A 36-year veteran of America’s Intelligence Community, William Binney resigned from his position as Director for Global Communications Intelligence (COMINT) at the National Security Agency (NSA) and blew the whistle, after discovering that his efforts to protect the privacy and security of Americans were being undermined by those above him in the chain of command.
The NSA data-monitoring program which Binney and his team had developed — codenamed ThinThread — was being aimed not at foreign targets as intended, but at Americans (codenamed as Stellar Wind), was destroying privacy here and around the world. Binney voices his call to action for the billions of individuals whose rights are currently being violated.
William Binney speaks out in this feature-length interview with Tragedy and Hope’s Richard Grove, focused on the topic of the ever-growing Surveillance State in America.
Tagged: Surveillance Society
Good video from Bruce Schneier. A few choice excerpts follow:
Follow that guy last month. The death of ephemeral conversation. Systems that never forget (9:40) …a public-private-surveillance partnership (9:58) … We have built systems that spy on people in exchange for services. Surveillance is the business model of the internet (10:13)
This is truely the golden age of surveillance. Because everything we do is surveillable (11:37)
Metadata equals surveillance (12:09). Okay, there’s sort of an easy thought experiment: imagine you’d hire a private detective to eavesdrop on somebody. That detective will put a bug in his car, his home, his office; and you’d get a report of the conversations he had. If you ask that same detective to put someone under surveillance you’d get a different report: where he went, who he spoke to, what he read, what he purchased, what he looked at – right, that’s all metadata. Fundamentally metadata equals surveillance data. (12:40)
We have built an insecure internet for everyone. We basically enabled the Panopticon, and all the losses of freedom and liberty and individuality that come with that. (16:47)
From Stellar Wind to PRISM, Boundless Informant to EvilOlive, the NSA spying programs are shrouded in secrecy and rubber-stamped by secret opinions from a court that meets in a faraday cage. The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Kurt Opsahl explains the known facts about how the programs operate and the laws and regulations the U.S. government asserts allows the NSA to spy on you.
Also, be sure to read and bookmark this indispensable “Timeline of NSA Domestic Spying“ over at EFF as well.
By Christopher Ross Harrison, 2011-03-2
Where the debate over privacy rights is concerned, there exists a perpetual danger of being drawn into one of two extreme camps: One that would dismantle all security entirely, leaving us open to those very real threats that exist at home and abroad, and the other that would submerge our basic rights and freedoms beneath an Orwellian surveillance state, all in the name of our collective safety. Of course; freedom isn’t free, it just seems that way because we have been blessed to live in an oversaturated freedom market. On the other hand, although the price of freedom is still eternal vigilance, it seems there are those who would impose an artificial price hike; having us pay eternal vigilance, plus groping and manhandling fees, plus a whopping one hundred and fifty percent interest. These folks don’t necessarily hate freedom, they’d just prefer that you visit it in a museum under a glass cover.
If this sounds like a paranoid fantasy, let us reflect upon the following evidence for the recent and undue ascension of Big Brother in our Western Democracies.