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)

Jimmy Dore Show hosts anti-corruption Allard Prize interviews


Jimmy Dore, the comedic master of the political rant, interviews the director and founder of the Allard Prize for International Integrity.

This year’s award ceremony is coming up on September 28, 2017 6:30pm Pacific Time with Glenn Greenwald giving the keynote. You can watch it live-streamed at the Allard Prize website.

The finalists are:

  • Car Wash Task Force (Força Tarefa da Lava Jato) from Brazil
  • Khadija Ismayilova – Journalist from Azerbijan
  • Azza Soliman – Women’s rights lawyer from Egypt

See my on the scene report from the 2015 Allard Prize awards ceremony here.

From St. Matthew to Brad Pitt: The Ethics and Regulation of Expert Witnesses

 

Professor Adam Dodek Allard Law-private

The J. Donald Mawhinney Lecturship in Professional Ethics

Speaker: Associate Professor Adam Dodek

Lecture: “From St. Matthew to Brad Pitt: The Ethics and Regulation of Expert Witnesses”

Thursday, March 17, 2016 – 5pm to 6pm (lecture) – 6pm to 7pm (reception)

Four Seasons Hotel (Vancouver), Arbutus Room

RSVP by email or phone (604.822.5018)
The deadline to RSVP is March 15, 2016

This event qualifies for 1.0 CPD credit

About the lecture:

In recent years, many concerns have been raised about the role and the regulation of expert witnesses. Many of these concerns are not new. Critics have been questioning the ability of expert witnesses to be independent since at least the 19th century. This lecture will examine the ethical expectations of expert witnesses and evaluate how the justice system attempts to regulate their ethical conduct. It concludes that not only is the current approach to the regulation of expert witnesses insufficient, it is fundamentally flawed. A new paradigm is needed for the regulation of expert witnesses, one which imposes obligations on all actors in the justice system: lawyers, judges as well as experts.

In recent years, many concerns have been raised about the role and the regulation of expert witnesses. Many of these concerns are not new. Critics have been questioning the ability of expert witnesses to be independent since at least the 19th century. This lecture will examine the ethical expectations of expert witnesses and evaluate how the justice system attempts to regulate their ethical conduct. It concludes that not only is the current approach to the regulation of expert witnesses insufficient, it is fundamentally flawed. A new paradigm is needed for the regulation of expert witnesses, one which imposes obligations on all actors in the justice system: lawyers, judges as well as experts.

About the speaker:

Adam Dodek is an Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law. He is a graduate of McGill, Harvard Law School and the University of Toronto and a member of the bars of Ontario and California. He has clerked for the Supreme Courts of Canada and Israel and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is a founder of the Canadian Association of Legal Ethics (CALE) and was named by Canadian Lawyer in 2014 as one of Canada’s Most Influential Lawyers. In 2015, the Law Society of Upper Canada awarded him its Law Society Medal.

Adam Dodek is an Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law. He is a graduate of McGill, Harvard Law School and the University of Toronto and a member of the bars of Ontario and California. He has clerked for the Supreme Courts of Canada and Israel and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is a founder of the Canadian Association of Legal Ethics (CALE) and was named by Canadian Lawyer in 2014 as one of Canada’s Most Influential Lawyers. In 2015, the Law Society of Upper Canada awarded him its Law Society Medal.

Allard Prize Winner: “Lawyers are servants in the architecture of corruption.” 

The writer with Lieutenant-General, the Honourable Roméo Dallaire.

The writer with Lieutenant-General, the Honourable Roméo Dallaire.

by Donald Best

by Donald Best

Last week I had the honour and privilege of being an invited guest at the 2015 Allard Prize for International Integrity.

The $100,000 Allard Prize is one of the world’s largest prizes dedicated to the fight against corruption and protecting human rights. The prize is administered by the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia, and is awarded every two years to a person, movement or organization that demonstrates exceptional courage and leadership in combating corruption, especially through promoting transparency, accountability and Rule of Law.

Over the two days of events, I spoke for a total of several hours with the 2015 finalists, various members of the Allard Prize Committee and Advisory Board, other invited guests and the keynote speaker, Lieutenant-General, the Honourable Roméo Dallaire.

To be honest, there were times when I felt a bit like a duck out of water, to be in the presence of so many leaders and esteemed persons from Canada and around the world. I was surprised to learn that several people I spoke with were already aware of my story in some detail. A few even sought me out and introduced themselves at the various events. They had heard about how Ontario lawyers fabricated evidence and lied to the courts to convict me of contempt of court in my absence from Canada during a rushed civil hearing that I was not made aware of.

It was also interesting to hear the anti-corruption community’s focus turning from the injustice of my conviction and incarceration to a wider concern about how Ontario’s legal profession covered up and whitewashed proven corruption and criminal acts by lawyers from some of Canada’s largest and most respected law firms.

As one person commented to me,

“How could the Law Society of Upper Canada not look into a lawyer taking a million dollars for a phony company he knows doesn’t really exist?”

That was a good question, and one for which I had no answer. The one thing we do know is that the million dollars was never deposited by Faskens lawyer Gerald Ranking into any bank account in the name of his fraudulent, non-existent, phoney Barbados client ‘PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean Firm’.

I shared a chuckle with the Attorney General for British Columbia, The Honourable Suzanne Anton Q.C., whom I did not recognize. Ms. Anton is a gracious person, and from what I heard at the reception, is a zealous advocate for integrity and ethical behaviour in the legal profession.   Read more