Former NSA Tech Director Bill Binney held an online Q&A this week on Reddit, where he responded to a variety of questions concerning NSA spying, online security, and more. One important note that viewers picked-up on, was when Binney reiterated the message that we don't need to sacrifice or give-up any of our liberty in order to have security.
Back in the late 90s, Binney co-created the program “ThinThread” which he says was the perfect alternative to mass surveillance. He says that the plan was far superior in that it didn't pose such a threat to civil liberties in its approach to collecting data and sorting through real threats. However, Binney says that the plan was ditched by the NSA over money. Binney further stated that he believed the FISC court should be fired, and that they should not be replaced with anything except the existing Article III courts. He also claimed that the NSA has no oversight of their spending, “they are not audited at all,” said Binney.
When it comes to sacrificing our liberties, one would assume that surely the spying has all been worth it. Sadly that hasn't turned out to be the case. Binney took the liberty to publicly confirm that to date, “all the programs currently in use by the NSA have failed to produce results on anything, but are really good at bulk collection,” A spying task which many say is Unconstitutional to say the least.
“With NSA's budget of over $10 billion a year, they have more resources to acquire your data than you can ever hope to defend against. This has to be addressed in law and legislation. Call your local government representative and complain, otherwise, if you sit and do nothing... you are fucked!!!” says Binney. “They duped the public into thinking they need to do bulk surveillance and this has allowed them to almost triple their budgets,” Binney confessed.
Despite lengthy legal battles to have the bulk data collection deemed unconstitutional, and to have the agency cease its collecting, the NSA continues to this day. Not only do they spy on their own citizens without just cause, but it has also been discovered that they are spying on other government leaders around the world as well. Thankfully there are some within the field, like Edward Snowden, Binney, and others, who are willing to speak the truth and to criticize and expose the wrongdoing.
Watch as PFT's Dan Dicks took to the streets with questions on privacy one day after Edward Snowden revealed the NSA's spying program
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