that it was absurd, it was an absurd idea was nasty. I thought it was inappropriate statement. All
she had to say is no, we wouldn't be interested.
JOHNS: The Danish Prime Minister joins a long list of political opponents or critics of the President who have been referred to as nasty. That
includes Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the President's opponent in the last election here in the United States, as
well as Elizabeth Warren, who is a Democratic Senator from Massachusetts. But not just women, a number of men have been described as nasty by the
President as well -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Joe Johns out of Washington for you. Thank you, Joe.
Well, Mr. Trump doubling down on his claim that American Jews are being disloyal, he says, to Israel if they vote for Democrats. Let me remind you
of exactly what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well critics calling out the U.S. President, accusing him of regurgitating anti-Semitic tropes. The Jewish Democratic Council of
America says he's trying to weaponize and politicize anti-Semitism for political gain. Here is how he responded when a reporter challenged him on
what he's been saying.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Jews vote for Democrats, are they being disloyal to Israel is that what you're saying?
TRUMP: Oh, I say so, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Isn't that anti-Semitic?
No, no, no. It's only in your head. It's only anti-Semitic in your head.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Two guests join us to discuss all of this now. CNN political commentators Ben Ferguson and Peter Beinart. Ben, accusations of
disloyalty have been made against Jews including Europe in the 1930s and the AP sort of reporting on this today as others. Fact is, Ben, as the AP
point out, false charges of disloyalty have led to Jews being murdered, jailed and tortured. Do you support the U.S. President trading in anti-
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think he's trading anti- Semitic stereotyping. I think he is being honest about the reality now of the Democratic Party (INAUDIBLE) they will refuse to condemn their own
members who attack Israel as being racist. Those are the words of Representative Tlaib. Omar and Tlaib they both (INAUDIBLE) for Israel and
say they are repressed (INAUDIBLE) racist. Say that they are bullied. That they shouldn't by on (INAUDIBLE) they are on.
ANDERSON: All right. We're losing you, Ben. So I'm just going to see whether we can sort out your microphone. Meantime, let's get to you,
Peter. I mean, you heard enough of what Ben just suggested. These aren't anti-Semitic stereotypes or tropes, so get over it. Is effectively what he
PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The odd thing about Donald Trump is he seems to genuinely have a difficulty in distinguishing between
American Jews and Israelis. This is not the first time. He called in a speech a couple years ago to a Republican Jewish group. He referred to
them as -- to Benjamin Netanyahu as your Prime Minister. At the White House Hanukkah party last year, he's said that Mike Pence loves your
country -- speaking to the Jewish group -- and also this country. As if Israel was their country.
American Jews live in the United States. We are proud citizens of the United States. We may have affinity for Israel. Just as Irish Americans
have affinity for Ireland. But the danger here is I'm not getting inside Donald Trump's head to say whether he is an anti-Semite. I have no idea
what that man is thinking a lot of the time. But when you suggest that America is not really our country.
Just like if you're a member with the Mexican American judge, Gonzalo Curiel, he said he couldn't be an unbiased because he was, quote, a
Mexican. Curiel was born in Indiana. He was a Mexican American descent.
Or when he says Ayanna Pressley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Rashida Tlaib, who were born in the United States, should go back where they came
from. The idea is that he doesn't at some deep level recognize that people who are not white and not Christian are still fully American.
ANDERSON: This from the Republican Jewish Coalition. Quote. It shows a great deal of disloyalty to oneself to defend a party that protects,
emboldens, they say, people that hate you for your religion. Peter, I've got you back, Ben, which is fantastic. Peter and to you, Ben, let's look
at polling, shall we, from the Pew Research Center. Because I want to get to the heart of why we think Donald Trump is doing what he is doing at
present. In 2018 midterm election, nearly 8 in 10 Jews vote Democratic. So, Peter, what is he really trying to accomplish here?
[11:10:04] BEINART: I don't think there's any significant chance that the percentage of American Jews voting for the Republican Party is going to
change. American Jews have been essentially voting Democratic since literally the days of Franklin Roosevelt. And the reason is -- and this is
what Donald Trump and maybe my friend here Ben don't understand -- American Jews in our bones as a historically oppressed marginalized group identify
with groups and people that are underdogs and that are oppressed. Because we know that ultimately our fate is bound up with theirs.
This narrow exclusivist bigoted vision of national identity that Donald Trump and many of the Republican Party pedal is dangerous for Jews. Has
been dangerous throughout history. A total of 36 times says know the heart of the stranger because we are strangers in the land of Egypt.
FERGUSON: Peter, I've got my mike backup.
ANDERSON: OK, go on, Ben.
FERGUSON: Just give me a moment here to respond. There's a lot of things that you said. First off, the reality is what Donald Trump is saying and
making clear to the American people is the Democratic Party is not the same friend of Israel that they're claiming. If they were, they would be
condemning the remarks that have come from Democratic members of Congress who have referred to Israel as a racist oppressive state. They've also
stood side by side with organizations that support Hamas and Hezbollah and terrorist groups that actually do terrorist actions against Israel.
The President's point that he's making here is we are friends with Israel and these two Congresswomen, for example, are not friends of Israel.
They're attacking Israel. They're wanting to de-fund Israel. So what he is saying to Democrats and what he's saying to people that are Jewish and
vote Democratic, is we've seen clearly in these polls is, before you go in there and you vote for the Democratic Party thinking that they're actually
advocates of Israel and Israel being an independent state and being safe, free and secure against terrorists around them is, look at the Democratic
Party. They are not willing to stand up to their own members who are actively advocating for groups and terrorists and also de-funding Israel
and funds that come from America and protect themselves.
ANDERSON: Ben, let me put this to you. Donald Trump says he is the chosen one, make of that what you will, but is it smart, appropriate for the U.S.
President to be fanning this narrative, whether you agree with this position or not?
FERGUSON: Look, I think the President is tongue in cheek a lot on Twitter. I think his point was hey, I'm a friend of Israel. I'm defending Israel.
I'm going to protect Israel. They are one of our strongest allies in the world, certainly in the Middle East. And we are going to stand side by
side with Israel.
That's the reason why you saw many Israeli who love this President. His point is I'm the guy to protect and defend and make sure America has your
back. I don't have a problem with the President saying that. I think it's a little bit too extreme to go to the point you say he is fanning something
when in fact, he is a huge advocate for Israel. He's a huge fan of Israel. He is one of their biggest protectors and defenders in the world and he
wants Israel to stand on their own two feet and be able to protect themselves and their interests without having to worry about terrorists
coming after them.
ANDERSON: -- go on, Peter.
BEINART: What I think Ben is missing here, is that is it entirely possible to both be pro-Israel, pro-Zionist and also fan flames of anti-Semitism.
Throughout history, Alfred Balfour, the British foreign minister, who signed the Balfour Declaration, partly supported the establishment of a
Jewish state because he didn't want Jews in England. So Donald Trump may take positions the Israeli government loves, but when he implies that
American Jews are loyal to another country and not loyal to the United States, that reverberates out in the country, right. We've already had a
mass shooting of a man who basically assumed that Jews were disloyal to the country.
FERGUSON: Becky, let's be clear about this. What the President is saying here about this, is what he's saying is if you go out and ask people in
America -- American citizens that are Jewish -- if they support and protect and want to defend Israel. Overwhelmingly they'll say yes in polls. The
President's point is if you want to be loyal to Israel, if you want to protect Israel, which many of you claim that you want to do.
BEINART: But we're not loyal to Israel, Ben. We are American citizens. I don't understand why you can't --
FERGUSON: I clearly stated, I clearly stated -- because I knew you would say that. I said American citizens who are Jewish. The point is what he
is saying is you want to protect and defend Israel. You're an American citizen. You are Jewish. You want to make sure that people in Israel are
protected. Then you need to stand with me because I'm doing exactly that, and not what the Democratic Party is doing. Which is allowing members of
their own party in Congress to actively advocate, to take away power, money, funding from Israel to protect themselves with arms deals. And also
advocating for terrorist organizations in Palestine.
ANDERSON: OK, Peter I just to move on because I'm running out of time here. And it's fascinating to listen to the two of you. I just want to
look, Peter, at the latest polling on President Trump.
[11:15:00] His overall approval rating has dipped three points since June. According to a new CNN poll, it's now 40 percent. More than half of
Americans don't like how he's handling his job as President. So that has raised the narrative that what he is doing at present that potentially is
playing distraction politics. Is he? Is the chosen one as he is self- declared playing distraction politics or something more at this point?
BEINART: I think we tend to impute too much strategy to what Donald Trump says. I think he is highly impulsive. And I think he likes to be at the
center of the news cycle. Many things he's done that have put him in the center of attention, have clearly been bad politically. Like when he shut
down the government. Donald Trump could win re-election. It's hard to defeat incumbent Presidents. But it's a mistake I think to think that
there's some brilliant three-dimensional chess behind a lot of what he does. I think there just isn't. I don't think is that smart.
And with that we're going to leave it there. Thank you to you both. We'll have you back. Always a pleasure. Thank you. CNN political commentator's
Ben Ferguson, Peter Beinart. I wish we had more time. But we've to get to these other stories in for you folks.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is taking his Brexit message to Paris where he continued his European tour. He is trying to make a case to the
French President Emmanuel Macron for flexibility and a new approach as the U.K. seeks to remove what is known as the Irish back stop from the EU
withdrawal agreement. President Macron, well he's having none of it.
It follows a meeting between Mr. Johnson and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, on Wednesday. Where she struck a more accommodating tone, giving
the British Prime Minister 30 days to come up with an alternative plan. Melissa Bell has more for us from Paris.
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Becky, what Boris Johnson was hoping to find as he made his way around European capitals this week for
the first time as the British Prime Minister, was what kind of room for negotiation there was, even at the late stage on the back stop.
Essentially what he's been told -- with a slightly different tone from Berlin to Paris -- as ever Emmanuel Macron proving to be the more hardline
European partner on this question of Brexit negotiations. Was that he had 30 days to come up with some kind of alternative, but that the agreement
itself that was struck by his predecessor Theresa May and the rest of Europe was simply not up for re-negotiation.
Emmanuel Macron repeated it here in Paris today. We will not move very far from the basis of what's been agreed. All of this of course happens in the
context of the G-7 meeting taking place this weekend. With Emmanuel Macron warning the British Prime Minister that what he risked in the case of no
deal Brexit and by turning to the United States is becoming the country's vassal.
TRUMP: Well we do have a very special relationship. In fact I'll get that little piece of dandruff off.
BELL (voice-over): At first, the bromance seemed to flourish. The French President determined to be Donald Trump's friend in Europe, despite
differences in both style and policy. But key issues, including threats of terrorists soon cooled the relationship. Now another European leader could
prove a more natural ally for the American President and not just for pragmatic reasons but ideological ones too.
TRUMP: I spoke with Boris Johnson. I think he's going to be a great Prime Minister. I think he's going to do a fantastic job. I've known him. A
lot of people know that we have a very good relationship. I think he'll be far superior.
BELL: The last time Donald Trump visited the United Kingdom Theresa May was Prime Minister. Now it is the Brexiteer, Boris Johnson, taking on
Brexit negotiations with wary European partners. Stopping in Berlin Wednesday before heading to Paris to meet Macron and then onto the G-7 in
Biarritz where the man some called the British Donald Trump will meet the actual Donald Trump. Two populist, certainly, but what about policy?
CHRISTIAN LEQUESNE POLITICAL SCIENTISTS, SCIENCES PO: If you look at the foreign policy positions of the United Kingdom on Iran, on Middle East,
even on Russia, they are closer from Berlin and Paris than Washington, D.C.
BELL: But even more than Theresa May at the last G-7, Boris Johnson needs that special relationship with the United States rekindled post Brexit more
than ever. At this week's G-7 in Biarritz, Trump and Johnson will be at the table. And even if there are divisions, there will be much that unites
them, including a dislike of European Union.
(on camera): And perhaps in the greatest sign so far, Becky, that it is simply impossible to predict how this shifting dynamics are going to play
out over the weekend in Biarritz, the French have ditched the long-term habit tradition of having a pre-signed communique agreed even before the
leaders get together. This time it is anyone's guess what will be agreed - - Becky.
[11:20:00] ANDERSON: Melissa Bell in Paris for you.
Still to come this hour, we are live in Brazil as fires rage across the Amazon. Questions linger over just who is to blame for them. And the
Brazilian President points his finger at one group you'd perhaps not expect. That coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Using information warfare --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cambridge Analytical claim to have 5,000 data points on every American voter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Are fair and democratic elections at risk? Directors of the "Great Hack" join me to discuss data and democracy. That after this.
ANDERSON: Right now while I talk to you, large parts of the Amazon are on fire. The largest rainforest engulfed in flames, sending plumes of smoke
into the sky for three straight weeks. That is a record. The fires are so widespread that a lot of experts think they will have a significant impact
on the fight against climate change.
Let's look at the new satellite images. This is one from European space agency's Sentinel satellite. This one from NASA shows how many fires were
burning last week. And this picture from this week shows just how much the situation that gotten worse. Quite a worrying situation. But hasn't
stopped Brazil's President from pointing the finger of blame against some of his favorite political targets. For more on this, let's get to Sao
Paulo where Shasta Darlington joins me now. And from where earlier, Shasta, smoke from though fires plunging the city into darkness.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, JOURNALIST: That's right, Becky. This has really sparked a war of words with the President blaming NGOs, with
environmentalists blaming Bolsonaro. But what has been so crucial here is with the fires ravaging the Amazon at this alarming pace. We've really
seen and felt it so far from home.
DARLINGTON (voice-over): Brazil's largest city plunged into darkness. Black clouds filling the sky, blanketing Sao Paulo Monday afternoon. Thick
smoke billowing from more than 2,700 kilometers away, where fires are consuming the world's largest rainforest.
The Amazon basin is burning at a record rate, according to Brazil's research center. More than 72,000 fires have scorched the country this
year. And over 80 percent increase compared to the same period in 2018. Flames destroying one and a half football fields of rainforest every minute
of every day.
[11:25:03] Smoke spreading across nearly half of Brazil, visible from space more than a week ago. Even spilling into neighboring Peru, Bolivia and
Paraguay. Now the haze stretches across South America, spreading the East Atlantic Coast. Though fires are common here in Brazil's dry season,
climate scientists say this is far from the norm. Instead environmentalists point to land raised at unprecedented levels, as a new
government encourages industry to develop the Amazon region.
Brazil's right-wing President has brushed off environmental concerns as he vows to open the rainforest to business interest. Since he took office in
January, rates of deforestation have soared as Jair Bolsonaro remains indignant to international criticism.
Take your money and reforest Germany. Bolsonaro bristled at Germany and Norway's decision to suspend funding to Brazil. Now his attention turns to
wildfires surging at unprecedented rates, Bolsonaro is deflecting blame without evidence. He points to nongovernmental organizations.
JAIR BOLSONARO, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT: Regarding the fires in the Amazon, I am under the impression that it could have been set by the NGOs, because
they had asked for money. What was their intention to bring about problems for Brazil?
DARLINGTON: Home to hundreds of indigenous tribes, the Amazon Rainforest is rich in wildlife and natural resources. Often called the lungs of the
earth, the rainforest supplies 20 percent of the world's oxygen. If it burns to a point of no return, environmentalists warn it could turn into a
dry savannah and begin emitting carbon instead. Plunging the planet ever deeper into a climate change crisis.
DARLINGTON: Now that might not be imminent, but the flippant response by Bolsonaro has really just gotten a lot of backlash here with NGOs and
environmentalists setting up a petition. More than 100 different organization have already signed it. Declaring Bolsonaro's comments lies
and really urging some quick action to halt the forest fires and to reestablish some serious Amazon policy -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Thank you very much indeed. Shasta is in Sao Paulo for you on what is a very worrying story. For more on how these wildfires our planet,
let's get you to our meteorologist Chad Myers at the CNN Weather Center. What have you got for us, Chad?
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Becky, I think It's important, the number was thrown out in the last little package. 20 percent of every oxygen
molecule that's around you now, was generated in the Amazon. And if you burn that down, then all of a sudden you don't have as much O2 in the
74,000 fires so far to date. That's 85 percent more than last year and a show you that just date by date by date. Same year from 2012 all the way
up to current. What we see now all the red spots are hot spots that the satellite sees. Now some of them may be power plants. But there aren't
that many power plants in Brazil operating right now.
The carbon dioxide output from these fires surpasses all of the other years since we have been keeping track since 2003. And we're only about one-
third of the way through fire season.
Something else to worry about. You know, when you look at the cars, and the trains, and the planes, and the buses, all of that transportation
across the globe is only 14 percent of your greenhouse gas emissions. The rest is industry, energy, making electricity for homes, heating homes.
But 24 percent is something to do with agriculture. Whether It's growing livestock or for that matter taking away CO2 by just eating grass and
plants and a grain fed economy, or a plant fed economy, and then if you burn down the O2, generating's -- which is the trees -- then all of a
sudden your CO2 goes up and CO2 has just gone up. May, it was two. 2019 was 415 parts per million. And just about six or so years ago, we were
well down below 350.
Now it is the dry season in Brazil. Things wouldn't be growing right now anyway. And farmers do burn farm -- the grasses, things to get ready for
the new growing season. So we don't have much rainfall coming down. Probably less than 50 millimeters this month alone.
But It's truly the fires and smoke of what we're seeing here. This is 2000 -- I will make it bigger, I promise -- this was 2012 what the fires looked
like in Brazil. This is going to be really fast. Let's go to 2013, fires down in the South and Paraguay. 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and now 2018 and
2019, so all of a sudden you see the number of fires, that's signatures on satellite, certainly up this year compared to what we've seen over the past
five years -- Becky.
[11:30:07] ANDERSON: Chad's in the House. Thank you, Mr. Myers. Live from London, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your interactions, your credit card swipes, web searches, locations, likes. They're all collected in real time into a
trillion dollar a year industry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Data is more valuable than oil. But is it more valuable than democracy? Directors of the "Great Hack" join me next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These platforms which were created to connect us have now been weaponized. It's impossible to know what is what because nothing
is what it seems.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Disinformation, election meddling, weaponized narratives. Those are the realities of our digital generation. Some of the tactics that
according to some help fuel Brexit and perhaps gave added momentum to the self-declared chosen one, Donald Trump's ascent to the White House. Those
two stories of course dominating our show today.
It's also the subject of a new and frankly terrifying Netflix documentary called "The Great Hack". Karim Amer and Jehane Noujim directed this film
join me now from New York. Thank you for joining us, guys. This film focuses on the Cambridge Analytica scandal. But has a wider message
showing how our data can be harvested and weaponized. Is data overtaking democracy at this point?
KARIM AMER, CODIRECTOR, "THE GREAT HACK": I think it's safe to say that data has become the most valuable commodity on earth, and data is shaping
our realities. And we don't really have a consensual relationship with data. And worse than that, we have a President of the supposed free and
fair world that is propagating disinformation and using these platforms to weaponize the conversation further for his own white supremacist agenda.
ANDERSON: And we're going to come to the U.S. President in a moment. Jehane, before we do that, the EU have strict data privacy laws. France
passed a fake news law. What are the solutions going forward?
[11:35:02] You've clearly done so much work ahead of and during the shooting of this great documentary. Did you come up with any solutions?
JEHANE NOUJIM, CODIRECTOR, "THE GREAT HACK": Well, you bring up a good solution with Europe. In Europe you have to opt in if you want your
information shared, if you want your name or address shared. In the United States, you have to opt out. And It's very difficult to opt out.
ANDERSON: Let's talk about the self -- OK, I get what you're saying. I want to move this to Donald Trump. Because Karim, you brought him up. And
he's calling himself the chosen one, so self-declared. Back in July former U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller said Russia is poised to interfere in
the next presidential campaign. Have a listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. WILLIAM HURD (R-TX): In your investigation did you think this was a single attempt by the Russians to get involved in our election or did you
find evidence to suggest they'll try and do this again?
ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER U.S. SPECIAL COUNSEL: It wasn't a single attempt, they're doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it during the next
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Karim, can 2020 be a fair election?
AMER: I mean, I wish it could be. I think it can if we take the right measures. But unfortunately as Mr. Mueller's testimony provides light to,
and our film shows as well, both Russian interference and Cambridge Analytica point to one thing. Which is that Facebook has become a crime
scene and Facebook has not taken the proper measures to protect the free and fair conversations that are happening. And allow audiences to
understand the differences between misinformation and disinformation and operate a more healthy internet highway.
And I think that when we see the action taken in the U.S. government to prevent any legislation that could protect the integrity of the democratic
process moving forward, it's very upsetting to see this. And the British Parliament ruled after a yearlong investigation into what was happening
there that electoral laws are simply not fit for purpose and they called Facebook digital gangsters in their approach to handling the situation.
ANDERSON: You guys are behind "The Square", an Oscar award nominated documentary about Egypt's Tahrir square protests. I want to bring a little
of that up for viewers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In all of this, it was just to remove him and put someone exactly like him in his place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Jehane, Facebook was a positive tool in the movement. It connected the isolated, the silenced. We watched it happen in front of our
eyes. By the way, "The Square" is a fantastic documentary. What changed?
NOUJIM: Thank you. I think at that time we saw Facebook and Twitter as enablers of democracy and as tools. But they were tools to be able to
gather people in public squares, not only in Tahrir but around the world. And now we've seen a pendulum swing. And so now we're seeing these same
tools as potentially destructive of democracy.
AMER: It's been quite a shift.
NOUJIM: It has been an extreme shift where now we're looking at the fact that we have become the commodity. So we have to really think about what
is for sale here. Is our democratic process for sale? Is our personal data for sale? And so, these are big questions that we have now and
looking towards 2020.
AMER: And we also have to looked at how we've become complicit. You know, we've accepted that the admission fee to the connected world is giving up
all our data unfiltered, without really understanding much about it. And I think that's become quite problematic.
And I think we're seeing a clamoring around the world of what the stakes are when you look at what's happening in China and Hong Kong with
disinformation tactics and weapon eyes information. When you look at what's happening with the Rohingya crisis. And when you look at what's
happening in the United States. And also you look at how we're complicit in continuing to give echo to a lot of the disinformation.
I mean, here we are talking about what the President is doing. Are we complicit in enabling him further in doing so? These are questions we have
to address and talk about in this era where information warfare is the way of the future.
Where in "The Square", it was the public square that these platforms brought us together. Now It's in the cloud. So this is our public square
that we have to figure out how we're going to regulate so that people aren't making a profit over dividing people and creating negative
[11:40:00] ANDERSON: You make a good point. To both of you then -- and I'll start with Karim. If there was one take away from the documentary or
both -- you guys are making great content as I said. If there was one take away from work that you are doing, what would you hope it would be for your
viewers or consumers?
AMER: I mean, my hope would be that people realize that big data has the ability to transform our lives for the better. We need technology to
expand our capacity as humans but we need ethics to preserve our humanity. And we deserve a world in which we don't have to choose between the two.
And that's why we're trying to tell stories about citizens around the world who are using these same tools to fight back and hack the system back.
Because this is a conversation about power. This isn't about data rights. This isn't just about elections. This is who controls what we see and who
determines how we see it. And that is how we shape our own reality.
NOUJIM: I would say simply that if you're not thinking for yourself, somebody is going to be thinking for you.
ANDERSON: With that were going to leave it there. We thank you very much indeed for joining us.
NOUJIM: Thank you.
ANDERSON: We're going to take a very short break. Back after this.
ANDERSON: In tonight's Parting Shots for you, it is an optical illusion that has got all of the internet buzzing. Look at this one way and it's a
cute rabbit getting its nose scratched. Squint your eyes and it's a blackbird getting a bit of a head rub. The scientists at the University of
Oslo in Norway is the trickster who opposed this puzzling piece. Now the reveal. This internet sensation is an African white necked raven. Named
quite appropriately, mischief.
I'm Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Wherever you are, I hope you have a very good day. Thank you for watching from London. It's a very
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