Abby Martin interviews former Technical Director of the National Security Agency, Bill Binney, who blew the whistle on warrantless spying years before Edward Snowden released the evidence. They discuss the US empire’s mass surveillance program and dangers of the Intelligence Industrial Complex.
Today, the mass surveillance of all Americans by the US government and its corporate partners is a totally normalized reality. Despite its widespread acceptance, it is an outrageous, blatant violation of our constitutional rights.
It’s difficult to ascertain how the “chilling effect” of dragnet spying has changed society in the post 9/11 world.
However, many insiders in the intelligence community understood the dangers of these programs from the beginning.
Edward Snowden is celebrated as a hero for bringing proof of NSA’s mass spying and bulk collection to the world.
But years prior, Bill Binney had blown the whistle on this very same program. A 36-year NSA veteran, Bill Binney was the technical director, responsible for developing and overseeing the agency’s spying technology.
He even developed Thin Thread, the data monitoring program that was later hijacked by the Bush administration to implement widespread warrantless surveillance.
Mounting pressure caused Obama to pass the USA Freedom Act in 2015, which only outsourced it’s bulk acquisition to telecom companies, using the secretive FISA court as an intermediary.
And nearly 20 years after 9/11 these unaccountable agencies are using new fears, like of Russian cyber-warfare, to grow their power and operations.
I caught up with Binney in Vancouver, at the University of British Columbia, where he received the Allard Prize for International Integrity, to talk to him about blowing the whistle and the fight against the surveillance state today.
By Empire Files
The 21st Century