Robert Scheer SI Podcast SI: Autobiography SI: History SI: Memory: Autobiography, Biography & History SI: Reporting Abuse of Power

William Binney: Blowing the Whistle on the NSA

The former National Security Agency official turned whistleblower examines the fight between Apple and the US government over access to data.
Robert Scheer sits down with former National Security Agency official turned whistle-blower William Binney to discuss the fight between Apple and the US government over access to Americans' cell phone data and why he believes there can be too much intelligence.
William Binney. [Photo: Jacob Appelbaum]

William Binney spent over 30 years at the National Security Agency as a high ranked official and left in 2002 after being criticizing the agency’s system for collecting data on Americans. In their conversation, Binney explains why he thinks the government is overreaching with Apple in its attempt to access data from the cell phones of the San Bernardino shooters. Binney talks about how the NSA is now overwhelmed with data, doesn’t need nearly what it is collecting, and how there are other ways to get the data it is looking for without invading most Americans’ privacy. Binney also discusses the ThinThread data collection system he helped create while at the NSA, which ended prematurely, and why he believes the agency chose instead to implement the more expensive and bulky Trailblazer, later widely considered to be a failure.


William Binney – former intelligence official

Robert Scheer

Joshua ScheerRebecca Mooney