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.
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.
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 ‑‑
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.
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?
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.