NSA Whistleblower reveals scary details of government’s spying ability

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Last night, news broke that the federal government has been tapping into the servers of nine major internet companies allowing them to access phone records, e-mail, web chats, photographs and documents. Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple are all reported to be a part of this program, code-named PRISM. TheBlaze has been covering the troubling surveillance state and reporting the information released by whistleblowers, and today Glenn welcomed crypto-mathematician and 36 year NSA employee William Binney to speak on the issue.

Transcript below:

GLENN: The whistleblowers we have talked to had guns pointed at their heads by our FBI for trying to tell you the truth. Thank goodness people are starting to listen. William Binney is one of them. He is ‑‑ you were with the NSA for 40 years. What was your title at the NSA?

BINNEY: Well, I rose up to be the Technical Director of the World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Group which was about 6,000 analysts which, you know, that was basically the intelligence reporting of NSA.

GLENN: Okay. So tell me what, how bad ‑‑ tell the American people who might be listening for the very first time ‑‑ because this is no longer theory now; this is out there ‑‑ tell us exactly the truth and what the White House and the members of congress don’t want you to know.


BINNEY:  I see that the whole program started early in ‑‑ or late, late or mid to late October 2001, and it started by pulling in just a toll record or the phone records from various telephone companies of U.S. citizens making phone calls anywhere in the world or in the United States. So that total accumulation I estimated about 3 billion U.S.‑to‑U.S. phone calls every day. So that was being indexed. So that was building your communities of interest out of that so that who you talk to daily or ‑‑ and how you interact with them was being recorded and could be timelined so you could look at a timeline and see how people interact with others. This included the senators, House Representatives, everybody.

So then in 2003 with Mark Klein’s disclosure of the NARIS devices on the fiberoptic lines of the ‑‑ inside the United States of America, that started to say, well, they are spreading around inside this country to somewhere between 10 and 20 sites the capacity to collect e‑mails and any other activity on the Internet and store it, okay? So that gave them that information. This is the intelligence community doing it. You know, you hear all the requests for the FBI to get the information, but that’s only because the FBI needs it to get to go into court. And you can’t use NSA‑collected data for court because it’s not acquired by a warrant. But if the FBI has to request a warrant to get it, then they can take it into court to ‑‑

GLENN: Okay. So why did the president have to go and say, “I want William Rosen’s stuff”? Because he intended on prosecuting? Or James Rosen?

BINNEY: I think it’s ‑‑ excuse me, Glenn. But I think it’s to intimidate reporters for the main part, but also there probably is somebody they’re interested in prosecuting that’s been, you know, talking to Jim Rosen or to the AP. There’s more in there. Maybe they were interested in the stories that the AP was trying to develop. So by getting that kind of data, they could take it into court and show the relationships that would imply, you know, who was leaking information or who was ‑‑ or they couldn’t ‑‑ they could assert that as an allegation for an indictment.

PAT: We’re talking to NSA whistleblower William Binney. William, what do you say to people who claim, “Well, I don’t ‑‑ I don’t care if they’re collecting information on me. I’m not doing anything wrong anyway. What are they going to do with it?” What do you say to those people who just don’t understand what this is all about?

BINNEY: Well, you can only try to point out examples of things that go on that could very well be a part of this. Like, for example, all of the IRS targeting of the TEA Party. I’ve said early on several years ago that if you wanted to know who was involved in the TEA Party, this kind of activity would lay out their entire structure and the whole ‑‑ everybody who’s involved in it, no matter where they are inside the country. And that information then could be passed to the IRS to target people.

PAT: What do you think ‑‑ what do you think the administration is doing with this information now? Are they doing anything nefarious with it? Are ‑‑ I mean, will they turn this against us?

BINNEY: I think they are already doing that.

PAT: Yeah.

BINNEY: But ‑‑ to a certain degree. But certainly that’s been my major, my major concern is that that’s how ‑‑ that’s how totalitarian states begin. Once you have that kind of information about the population, you can now control your population. This has been historically true down through the ages of how these totalitarian states work. I mean, the KGB did it when Russia, the Gestapo did it in Germany and 00

PAT: Yeah, look how much further we can go than the KGB did with the technology available.

GLENN: This is way beyond. There wouldn’t be a Jew alive on the planet today if they had this information.

BINNEY: They could never have dreamed of having this kind of capability.

GLENN: Okay. So tell me that ‑‑ because I’ve heard conflicting reports on this and I would like to get your opinion because I believe I know what is capable. They are saying that, two things: One, oh, no, they’re just connecting the dots. They are not ‑‑ they don’t have access to any conversations or anything.” Then on the other side of that I’ve heard they can take every keystroke. So in other words, you start writing an e‑mail and you can delete, delete, delete, delete, and they’ll have what you wrote and all of the deletes if they care to open those packages. True or false?

BINNEY: That’s true. I mean, their statement about we don’t have content is an outright lie. I mean, that’s been going on ‑‑

PAT: Wow.

BINNEY: ‑‑ the NARIS devices from 2003 give them that data. Even the telcoms. If you looked at that report on Prism, they were requesting information like e‑mails, you know, videos, all kinds. That’s all content.

GLENN: So Bill, they have ‑‑ I know this. We started getting on this because we had Michael Chertoff and John Ashcroft on on days when Bush was still in office and neither of them would go online. Neither of them would have a phone or and they just laughed at me. And they were like, if you knew what we could do, you wouldn’t have it either. And we started talking about it at that point.


GLENN: And so it won’t really stop because how do you dismantle something like this? First of all, for all of those members of the media that were talking about these things via conspiracy theory, what the hell did they build the Utah information vault for? How do you dismantle something like this?

I listened to Lindsey Graham give his testimony and I thought to myself, “Gee, Lindsey, what is it they have on you?”


GLENN: What is it they have on you because this doesn’t make any ‑‑ what you’re saying is totalitarian in its end.

BINNEY: I agree, Glenn. I mean, it’s really disturbing what he’s saying. I mean, I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t stand up for the Constitution.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: So how do you end it? So how do you end it? Does it end?

BINNEY: I mean, it’s going to take radical action by the people just to vote these idiots out of office.

GLENN: But they ‑‑ again, I go back to what George Bush said to me, you know, “my hands are ‑‑ my hands are tied pretty much, I have no real decisions.” Who is going to shut down? It’s really not about the elected officials. You know, one thing I thought of was I don’t believe for a second John Roberts, because I’ve read the ‑‑ I’ve read the ruling. He was on the other side and didn’t even have enough chance ‑‑ time to really even rout out all of the things that he was writing. He was on the other side, and he comes in for the ruling and he’s blurry eyed and looked like he’s been crying all night. I mean, honestly what gives me any kind of confidence that that man wasn’t called up by somebody and says, “John, John, John. I don’t think you’re going to vote that way because of X, Y or Z.” I mean ‑‑

PAT: If they are doing this to congress, they are certainly doing it to Supreme Court justices. I mean, that’s a possibility, right?

GLENN: Right.

BINNEY: Well, they’re all in it. I mean, it’s not ‑‑ all their data’s being collected. So that’s certainly possible.

GLENN: Okay. Bill, I sure appreciate all of the heat that you have taken for so long, and you have been ‑‑ you have been vindicated through this story and I unfortunately ‑‑

BINNEY: Yes, unfortunately.

GLENN: ‑‑ unfortunately know that that is not something that you celebrate.


GLENN: But I thank you, and thank you for all of the help that you have given the country. And I’d like to have you on again maybe next week to talk about encouraging other whistleblowers, in anything that we can do, anything we can do as people to help encourage those who know, who might have a guilty conscience and just have been like, “I don’t know what to do” and they feel trapped. How can we help them? So ‑‑

BINNEY: Yeah. Well, certainly there still are people like that because these exposures are coming out.

GLENN: Yeah. And it’s amazing, they are coming out even at the time when the administration is doing their damnedest to intimidate and scare them.

BINNEY: Yeah, that’s right.

GLENN: It gives me a little bit of hope.


GLENN: Thank you very much, Bill.

BINNEY: Okay, thanks.

GLENN: Appreciate it. One of the chief guys from the NSA, William Binney, and we will talk to him again.

  • landofaahs

    This is all old news if you listened to Alex Jones.  He says a lot of things I don’t agree with but quite a few I do.  Of course if Alex says it Glenn calls him a conspiracy theorist nut job.  But if Glenn says the same thing that Alex says and then the left calls Glenn a conspiracy nut job, well that is I am being persecuted. 
    I don’t believe that the govt. was involved in 911, but I can tell you this, they are capable of it.  I think that now we can all see what our own govt. is “Capable” of.  I have 0.0 trust in these bastards.

    • http://www.artinphoenix.com/gallery/grimm snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

      The evil of any government renders them capable of anything to achieve their ends.

      This is proven throughout history; and I can never trust any level of government, from the local, city, state or Federal. No trust at all, only constant vigilance and exposure of all crimes they commit.

    • Anonymous

      Alex Jones has no credibility.  Not one single solitary official investigation has uncovered any detail to implicate the Bush Administration in 9/11.   The theory of the explosive charges on the towers’ support structure was totally debunked.  I don’t hear anybody blaming Bush for the Bali night club bombings or the Kenya and Tanzania embassies…etc.  That being said…President Bush genuinely used the Patriot Act to combat terrorism.  The distinction that almost no liberal will admit about Obama, is that he uses a Republican’s policy to undermine Republicans.  Obama has never had an original thought, never had a moment of humility, and never has he gone after anything but state-sponsored totalitarianism in the most pure form that could ever be possible.  People don’t realize that without the House majority Republican after the 2014 election…everyone could be completely broke in about a year!  This has happened before so many times.  What people who don’t read a lot of history don’t understand is what a fragile balance a republic stands upon.  It wouldn’t have been good if a far right person had done this either, but the one they blame didn’t get that far, even if in fact he tried.  The Leftist is the one who curtailed too much power into his own hands.  Some will be blaming Bush from political conditioning centers someday, dying in the Leftist denial.  There will be plenty of “zeks” in our future.

      • landofaahs

        I’m not defending everything Alex Jones says. Just like I don’t agree with everything Glenn says. I remember Glenn talking about his WhiteHouse meeting with George Bush and said he agreed with Bush on the wars and thought he understood it. Sorry I am more harry Truman in the fact that I believe you go to war when forced and you knock the snot out of them and leave just a little left to come back and destroy if they give you anymore problems. Do that once and very few will be tempted to do that again and don’t rebuild them. Both parties suck as far as I’m concerned and I would rather see Tea Party top to bottom.

        • Anonymous

          Your ideas on foreign policy are sound… I have one disagreement, and only with regard to the Muslim world. Any belligerent group over there will keep fighting to the death and blame us for every bad thing that happens to them. We won’t ever be left alone by the Muslim world, ever.

    • pontyponty

      it isn’t WHAT  Alex Jones says .. it’s the way that he says it which makes people believe he is a schill out to ridicule the so-called conspiracy theorists.  The conspiracies are there alright, perhaps the details of what people know are not totally correct, that doesn’t really matter. it’s the essence of what people know which is most important, the details can change all the time, .. but the plot/ plan .. remains the same.

  • http://www.artinphoenix.com/gallery/grimm snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

    Here is another matter to consider: if this is now in the open, how many other advanced programs are they using that have never seen the light? How far does the control and power from PRISM and others spread around the world? 

    • Anonymous

      Exactly – you never get caught the first time you stick your hand in the cookie jar

  • Anonymous

    I got off of FaceBook because of this factor.  Now, when I pull up the Blaze, or any other Conservative organization’s website I get a beep that may imply that someone plugs into what I’m reading.  This does not happen to other sites that are not political. Because I’ve been a former Mayor, I do feel that I’m being watched.  I’ve asked others if this is happening to them when they pull up conservative information.  So far, I have found that it’s not happening to them.  I don’t know how to check on this, but it is not spam/pop-up after I get off these sites.  I’m wondering if this is happening to anyone else.

    • Anonymous

       Adjust your tin foil hat

      • Guest

         Adjust your attitude and snarkiness. You have no grounds for making a coment like that.

  • Isaac Madsen

    I would like to share my petition asking Verizon to take action and stop cooperating at this level with the NSA. Whether or not you believe this goes far enough, please sign and tell Verizon that if they won’t take action against this corruption, we won’t take our business to them anymore.

    Thank you!

    Signed, Isaac Madsen


  • landofaahs

    To all of you people who voted for Obama but don’t like the revelations you are hearing but hate to denounce your once beloved obamaterd;  He is only half black, the other half is white, so you can trash him and you will not be considered an Uncle Tom.  Obama has no slave blood in him.  He only has slave-holder blood in him through his mommy.  His daddy was from Kenya and so he has no  background with the slave experience, not to mention Jim Crow. ))))

    • Anonymous

      Ah, but the “hapa haole” clown does have slave experience…through daddy and the Muslim connection. Muslims were slave trading and proselytizing in many parts of Africa well before Europeans started to do it in the 15th Century. Idiots like calypso Louie and Obama know absolutely nothing about history…or they choose to ignore the facts. Obama may not have AMERICAN slave blood in him but I wonder if daddy’s tribe was complicit in the slave trade.

      However, I agree and like your overall point! Stick it to ’em!

      • landofaahs

        Yes, but not an American slavery connection as a descendant.

  • greywolfrs

    This is exactly the reason to use Open Source. Stop using Microshaft, Crapple, Fagbook and all the other “big” companies that seem to roll over and do whatever the government wants. Open Source works WAY better, is less encumbered and is FREE. (in most cases) Linux has a shell that allows one to use any application that would run in Windows. Many Applications are written for Linux. It is quite easy to get away from these companies and their products.

  • Xjandin

    Does anyone seriously believe this is all there is? This is just the smallest TIP of the iceberg.  Go watch the movie ‘Enemy of the State’ and multiply that by about 1000 and you’ll be close. And yes, I do have the ‘credentials.’ You are under so much surveillance that putting a chip in you to monitor you is no longer necessary – yes, both your phone and your computer record even when they’re ‘off,’ and much, much more.

    I also like how Obama is now saying all this surveillance is ‘good’ for us to keep us safe. Liberty is gone.

  • landofaahs

    What am I willing to sacrifice for my safety?  Freedom? No. But I will sacrifice a bit of lead from my second amendment….and my .357.  Just point me to the terrorists.
    By the way Mr. President.  There are some of us who will arm ourselves and go to the boderS. and protect our homeland.  Some of us will do it without pay.  How can you turn that down?

  • Anonymous


    We operate our business with the highest level of integrity and
    accountability, using the Verizon Credo to provide clear direction for
    our actions every day. Our Conduct: Given our global reach and
    extensive supply chain, it is imperative that we conduct business
    responsibly and ethically, maintaining our reputation for trust and
    integrity wherever we operate. Our Code of Conduct protects customer
    information. RIGHT!!!

    June 7, 2013

    Dear Lowell C. McAdam, Chairman & CEO, Verizon Communications, Inc.

    I am offended and angry that my rights are being trampled by an ever increasing and oppressive government filled with corrupt leaders. Among those rights is the Right to Privacy… guaranteed not only in the Constitution but by Federal Law and enforced by the FCC as well. Apparently those of you who head Verizon have forgotten this little
    detail and have become accessories to Conspiracy against the American People by unlawfully disclosing private information to the NSA without my written consent, without just cause, and without a legally issued warrant by the courts… all required by law!!! As any Customer doing business with a company large or small, I demand that my rights to Privacy be held sacred and inviolate. Without such guarantees, I cannot become and should not remain a customer of such a company.

    I have been a loyal Verizon Customer spending several hundred dollars each month for service for my family. It is not too much to expect that my rights and liberties to be honored and maintained by your company. I am very disturbed and disgusted with Verizon. Shame on you!!! It is wholly unacceptable. It is time for Verizon and its’ Management to be held accountable! I will do all in my power appeal to hundreds of thousands of other Americans to rise up and make their displeasure known through every legal means necessary, including the filing of a class action lawsuit, to send a very definite message these actions will not be tolerated. I would rather return to land line
    service and live without cell service than tolerate blatant actions that threaten my Privacy and my Person from any organization or company. That includes the NSA, FBI, DOJ, CIA or DHS! It includes Verizon. Let me repeat…It will not be tolerated!

    I have spent most of my life involved one way or another in Sales and Marketing, Management and Business Ownership. Therefore, I fully understand the concept of gathering statistical information on customers, their purchase of products or services and the use of demographics for future marketing programs. I also know it is illegal to disclose personally identifiable information on specific customers without a court approved warrant. Any information gathered for marketing purposes must remain within the guidelines set forth by the FCC and Congress in protecting consumer privacy. That means all information gathered and disclosed must be general in nature, with no
    personally identifiable information contained therein. Additionally, conversations, texts and data utilized by each customer cannot be monitored for any reason without a warrant. Has Verizon been served such a warrant? I think not. Therefore, laws have been broken and a price will be paid. I can only suppose either the NSA has exerted undue
    pressure and threats to Verizon unless they comply, or Executive Management at Verizon is too ignorant of the laws to tell NSA to go to hell. Or, the Obama Administration has offered secret corporate benefits to Verizon in exchange for such cooperation. Regardless, your company is guilty of breaking Federal Privacy Laws. Whatever the
    rational, I do not intend to sit idly by and let you get away with it.

    We do not live in Russia, China, North Korea, Venezuela or any other Communist nation. This is the United States of America! We are a FREE nation and we will do all in our power to remain FREE from oppression, tyranny and treason. We will not succumb to the Communist Progressive Elites who desire to control our lives, nor will we accept
    living in a Police Surveillance State. Hell no! We will live FREE or die trying. I would expect that you cherish your liberties with equal passion and determination, but perhaps you don’t.

    In conclusion, let me just say this letter will be forwarded to my attorneys and discussions of a Class Action Lawsuit against Verizon and the United States Government will begin immediately, with additional complaints filed with the FCC and attorney generals of all 50 states. Let me amply clear; Verizon will comply with Federal law and Constitutional Law or face the consequences of angry Americans.

    Yours truly for now and FED UP!!!
    Guy L. Stephenson

  • landofaahs

    Let us thank God that our founding Fathers were not Gandhi’s or MLK’s.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1460198902 Brian Doose

    Obama got 99 problems but a “muslim terrorist” ain’t one

  • Anonymous

    There is really no telling what Obama is doing.  He said that, ‘he was going to transform America’.  The only way to do that is to totally take over and change us from the inside out.  We have to fight back and be strong.  We have to make a change in 2014 – if Obama has his way and they get the House we are doomed.  We think everything is bad now just wait.  VOTE!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=581834054 Ginny Auldridge

    if it becomes illegal to be a faithful Catholic and to crochet a lot I am in deep do-do

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Judge Pirro made some great comments on her show about how our country is changing and it’s not for the better.


  • Anonymous

    Glenn, Sir.  I’m trying to post on here & my posts keep getting “DELETED”!  I have something to say & I would appreciate it if you would see to it that those posts are posted properly.  THANK YOU SIR!!!

  • Anonymous

    Obama never disappoints!  Whenever you think that he has managed to pull his last stunt, teflon man slides right on through and uses the chaos to inflict ever more odious acts upon the American public. 

    The policies of the Patriot Act were designed to be used against foreign terrorists conspiring within the US. Now, it should be done away with because the government simply cannot and will not restrain themselves. We thought that it was an inch that they were taking and, at the time, it was hard to argue against it. Now they have thoroughly tipped their hands and shown us that they will, given the slightest chance, use the provisions of the act to dismantle freedom. 

    I know there are those who would argue that the tradeoff is worth it in order to ensure safety. But how much safety do we now enjoy? I would argue that we have FAR more to fear from our own government’s manipulation of the Patriot Act than the treat from any terrorist organization. As Patrick Henry stated, “Give me liberty, or give me death.” 

  • laura

    “I mean, it’s going to take radical action by the people just to vote these idiots out of office.”
    Ok…..am I missing something here?

  • Anonymous

    I’m getting confuse believe it because the government is playing with words with this spying on innocent U.S citizens ????  Government say they are not listening or taping our conversations ???? But it was made public that  F.B.I had a system  name CARNIVORE some time ago if you mention a key word like bombs or bombing,explosion etc that this computer scanning system would start taping your phone call and other calls or collect your e-mails that just the F.B.I agency never mind the others agencies  ???  Now with the Boston bombings how many citizens use the word bombings in their conversation as terrible ,would it set off taping of your call and others calls you had, and create a file  of your contacts and where they located and start a file on them too !!  To create file on you and keep it in storage even though your innocent so if your too out spoken and against obama or not in lock step with him ,the government will miss use this file to pressure you to be silent or to falsely paint you are a enemy of the state !!!  What possibly going here is the collecting of information on you base on the most flimsy reasons because you use a certain word in a private conversation then put it in storage to hold over your heads if you oppose the policy of obama government !!  This is worst than the police consider you a suspect or wrongly arrest you because you somehow connected to the crime scene but not with the crime  , they would keep your finger prints and DNA swab  results in their computer even if you were completely innocent !!!   Now government say they not collecting data on U.S citizens ??? maybe not directly it’s the phone companies and internet companies that doing the actual direct collecting ,the government is just retrieving the data from them !!  Question how does the F.B.I  CARNIVORE system work in scanning phone calls if does not have direct linkage to monitor all phones calls ?? Or does the phone companies records all phone calls secretly and store in a data banks for 3 months ,but the F.B.I CARNIVORE system  have access to data banks and retrieve phone calls to be scan ?????????????????  

  • R. B.

    i dont know what you all talking about … the idea alone that this can be done at any time is insane no matter who you believe  that said what they said say good bye to freedom as you know it the system owns you 1000% this in the wrong hands is the end of all of you! 

  • BillandTara Maxey

    How could we trade all the money in the world for our freedom. Simple they did not fight for it but created the illusion in there mind’s to steal it from our heart’s.

  • BillandTara Maxey

    How could we trade all the money in the world for our freedom. Simple they did not fight for it but created the illusion in there mind’s to steal it from our heart’s.

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