Exactly one year ago, the British newspaper “The Guardian” published its first report about secretive U.S. government surveillance programs. That report and dozens of bombshells that have followed, were linked to documents obtained by U.S. government security contractor Edward Snowden.
Today, he remains in Russia, granted temporary asylum. But while there is a lot of attention on Snowden, he is not the first to leak secrets about the U.S. National Security Agency.
More than a decade ago, NSA crypto-mathematician William Binney was the key architect of a software system “ThinThread” designed to sift computer and phone metadata.
The whole idea was to try to design a program that could look be able to look into terabytes of data passing by in the digital age and look into it and see what was important to pull out and sort out for the analysts to analyze. As the NSA’s technical leader for intelligence, Binney objected when, he says, privacy protections in the software were taken out, shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Believing they had violated the U.S. Constitution, he and colleague Kirk Wiebe resigned. CCTV Washington correspondent Daniel Ryntjes reports with interesting details.