Bill Binney Told You So

Remember when Bill Binney said NSA was compiling dossiers of Americans, but Keith Alexander said that wasn’t true?

A former NSA official has accused the NSA’s director of deception during a speech he gave at the DefCon hacker conference on Friday when he asserted that the agency does not collect files on Americans.

William Binney, a former technical director at the NSA, said during a panel discussion that NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander was playing a “word game” and that the NSA was indeed collecting e-mails, Twitter writings, internet searches and other data belonging to Americans and indexing it.

“Unfortunately, once the software takes in data, it will build profiles on everyone in that data,” he said. “You can simply call it up by the attributes of anyone you want and it’s in place for people to look at.”

[snip]

Binney was contradicting statements made on Friday by Alexander, who told the crowd of hackers and security professionals that his agency “absolutely” does not maintain files on Americans.

“And anybody who would tell you that we’re keeping files or dossiers on the American people,” Alexander continued, “knows that’s not true.”

The tantalizing reporting duo of Laura Poitras and James Risen (writing at NYT) report the NSA is … compiling graphs that show Americans’ connections with foreign targets, using both communications metadata and public resources like bank, insurance, Facebook, flight, voting property, and GPS information.

Since 2010, the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials.

[snip]

The policy shift was intended to help the agency “discover and track” connections between intelligence targets overseas and people in the United States, according to an N.S.A. memorandum from January 2011. The agency was authorized to conduct “large-scale graph analysis on very large sets of communications metadata without having to check foreignness” of every e-mail address, phone number or other identifier, the document said. Because of concerns about infringing on the privacy of American citizens, the computer analysis of such data had previously been permitted only for foreigners.

The agency can augment the communications data with material from public, commercial and other sources, including bank codes, insurance information, Facebook profiles, passenger manifests, voter registration rolls and GPS location information, as well as property records and unspecified tax data, according to the documents. They do not indicate any restrictions on the use of such “enrichment” data, and several former senior Obama administration officials said the agency drew on it for both Americans and foreigners.

It sure sounds like a dossier to me.

But then, the safe bet was always to assume Keith Alexander (and James Clapper, who also denied this) was lying.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+2Email to someone

13 Responses to Bill Binney Told You So

Emptywheel Twitterverse
JimWhiteGNV @biasedreporter Not that I've seen on either front.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @biasedreporter He gets attacked all the time because he's good. I'm sure he laughed at it taking this long to get a hit piece in Politico.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @kirkmurphy: You speak for Iraq war crimes, @DavidFrum. You earned Nuremberg's short drop,but life in The Hague will do. #cdnpoli https:…
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @RMFifthCircuit @WerlySportsLaw In some fairness, CA8 has cleared a lot of crim cases lately, maybe were just backed up on the impt stuff.
4hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @davidsirota: You represent an administration that has used the Espionage Act against whistleblowers https://t.co/7mFAtZ9yDl https://t.c…
4hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @RMFifthCircuit So then they would affirm if CA2 did?? Not sure I buy their concern for split. But, dang, "something" is going on!
4hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @RMFifthCircuit Not sure why they would do that, but who knows?
4hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @ChMadar: Good to see an op-ed on a war crime. Bad to see few op-eds about Afghan War's big picture: strategy, costs, morality https://t…
4hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel That's right: When do we get our 5th anniversary OBL porn stash reenactment, Intel Community? WHEN!?!?!?! https://t.co/Nln8rvneO3
5hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @samsteinhp Curt Schilling, Urban Meyer
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @AriMelber: Breaking: No charges in VA tasing death Officer who tased 15x said suspect grabbed it - but his hands were cuffed: https://…
5hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @kevinjonheller: You mean the doctor who gave fake vaccines, discrediting Western medicine and causing untold suffering to innocents? ht…
5hreplyretweetfavorite
September 2013
S M T W T F S
« Aug   Oct »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930