Former NSA Technical Director Tells German Committee Spy Agency Has "Totalitarian Mentality"


been there

William Binney worked at the National Security Agency (NSA) for 40 years, and warned about the agency's constitutional violations of people's right to privacy and due process before and after leaving the NSA in 2001. In 2007 his home was raided by the FBI during a leaks investigation. This week Binney testified before a special committee of the Bundestag, Germany's parliament, that is looking into the NSA's spying activities in the country and Germany's own intelligence services' complicity in those activities.

Deutsche Welle reports:

Testifying, Binney accused the NSA of having a "totalitarian mentality" and wanting "total information control" over citizens in breach of the US constitution. It was an approach that until now the public had only seen among dictators, he added.

Mass collection was "senseless" and did not help in counterterrorism, and actually hindered the agency's capabilities, Binney said.

The NSA represented the "greatest threat" to American society since the US Civil War of the 19th century, Binney added.

German media also report that the NSA targeted Internet users who encrypted data or tried to remain anonymous on the Internet.

Watch a Reason TV interview with Binney from earlier this year below:

NEXT: Value Online Privacy? NSA Classifies You as an 'Extremist,' Collects More Than Metadata

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  1. But they need all of this information to prevent another–

    before and after leaving the NSA in 2001.


    1. This really needs more attention from the media. Or any attention at all.

      1. Dude, women just lost the right to contraception forever in the Hobby Lobby case because of evil corporations and you want us to pay attention to this? Are you some kind of extremely extreme extremist or something?

  2. OT: my apologies, won’t be around for the afternoon links, wanted to share that the baby who had the flash-bang grenade go off in his crib has been released from the hospital and is doing reasonably well.

    Bou Bou’s mother Alecia Phonesavanh said, “Bou Bou has long way to go, he has suffered brain injury, still has damage to his chest and has lost his left nipple. After surviving his face and chest being blown open, his strength and fight for full recovery is keeping us hopeful. He is our miracle. Your prayers and support has helped our family during this difficult time.”

    1. And the police chief still thinks this whole thing was her fault.

    2. Thanks for that update. I followed her stuff via my email for a while, but her (friend of the mother on the donation page) didn’t give a lot of information.

      I hope this family owns that fucking police department.

      for everyone else, if you haven’t donated, please do. Anything helps. Her friend put up a gofundme page.

  3. German media also report that the NSA targeted Internet users who encrypted data or tried to remain anonymous on the Internet.

    OK, but they don’t need to give any special scrutiny to the people who send their traffic in plain text, since they can already read it.

    (Not excusing the NSA, just annoyed when I see valid complaints diluted with hyperbole.)

    1. I am guessing he means that merely encrypting data makes one a target without any other flags required. Otherwise, silly.

      1. I’m with DwT on this.

        I believe that since encrypted traffic can easily be identified through heuristics, that the NSA took a “hmm, what do these people have to hide” approach to the data.

        But yes, it’s only speculation.

        However, we have it on good authority from a local NSA troll that the NSA has never ever ever spied or sucked up illegal data [and successfully prosecuted an American citizen because of it].

        Lots of goalpost moving in that statement, which I suspect was the point.

  4. I can only imagine such “totalitarian” organization to be utterly incompetent.

  5. Although I wasn’t able to cut everyone I wanted to, I have cut a lot of you. NSA is cut. IRS, you’re cut, too. FDA, FCC, cut, VA, you’re cut. DEA, I like your hustle, which is why it was so hard to cut you. Congratulations, the rest of you made the government. Except the SBA, DOE and ATF.

    -The Simpsons picture from this morning made me nostalgic.

    1. “Don’t make me cut juu, ese!”

  6. This is an excellent interview and should be watched in full. I’m extremely impressed with Mr. Binney.

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