Sam Rohrer: Well, ladies and gentlemen, are you concerned about your safety, the security of your lives and the lives of your families? Are you concerned about your financial and medical information security? Well, I think we all are. You know, we just passed the 17th anniversary of 9/11, and that as an event, we know, violated our collective national security. It put into place, as a result of that, massive governmental policies that theoretically were to be for our security, but ask the question. Have those changes, a lot of which we see at the airport when we check in and check out, have those changes made us more secure, or perhaps have they grossly violated beyond measure our security and in fact … now get this … handed off that confidential information to even our enemies, like Russia?
Well, today on this program we’re going to share breaking news that should be on the front page of every news outlet across the country, but it’s not yet. Let me read this short opener from The Constitutional Alliance located in Oklahoma, where they said this. “Are we safer today than 9/11? It was the 9/11 Commission that said we must know who a person is, who they say they are, before issuing that person a driver’s license or other ID credentials. Well, almost 17 years,” I’m still reading, “after 9/11, states are still not performing the fundamental tasks of verifying birth certificates, nor are they ensuring that driver’s licenses do not get issued to people who are using the birth certificates of deceased people.”
Well, these are the words from The Constitutional Alliance in a recent article their organization just released. Lots in this article. It’s account of official testimony just collected and released in a special inquiry committee on data security in the state of Oklahoma. It should be front page news because it speaks to true Russian involvement in a top security breach of information, it speaks to U.S. governmental agency complicity in this Russian connection, and it speaks to the entire issue of global surveillance, with the eye on every person around the world, starting with each one of you who are listening to the program right now.
Our theme for today’s program is Breaking News: The Surveillance State and the Russian Connection. Our special guest is Mark Lerner. He’s the president of Stop Real ID Coalition and he is the co-founder of The Constitutional Alliance. I’m Sam Rohrer, and I’m going to be joined today by my co-host for the day, Dave Kistler, who’s also president of Hope Ministries International and president of the American Pastors Network, North Carolina chapter.
With that, I want to welcome today Mark Lerner to the program. Thanks for being with us today, Mark.
Mark Lerner: My pleasure, Sam. It’s a blessing.
Sam Rohrer: Mark, we want to get right into it. We have a full program, and I am hoping that all of our listeners stay tuned very, very clearly because this is breaking news. It’s critical information.
Mark, I want to go right here with you first off. According to your recent article, some of which I quoted from here, you cited certain key details that arose out of a long-awaited-for official hearing conducted by State Representative Moore in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. My question to you right off as we kind of lay the ground and built up into it, why was the special committee authorized and what was its purpose, Mark?
Mark Lerner: About a year ago, The Constitutional Alliance became aware that there were whistleblowers in Russia that were asserting that the company our country depends on for biometrics, a company located out of France called Safran, had actually made a secret deal with the Russian company to use that Russian company’s algorithm, which involved source code. We were very concerned about that, and we were also concerned about the issue of verifying birth certificates. I discussed with Representative Moore and said we need to drill down on this issue with Russia and using their software, and we need to drill down to find out what is going on with birth certificates and verifying those birth certificates. Lewis Moore agreed to have this legislative working group that involved himself and former State Representative Charles Key.
Dave Kistler: Mark, I know that when Sam was in the Pennsylvania State Legislature years ago, you testified for him at hearings in the Pennsylvania legislature with respect to your efforts to oppose the United States government’s REAL ID Act and the implementation of enhanced biometrics and facial recognition. My question is this. You obviously had concerns then. Now here comes this report out of Oklahoma. Did the hearing in Oklahoma confirm your concerns and fears that you had when you testified for Sam in Pennsylvania, or did they lessen your concerns about this technology?
Mark Lerner: They heightened our concerns, the legislative working group testimony. Not only did it confirm what we suspected would happen down the road, remembering REAL ID was enacted into law in 2005, here we are in 2018 and everything that we had said would happen involving the collection and sharing of people’s personal information, including their biometrics, has come to fruition.
Sam Rohrer: Okay, Mark. Let me fall back in on that because, as Dave mentioned, you were here in Pennsylvania. You and I did a lot of work on opposing what Dave said was an effort that actually went across the Commonwealth here, across the country, that ended up in causing everybody’s driver’s licenses to begin using a biometric picture … It was a digitized-form picture … so that it was no longer a flat picture people used to, but now sits housed in databases, which can then be linked to cameras all across the country. Did you get into any of that issue relative to facial recognition technology in these hearings in Oklahoma, or did you stay primarily on fingerprint technology and other aspects of biometrics?
Mark Lerner: We did address briefly facial recognition, but our concern was mainly focused on fingerprinting because that is what the whistleblowers alleged the Russian company had provided the company we rely on for biometrics in the United States. The whistleblowers alleged that the Russian company had provided the company we rely on with fingerprinting software.
Sam Rohrer: Okay. Then, ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to be focusing on, again, biometrics. We’re talking about, again, the title The Surveillance State and the Russian Connection. This is all stemming out of hearing testimony in the state of Oklahoma that all arises out of policies that were put in place following 9/11 theoretically to make us more secure and safe, but now we find there’s a heavy Russian thread that goes right through the middle of it.
Well, not only did the testimonies received and the findings established arising out of the recent Oklahoma State Legislature hearings, not only did those hearings confirm what The Constitutional Alliance, Mark Lerner and I, when I was in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, knew and claimed years ago, this particular hearing unearthed and confirmed an even more troubling truth. That is the reality that the technology behind the United States and worldwide usage and collection, where now over 90 percent of the world’s population, at least, have their private security identification marked, starting with digitized fingerprints to facial recognition properties to now voice prints, that these and other measures of biometrics have been enabled and accessed by Russia. That’s right, Russia, and not just Russia generally, but Russian military-connected companies, all using Russian-developed cyber biometric technology. My friends, forget the bogus Russian election meddling with the Trump campaign. It’s far worse. This news, which should be on front page news, is nowhere yet to be found on national news until now. We’re going to talk about in depth now here on Stand in the Gap Today.
Mark Lerner, you are the company-founder of The Constitutional Alliance, and that website … I want to give it so people can go and read the document here that you put together. That is found at constitutionalalliance.org. Mark, in your report, you cited as one of the most significant findings of the disturbing Russian connection, and I want to quote a piece from your article, you said, “Recently, the Cybersecurity Director for Oklahoma acknowledged as a fact that Oklahoma has unwittingly utilized software or code of Russian origin for fingerprinting. Other states and the federal government have also used the software or algorithm that originated with a Russian biometrics company.”
Now, Mark, before you describe the Russian company connection and the trail that led to that, I want you to confirm the technology involved. You’re saying biometric fingerprinting technology. Where is this technology used, and why is it so vital for our national security?
Mark Lerner: Fingerprinting itself is used in every state. It can be used, in some states, you have to provide your fingerprints to get driver’s licenses, but in every state fingerprints is required to do an FBI background check, whether it’s by employers or a state government. In the federal government, fingerprints are also required for background checks. We use fingerprints on the border when people are leaving or coming into our country. Even though we think of facial recognition in terms of spying on people when they’re in public, fingerprinting is still the most commonly used biometric by state and federal government.
Dave Kistler: Mark, I’m in complete agreement with Sam. What we’re talking about today and the information you’ve discovered and uncovered should be on the front page of every single newspaper. Tragically, it’s not. Now, let’s dig a little deeper into this. Could you name for us the company, or companies, because it looks like there may be a trail of companies involved in this just created to hide the connection to Russia? What are the names of the companies or the key company that is involved in all of this technology?
Mark Lerner: Okay. Up until a year ago, the company that our country relies on was a French company called Safran. Safran created a U.S. subsidiary called MorphoTrust. Now, Safran made a secret deal with a Russian biometric company called Papillon in 2008. When Safran went before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to do business in the United States, they did not divulge to the Committee on Foreign Investment … This was during the Obama years … that, in fact, they were using software, a Russian algorithm, that originated in Russia, and they had signed a deal with the Russian biometric company Papillon.
Sam Rohrer: Mark, I’m going to restate this so our listeners can understand. Safran … and I’m going to put down a French defense-related biometrics technology conglomerate, in the fuller understanding of it … formed a U.S. subsidiary called MorphoTrust USA. MorphoTrust USA began doing business with American agencies, the federal government, and others. They, though, purchased and were using software and code from a company called … I’m going to say Papillon or [Pillion 00:13:59] or however you pronounced that, P-A-P-I-L-L-O-N, a Russian company that is, if not dotted-line connection, directly connected to Russian military and the Russian FSB, which was the former KGB. Now, that’s what you’re saying. Did I summarize that appropriately?
Mark Lerner: Yes, you absolutely did. We have concrete evidence, not just the whistleblowers’ testimony. We have a contract. We have an acknowledgement by the cyber director in Oklahoma, where he said Safran has now admitted they had this deal with this Russian biometric company.
Sam Rohrer: Mark, you’re saying this happened, let’s see, 2008. Is that when you’re saying?
Mark Lerner: 2008 is when the deal was made between Safran and Papillon, the Russian company. Then in 2009, 2010, Safran came before the Committee on Foreign Investment to do business in the United States.
Sam Rohrer: That was all during the Obama administration?
Mark Lerner: Yes.
Sam Rohrer: Now, let me go here and further build this out if I can, Mark. The logical question then is this. Who is it in the federal government … do we know … that made the decision to use this French defense company, Safran’s, technology in the first place? Who is it within our structure that has the responsibility to vet foreign-used companies and whether or not they have potential connections to enemy states? I say that because all of this theoretically was being built off of what we needed to do to make Americans more safe out of 9/11. Who didn’t do their job, or who did do their job intentionally wrong?
Mark Lerner: What happens is the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States is made up of cabinet members of whatever administration is in power. They ultimately are the ones that allow a foreign company to do business in the United States. Now, that committee can ask the FBI or Department of Defense for technological expertise to look at what technologies those companies that want to do business in the United States are using.
We see that today with China. They have a telecom company, ZTE. Well, we have sanctioned that company and we’re not allowing them to do business in the United States in the way they’ve been able to do it in the past. Ultimately, it comes down to the cabinet members of the administration in power.
Dave Kistler: Mark, why did this happen under the Obama administration? What I mean by that is, why was the environment so favorable to this kind of activity going on under Obama’s watch?
Mark Lerner: Well, it really started after 9/11, and the 9/11’s recommendation that we have to know who people are and know they are who they say they are before we issue them a driver’s license or a passport, whatever. What happened under the Obama administration, contrary to what many people believe, the surveillance state went further than it did even under the Bush administration Patriot Act. We saw a proliferation of biometrics. We saw biometrics being used without the knowledge and consent of the people. Even at the state level, state lawmakers were not aware that biometrics were being used in many cases.
Sam Rohrer: Well, Mark, that answers a lot of questions. It raises, also, further questions, but Dave asked, I think, a great one. What was the atmosphere or the culture like? You said it does go back to 9/11, and that’s why I started the program with that. 9/11 was a trigger event that put the whole nation susceptible to massive change, out of which came the Patriot Act, which we know, and it consolidated a host of collection efforts, introduced the whole biometric move and push, and it just seems like it has only grown since that point. Would you not say that’s correct, Mark?
Mark Lerner: 100%.
Sam Rohrer: Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know. We’re going to go into a break here at the second. We’re going to talk about the implications of this. Now, the reality of what we’ve talked about is there; it’s not a matter of dispute. It’s there. It’s fact. The Russian involvement is a fact. The fact that these things were put into place during the last administration, actually began being put into place by the Bush administration before it, that’s a fact.
Well, welcome back to Stand in the Gap Today. I’m Sam Rohrer, and co-hosted today by Dave Kistler. Our special guest, Mark Lerner. He is the co-founder of The Constitutional Alliance, which you can find at constitutionalalliance.org. Our theme is The Surveillance State and the Russian Connection. We’re talking about biometrics. We’re talking about policies that were put into place after 9/11 that have only grown, enormously grown and expanded, touching every person listening to this broadcast, every citizen of these United States, and literally every person on the planet.
Now, Mark, I want to come back to you now and I want to pick up here on what we were talking about relative to the Russian connection that was identified, that came out of the hearing on cybersecurity in Oklahoma. That was an official committee led by State Representative Moore there in conjunction to the issue of cybersecurity. In reality, the supposed effort to make American citizens more secure by making sure that personal identification could be verified and so that potential terrorists or enemies of America could not accidentally slip through airports or get driver’s licenses to drive or get jobs within secure government agencies, and that they had, frankly, the information to prove sufficiency to vote, that all of those things, theoretically for those purposes, have had nothing to do but make us less secure and our voting process more compromised.
Ladies and gentlemen, the new reality of granting direct access to personally identifiable biometric and sensitive data, fingerprints and more, by actually using, in the case of fingerprints, the foundational biometrics, by using Russian FSB, which is the old KGB, algorithms and codes that they developed, is far more concerning. Matter of fact, it’s outrageous. Yet we now know it’s true, and the trail is easily followed. Now, we’ll talk about the implications in this next segment with our special guest, Mark Lerner.
Mark, let me go back here with you and ask about this. This information which came out in the committee hearing in Oklahoma is beyond disturbing. There’s far too much here to be, in my opinion, a simple mistake. To me, it’s orchestrated at the highest levels and reaches the point of … I’m going to put out this way … treason on the parts of many people who are sworn to keep American citizens safe, but actually have comprised it.
One of the fears here in this revelation that we’re talking about is that the Russian military, the Russian FSB, formerly the KGB, who designed the software, likely factored in a backdoor access to it so that they, in fact, could maybe do, already have, access to all the fingerprints and more of anybody who uses this technology, which certainly means all Americans, and perhaps a lot more.
Mark, what are the potential implications of this Russian FSB, KGB, having, literally, their fingerprints on the software? What does it potentially do to allow them to compromise U.S. citizens, U.S. government perhaps, by perhaps having their fingers literally in the databases of all of our biometric data? It’s a long, big question, but you got the issue. You got the question.
Mark Lerner: Yeah. The bottom line is this. For about seven years, we had no idea, being we our country, that an ally, the French, had made a secret deal with the Russians. The problem is we have communicated with several cybersecurity directors around the country in different states, and they were not aware of this, which begs the question, how is it the Oklahoma director was aware and not other state cybersecurity directors?
The implications are enormous. If you had people’s biometrics, whether it’s their … even fingerprints. I know people don’t realize this, but the technology is being developed already to be able to capture your fingerprints at a pretty long distance using digital technology and high-resolution cameras. Even with fingerprinting, you can be identified at a distance by using a camera. Also, as you said, we cannot be assured that there’s not malicious coding in what the Russians provided the French, and the French used in the United States.
Even if the FBI was to go and check the coding today, that doesn’t mean that the coding wasn’t changed two years ago when Safran sold their biometrics business to another company. If the FBI checked it today, they may come back and say we actually looked at the source code; it’s fine. There’s no malicious coding in it. But two years ago when Safran announced they were selling their business, they may have changed the coding, knowing whoever bought their fingerprint software .. okay? … would inspect it closely and find malicious coding. Whatever we find out today doesn’t necessarily mean there wasn’t malicious coding for years in state and federal databases.
Sam Rohrer: Mark, before Dave asks you the next question, I want to just throw a comment in here. I don’t know how anybody in their right mind could think for a moment that the KGB then, FSB now, would have done anything, with all of the heavy involvement in cybersecurity hacking that Russia’s involved in, that they would not have, in fact, put a backdoor in. I cannot believe, nor can anybody in their right mind, suspect that they would not have at least thought about it. I think that’s-
Mark Lerner: Well, let me respond to that, Sam. We talk to cybersecurity people all over the country, some of the most well known. To a person, they all agree with you. Everyone said if the Russians are involved, especially Russian military and intelligence people, you can bet … It could be a backdoor, it could be a kind of malicious coding that could destroy what information is in the database, or it could be time activated, in other words, it’s not set to do anything malicious until it’s activated by an adversary. Every cybersecurity expert agrees with you. If the Russians were involved, there’s a problem.
Dave Kistler: You know, Mark, all of this that we’re talking about sounds like something out of a Mission Impossible movie, to be honest with you, but we’re there. Now, one of the key findings that came out of the Oklahoma hearing, according to your report, is that birth certificates, which are supposed to be secure, and the foundational documents from which verifiable IDs can be produced, we now are learning from your report, Mark, that they’re not secure at all. How does that revelation that came out of this Oklahoma report, how does that raise the potential possibility for voter fraud, voting violations, and probably a whole host of other things?
Mark Lerner: The short answer is this. When you take your birth certificate into your Department of Motor Vehicles, you know it’s your birth certificate, and you assume they’re asking for it so they can verify it to make sure it’s authentic. In fact, I’ve been in discussions with the program director for Electronic Verification of Vital Events, and without going into the weeds, they have the responsibility nationally to make sure that states are digitizing their birth certificates and death certificates going back 80 years or more.
What they’re doing is asking the states not to give the information to the federal government, but to communicate between states if you’re in Oklahoma and you were born in Florida, Oklahoma would contact the Florida Department of Vital Statistics and say, “Do you have this birth certificate? Is this what it looks like?” They would either confirm it or say no, it’s not. We are not doing that.
To illustrate how serious it is, in Massachusetts, a report was just issued. They requested an audit in Massachusetts. The audit discovered 1,900 people had been issued driver’s licenses using the birth certificates of people that are deceased. This is a major problem. We don’t know people are who they said they are when we issued them licenses. That’s in all 50 states.
Sam Rohrer: Mark, based on the fact that … In this case, this does not have a real Russian connection, or does it, to the fact that the birth certificates are not being verified?
Mark Lerner: I think it’s just a general issue of incompetence. The federal government was all gung-ho about REAL ID and collecting our biometrics to be able to spy on us that the most fundamental, basic issue which the 9/11 Commission addressed, knowing a person is who they say they are, we are not doing that. If people doubt what I’m saying, we have the written testimony of the person that says this, who is funded by the federal government, and I would tell you to call your own state Department of Motor Vehicles, everybody, and ask, “Are you verifying the birth certificates’ authenticity?” and [crosstalk 00:30:20].
Sam Rohrer: All right, Mark. We’re going to have to hold it, going to have to hold it, a hard break coming up here.
Well, under the guise, or shall I say the ruse, of safety, efficiency, necessity, and a host of other nice-sounding justifications, governments around the world, and for a long time, have been secretly and increasingly blatantly collecting and compiling personal data on nearly every person. When combined with an establishment, a globalist, and a God-rejecting ideology, the power of governmental leaders, concerned about themselves first, are consolidating power at lightning speed.
The imposition of totalitarian, nightmarish control is not far away from the entire world, as we can see it being imposed real time right now in China, the land of over a billion people. If we don’t awaken soon, as in should’ve awakened yesterday, free society will be lost forever. Now, that’s a rather somber commentary, but it is that real. The information that we’re sharing today is just a part of it.
Now, Mark, in this last segment, I want to focus on the reality of that surveillance state, and that it’s perhaps actually here. I’m going to ask you that question after just a moment. The technology is certainly here, it’s in place, and the fuel, as I put it, for the control of all humanity is in the tank just ready for the world dictator to start driving that tank.
Now, right in China we can see it happening right now. Let me just read just a little bit here from an article just written by Human Rights Watch and get your comments on it, Mark, here as we look at it right now. It says this. The article says this.
“The Chinese government has stepped up to the use of biometric technology in recent years, including the construction of large-scale biometric database, to bolster its existing mass surveillance and social control efforts. Compared with other biometric databases run by the police, the voice pattern database appears to be less established, with fewer samples in it.” “By 2015,” which is three years ago, “police had collected 70,000 voice patterns in Anhui province.” That’s one particular province which they say was a pilot province to identify such collection.
In comparison … Now, get this, ladies and gentlemen, reading from the article. National police databases have more than one billion faces and 40 million people’s DNA samples. “The collection of voice biometrics is part of the Chinese government’s drive to form what they call a multi-modal biometric portrait of individuals and to gather ever more data about citizens. This voice biometric data is linked in police databases to the person’s identification number, which in turn can then be linked to a person’s other biometric and personal information on file, including their ethnicity, their home address, even their hotel records.”
Mark, we know that goes beyond that because there’s an article appearing today in Drudge, today, interestingly, as we’re talking about this, talking how it’s gone way beyond that and actually linking it to cameras and actually linking it to people’s social records, where they’re actually giving people marks on their governmental records. If they are seen littering, they’re going to get a negative mark. If they say something negative, they’ll get a negative mark. All of this will be tied into whether or not they can even buy or sell. This is happening right now in China.
Mark, question here. Is the surveillance state actually now here?
Mark Lerner: It’s not only here; it’s thriving. The FBI has what’s called the NGI, Next Generation Identification database. It’s comprised of fingerprints, digital facial images, voice recognition. Matter of fact, in 2015, the emphasis was collecting voice recognition, collecting facial images. Currently one out of every two Americans have their photo in the FBI’s NGI database. Now, obviously one out of two Americans have not committed crimes. In 2020, we’re being told by our own government, they will have all facial images of people that hold passports or driver’s licenses, just in the next two years, three years at the most. They’re gaining voice recognition patterns every day, iris scans.
To make the point about surveillance, we are using facial recognition to identify people going to concerts, other sporting events, Keystone Pipeline demonstration. In 2012, Ron Paul supporters who were rallying for Ron Paul had facial recognition used on them to identify them. If people want to search, just put 2012 Republican National Convention Ron Paul facial recognition. Law enforcement has admitted they were doing this.
Yes, we have the surveillance state now, and it is growing.
Dave Kistler: Mark, let me ask you this, because I do know for a fact some of the iPhones now use some form of facial recognition technology for you to unlock the phone. In fact, my wife has one of those. What should Christians, what should American patriots, what should anyone concerned with freedom and privacy rights in the United States do with the information that’s been communicated today, because this is beyond alarming?
Mark Lerner: I can tell you there’s a DEF CON Conference every year. This is a meeting of hackers. Hackers are able to defeat biometrics that are used to authenticate use for cellphones, fingerprint, facial recognition. The hackers are able to defeat those in minutes. They’re not as secure as you are being told they are.
Now, as far as Christians, we are being enrolled into a global system of identification and financial control. The same standards, the same … whatever you want to call it … standards for collecting, maintaining, and sharing biometrics in the United States are used in the other 200 countries around the world. We already have global biometric information sharing.
Sam Rohrer: Therefore, Mark, what you’re saying … What should people then do about this? Are we just stuck in it, or what can they do?
Mark Lerner: No. We need to tell our state lawmakers that if a person has a religious objection to biometrics, that religious objection should be honored. Okay? What we have to do as Christians, this is the precursor leading to the mark of the beast. Okay? Everybody has biometrics, fingerprints, facial image, voice recognition. Okay?
There was a bill in Congress, two of them actually. One said that in order to be able to bank, you had to provide your biometrics. That was the Photo Identification Security Act. Another, called the Legal Workforce Act, said in order to be able to work, you’ll have to provide your biometrics. Now, think about people like the Amish and some Jewish people that have a religious objection to any photographs. They would not be able to work. There was no religious exemption provision in either of these pieces of legislation.
Sam Rohrer: I have to tell you, Mark Lerner, we’re going to have to break. We are at the end of the program. We have gone way, way, way, way fast. So much information. Ladies and gentlemen, go to the website of constitutionalalliance.org. You can find this information, plus other things, on that website. Go to our own website at standinthegapradio.com and find out more information about this and all of our archives.