NSA whistleblower speaks in Eden Prairie

Former high-level National Security Agency intelligence official William Binney spoke to a crowd of about 80 people June 3 at Bent Creek Golf Club in Eden Prairie.

Binney was joined by a panel that included Todd Pierce, a retired U.S. Army judge advocate general corps officer, cryptographer Christopher Burg and moderator Tony Styles to discuss the controversies surrounding the Patriot Act and NSA surveillance.

“I’m kind of semi-responsible for giving them the capability of what they’re doing today,” Binney said. “Which is why I’m fighting so hard.”

Binney worked for the agency for 30 years but retired from the NSA in 2001 when the programs were introduced.

“I knew it was illegal from day one,” Binney said.

Former NSA intelligence official William Binney speaks to a crowd June 3 at Bent Creek Golf Club in Eden Prairie. Binney discussed privacy issues with other panel members. (Sun Current staff photo by Michelle Doeden)
Former NSA intelligence official William Binney speaks to a crowd June 3 at Bent Creek Golf Club in Eden Prairie. Binney discussed privacy issues with other panel members. (Sun Current staff photo by Michelle Doeden)

Sponsored by groups such as StandUporTruth.org, LPMN CD 5 Affiliate, Blue Republicans, Libertarian Party of Minnesota, AgoraFest 2015 and the Minnesota Tea Party Alliance, the event drew a crowd from all over the metro area.

In 2002, Binney and others filed a complaint with the Department of Defense over what they viewed as wasteful and illegal surveillance technology. Then, on July 26, 2007, the FBI raided Binney’s home.

“They decided we needed to be stepped on, so they sent 12 agents simultaneously,” Binney said. “They pointed guns at my son and my wife. I had been cooperating for three months.”
Binney said he received a letter of immunity from the Department of Justice in 2010 after three failed attempts to charge him with something.

“I had exculpatory evidence,” Binney said.

Binney began telling his story to journalists two years before the revelations of NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

When asked about Snowden, Binney said that he should be indicted.

“But, the law should be applied equally, meaning that all those who were involved should be indicted – Bush, Cheney, Obama,” Binney said. “Snowden did steal materials, but the others are committing treason.”

On June 2, just one day before the discussion, Congress imposed the greatest limits on the government’s surveillance power in more than 30 years by introducing the USA Freedom Act. The legislation aims to bring more accountability for the secret court that grants spying powers, and it restricts the NSA’s data collection from telephone companies.

While Binney said it was a step in the right direction, he feels that the legislation is not enough.

“We have to get the lying, secret courts out of the way, […] and we need to put the criminals in jail,” Binney said.

Contact Michelle Doeden at [email protected]

  • Ilya Geller

    NSA spied because of the wrong technology. I changed the technology – NSA won’t spy anymore, I promise.
    NSA is forced to spy because of SQL, which is external to data and is based on queries: NSA spies after queries because it cannot control data itself.

    For the past 70 years SQL (generic name for whatever IBM has done) dominated search for electronic information. It’s external to data technology, which helps to distill patterns and statistics based on queries, externally. SQL technology emanates from External Relations theory of Analytic Philosophy: students of Moore, Russell and Wittgenstein established IBM and everybody followed their path.
    However, there is Internal Relations theory, which is based on Bradley, Poincare and my ideas. In this theory patterns and statistics are found into structured data.

    I discovered and patented how to structure any data: Language has its own Internal parsing, indexing and statistics. For instance, there are two sentences:

    a) ‘Sam!’
    b) ‘A loud ringing of one of the bells was followed by the appearance of a smart chambermaid in the upper sleeping gallery, who, after tapping at one of the doors, and receiving a request from within, called over the balustrades -‘Sam!’.’

    Evidently, that the ‘Sam’ has different importance into both sentences, in regard to extra information in both. This distinction is reflected as the phrases, which contain ‘Sam’, weights: the first has 1, the second – 0.08; the greater weight signifies stronger emotional ‘acuteness’.
    First you need to parse obtaining phrases from clauses, restoring omitted words, for sentences and paragraphs.
    Next, you calculate Internal statistics, weights; where the weight refers to the frequency that a phrase occurs in relation to other phrases.
    After that data is indexed by common dictionary, like Webster, and annotated by subtexts.
    This is a small sample of the structured data:
    this – signify – : 333333
    both – are – once : 333333
    confusion – signify – : 333321
    speaking – done – once : 333112
    speaking – was – both : 333109
    place – is – in : 250000
    To see the validity of technology – pick up any sentence.

    Do you have a pencil?

    Being structured data becomes database: the database is absolutely secure and controllable, it can contain only proper information (because illegal will be discovered at once).
    Personal profiles of structured data have no value neither for NSA nor any crook: they cannot be read and understood in no way. The users finally will get their 101% privacy – see the sample above.

    Does not have sense to fight the Government – better to propose something that is suitable for everybody.

    The Government now has a choice, which it had not had before: I gave it to the Government for free, by the way!