April 26, 2012
None of these U.S. citizens was charged with a crime, but they have been tracked, surveilled, detained - sometimes at gunpoint - and interrogated, with no access to a lawyer.
resolute in standing up to the increasing government crackdown on dissent.
William Binney worked for almost 40 years at the secretive National Security Agency (NSA), the U.S. spy agency that dwarfs the CIA.
As technical director of the NSA’s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group, Binney told me, he was tasked to,
Throughout the 1990s, the NSA developed a massive eavesdropping system code-named ThinThread, which, Binney says, maintained crucial protections on the privacy of U.S. citizens demanded by the U.S. Constitution.
Along with several other NSA officials, Binney reported his concerns to Congress and to the Department of Defense.
Then, in 2007, as then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was being questioned on Capitol Hill about the very domestic spying to which Binney objected, a dozen FBI agents charged into his house, guns drawn.
They forced aside his son and found Binney, a
diabetic amputee, in the shower. They pointed their guns at his head, then
led him to his back porch and interrogated him.
Binney called the FBI raid,
Binney was never charged with any crime.
Laura Poitras is an Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker, whose recent films include “My Country, My Country,” about the U.S. occupation of Iraq, and “The Oath,” which was filmed in Yemen.
Since 2006, Poitras has been detained and questioned at airports at least 40 times.
She has had her computer and reporter’s
notebooks confiscated and presumably copied, without a warrant. The most
recent time, April 5, she took notes during her detention. The agents told
her to stop, as they considered her pen a weapon.
Jacob Appelbaum works as a computer security researcher for the nonprofit organization the Tor Project (torproject.org), which is a free software package that allows people to browse the Internet anonymously, evading government surveillance.
Tor was actually created by the U.S. Navy, and is now developed and maintained by Appelbaum and his colleagues. Tor is used by dissidents around the world to communicate over the Internet. Tor also serves as the main way that the controversial WikiLeaks website protects those who release documents to it.
Appelbaum has volunteered for WikiLeaks,
leading to intense U.S. government surveillance.
He started his talk by saying:
He has been detained at least a dozen times at airports:
I asked Binney if he believed the NSA has copies of every email sent in the U.S.
Binney said two senators, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, have expressed concern, but have not spoken out, as, Binney says, they would lose their seats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Meanwhile, Congress is set to vote on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and
Protection Act, or
CISPA. Proponents of Internet freedom are fighting the
bill, which they say will legalize what the NSA is secretly doing already.
Continue at "State Surveillance - 5-Part Special".