This article originally appeared in News Voice.
Some of the most vocal critics of the ethics of the U.S. governmental and surveillance agencies have been the ones who worked and built their tracking programs. The problem many of these individuals feel — like Bill Binney, a former technical director at the NSA — is that the spying mechanisms and frameworks have been abused by successive American governments following the travesty that was 9/11. The sheer amount of data that was being fed in to the National Security Agency in the lead-up to 9/11 is also a moot point in that the event was an entirely avoidable catastrophe. Programs originally designed and implemented to protect U.S. citizens are now being used against its population.
Speaking to Bill Binney, we wanted to find out a bit more about how the National Security Agency functions and in what ways it violates the U.S. constitution. He told Newsvoice Think that it’s now practically impossible for any member of the public to communicate safely, privately or in a fashion that doesn’t end up in an NSA repository unit.
“The Fairview surveillance program has been used to spy on the Donald Trump administration, even before he took office. Now they’re starting to talk about this program simply because the politicians are getting hit with it. The poor suckers and thousands of citizens that have been jailed via this program. They don’t count. They’re the Department of Just-Us.”
With Telegram hitting the news early in 2018, the focus on encrypted messaging apps and their primary function was much debated. In Iran, the government there blamed Pavel Durov’s product and banned it for inciting and encouraging revolution in a country already nervous and encircled by U.S. bases in the Middle East. The argument on encrypted messaging apps rages on with many in the U.K., such as Amber Rudd and even the Prime Minister calling on access in unique cases such as terrorist activity. Bill Binney, however, was sceptical on whether there is any way that the public can protect themselves from intrusion on their metadata.
Censorship isn’t secluded to just Iran, though. With journalists across the globe still being jailed or in extreme cases, as witnessed recently in Slovakia, killed for their investigative work and reporting. Binney describes that the CIA have been involved and have colluded with the press since the ’50s and that the former director of the CIA, William J. Casey once said: “We’ll know when our propaganda campaign has succeeded; when everything and everyone in the country believes is false.”
While Russia’s influence on the 2016 U.S. elections continues to hark debate, Bill Binney found himself at the centre of the furore late in 2017. At the behest of Donald Trump, he was summoned by the then CIA director Mike Pompeo who wanted his thoughts on Russian ‘hacking’.
“The intelligence community was not telling them the truth. They’re trying to drum up a new cold war. Look what they said in public testimony about spying, look what they said about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq: Nobody’s been telling the truth about these major issues. Then they go off and kill hundreds of thousands of people based on a lie so they can go and build these military industrial complexes.”