Famed NSA whistleblower William Binney to be honoured by Allard Prize March 14, 2019

All invited to open forum at Allard School of Law at University of British Columbia.

William Binney, NSA whistleblower

In the late 1990s William Binney, a top US National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence official, led the development of ThinThread, a sophisticated signals intelligence system with built-in encryption technology allowing the NSA to collect and analyze communications data without violating privacy laws. Around the time of the September 11 attacks, ThinThread was shelved in favour of the Trailblazer Project, a wasteful, inefficient alternative with no privacy protections.

Binney left the NSA and blew the whistle in an effort to hold the agency accountable for waste and corruption, as well as for illegal and unconstitutional spying on the US population. For doing so, he was harassed and undermined, and further development of his technologies was suppressed.

Today, he advocates worldwide for the adoption of “smart selection,” a disciplined, focused intelligence method that protects citizens’ privacy rights.

Hear Bill Binney speak at free noon-hour forum

Don’t miss this Thursday March 14, 2019 noon-hour event honouring legendary whistleblower William Binney – at Franklin Lew Forum, Allard Hall at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia. (RSVP here)

An audience Q&A will follow Binney’s telling of his fascinating and troubling story of the surveillance state, individuals’ rights to privacy, and what it means to blow the whistle on a powerful government agency.

FBI Raid on William Binney’s home

After retiring from the NSA, Binney founded, together with fellow NSA whistleblower J. Kirk Wiebe, Entity Mapping, LLC, a private intelligence agency to market their analysis program to government agencies

In September 2002, Binney, along with J. Kirk Wiebe and Edward Loomis, asked the U.S. Defense Department Inspector General (DoD IG) to investigate the NSA for allegedly wasting “millions and millions of dollars” on Trailblazer, a system intended to analyze mass collection of data carried on communications networks such as the Internet.

Binney was one of several people investigated as part of an inquiry into a 2005 The New York Times exposé on the agency’s warrantless eavesdropping program. Binney was cleared of wrongdoing after three interviews with FBI agents beginning in March 2007, but in early July 2007, in an unannounced, armed, early morning raid, a dozen agents armed with rifles appeared at his house, one of whom entered the bathroom and pointed his gun at Binney, who was taking a shower.

The FBI confiscated a desktop computer, disks, and personal and business records. The NSA revoked his security clearance, forcing him to close a business he ran with former colleagues at a loss of a reported $300,000 in annual income. The FBI raided the homes of Wiebe and Loomis, as well as House Intelligence Committee staffer Diane Roark, the same morning.

The Edward Snowden Connection

Several months later the FBI raided the home of then still active NSA executive Thomas Andrews Drake who had also contacted DoD IG, but anonymously with confidentiality assured. The Assistant Inspector General, John Crane, in charge of the Whistleblower Program, suspecting his superiors provided confidential information to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), challenged them, was eventually forced from his position, and subsequently himself became a public whistleblower. The punitive treatment of Binney, Drake, and the other whistleblowers also led Edward Snowden to go public with his revelations rather than report through the internal whistleblower program. (Above sections starting with ‘FBI Raid on William Binney’s Home’ copied from Wikipedia Binney Article)

3 comments

  • Great to see a whistle blower from the USA is being honored for their bravery and courage.

    We lack people with moral fibre in our Canadian government especially right in the PMO and our present PM.

    SNC Lavelin has been banned the world over for corruption and bribery and fraud. Not just in Canada but the Canadian charges are very serious and that is why the former AG Jody WR refused to intervene and why the Prosecution office also refused the DPA.

    The international anti bribery organization is now looking into the current prime minister and his office for breach of Section 5 of anti bribery laws where the economy or jobs of the country cannot be used and the PMO and PM over and over again stated the 9000 jobs of SNC Lavelin was central to a DPA.

    Lets hope the international world does not cover up like our own RCMP and government does. The Justice Committee has showed serious breach of trust. JWR has not been called back. Important questions were never asked or answered. JWR still is gagged for her time as Minister of Vetern Affairs and my guess is that is when she received severe threats and she stated if the new AG Lametti tried to give the DPA to SNC Lavelin she would resign. She did. I guess there will be no DPA by Lametti while the International Anti Bribery organization is investigating and my guess there will not be one considering the seriousness of the charges. Its like telling the petty criminals before you in Court. Just dont commit the crimes by yourself. Go do it in a big organization and it will be covered up. Just like the individual employees of SNC Lavelin have been let off of the fraud and bribery charges because they waited too long for trial. Excuse me its all public so their rights have not been trampled on have they.

    From 2001 to 2011 the corruption of SNC Lavelin worldwide is on display to read. The World Bank has banned them. Other countries have banned them. So why doesnt Canada ban them too?

    Because they illegally bribe politicians through election contributions too.

  • Rumplestilskin

    Edward Snowden went public because the internal whistleblower program was abused in order to cover up crooked practices. So Edward Snowden was not a traitor like some try to state because he saw the farce called a whistle blower program that masqueraded as a sheep but really was wolves in sheeps clothing

    This is all proven as true as we read the stories of these former NSA Whistle blowers. So why is Snowden still in Russia or wherever he has gone to and not home in the USA as he is not a traitor but a whistle blower and the only way you force the exposure of the wolves is by going public. Wolves attack and murder sheep or good people. So why are they allowed to go unpunished for their cowardly acts.

    These whistle blowers may also reveal that espionage spying is being done against average citizens as seen with the Havana Syndrome in Cuba. Its not just mass surveillance on the internet. It is done by stalking and harassment as seen from the stories of countless ex CIA who have whistle blew on this sadistic practice in the name of power and money Perhaps Mr. Binney can speak about this if he is aware of it.

  • Grace M Joubarne

    So nice to see the connection to Snowden…rounds out the story nicely.

    All these people, sacrificing their lives and careers for the masses, yet the masses for the most part either have no idea or don’t care.

    We must change, first ourselves and then the ‘system’ we support blindly.

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