Bill Binney, the ‘original’ NSA whistleblower, on Snowden, 9/11 and illegal surveillance

Computer Weekly

Bill Binney believes that 9/11 was preventable. A month after it happened, he resigned in protest from the US National Security Agency (NSA).

Binney was part of an elite NSA team which designed and built an intelligence-gathering system to target and collect data on terrorism threats.

He belongs to an intimate group of four whistleblowers, each of whom left the NSA after raising concerns about failures in the agency’s intelligence-gathering capabilities.

Binney’s track record is impeccable. He spent four years in the Army Security Agency during the Vietnam War before transferring to the NSA in 1970.

He rose to become technical director of World Geopolitical & Military Analysis at the Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center (SARC), a 6,000-strong research centre he co-founded at NSA’s headquarters in Maryland, US.

In a wide-ranging interview with Computer Weekly, Binney raises serious concerns over the NSA’s current surveillance programmes.

He alleges:

The NSA buried key intelligence that could have prevented 9/11;
The agency’s bulk data collection from internet and telephone communications is unconstitutional and illegal in the US;
The NSA is ineffective at preventing terrorism because analysts are too swamped with information under its bulk collection programme;
Electronic intelligence gathering is being used for covert law enforcement, political control and industrial espionage, both in and beyond the US;
Edward Snowden’s leaks could have been prevented.

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