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.
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: