News Release

Whistleblowers: NSA Bulk Collection Not Ending

photo (1)While Slate is claiming: “Senate Approves USA Freedom Act, Which Ends NSA Bulk Surveillance” and the New York Times headlines a story “U.S. Surveillance in Place Since 9/11 Is Sharply Limited,” NSA whistleblowers and analysts are noting that the government has used a series of provisions and “shell games” in order to conduct surveillance.

The following specialists are available for interviews. Many are also taking part in a series of Stand Up for Truth events this week in support of whistleblowing, including ongoing webcasts, see below for details.

WILLIAM BINNEY, williambinney0802 at comcast.net
Currently traveling and available for a limited number of interviews, Binney is an NSA whistleblower. He said today: “While this is a step in the right direction, it doesn’t go nearly far enough in ending bulk acquisition of data. It doesn’t stop activity under [executive order] 12333, that does acquisition right off the fibers — it’s an automatic flow to the NSA. It’s both content and meta data.” Edward Snowden has said: “Without Bill Binney, there would be no Edward Snowden,” See: “The executive order that led to mass spying, as told by NSA alumni.”

J. KIRK WIEBE, jkwiebe at comcast.net, @KirkWiebe
Wiebe is a retired National Security Agency whistleblower who worked at the agency for 36 years, working with Binney. See IPA news release: “‘Patriot Act,’ ‘Freedom Act’ — or a ‘Government Shell Game’.” Both Binney and Wiebe are on the advisory board of ExposeFacts.org, a project of IPA. See their bios here.

MARCY WHEELER, emptywheel at gmail.com, @emptywheel

Wheeler writes widely about the legal aspects of the “war on terror” and its effects on civil liberties. She is the “Right to Know” investigative journalist for ExposeFacts and blogs at emptywheel.net. She said today: “With passage of USA Freedom Act and resumption of all Americans’ call records for a six-month transition period, both domestic and international calls will once again be collected in bulk.”

BILL BLUNDEN, blunden at sfsu.edu

Blunden is author of Behold a Pale Farce: Cyberwar, Threat Inflation, and the Malware-Industrial Complex and recently wrote the piece “The USA Freedom Act Doesn’t End Bulk Data Collection.”

Binney and Wiebe will be on a Stand Up for Truth webcast at 9 p.m. on Friday. Wednesday’s webcast will feature Trevor Timm of the Freedom of Press Foundation and and Tim Shorrock, who just wrote the piece “How Private Contractors Have Created a Shadow NSA.” NSA whistleblower Tom Drake is with Pentagon Papers whistleblower Dan Ellsberg and other whistleblowers speaking in a series of European cities. For a full schedule, see: standupfortruth.org/events.

See pieces by Wheeler for additional background: “Missing from the EO 12333 Discussion: Its Classified Annex Michael Hayden Revised on March 11, 2004,” “Important: Changes to Section 215 Dragnet Will Not Change Treatment of EO 12333 Metadata,” “DOJ IG Issues Yet Another Classified Report that Should Be Public Before Congress Votes on PATRIOT Act” and “Mitch McConnell Just Made the Country Less Safe in Bid to Ensure FISC Continues to Be Rubber Stamp.” She was also recently interviewed by The Real News: “Vast Majority of Spying Will Continue Despite Expiration of Patriot Act Provisions.”

Also, from Charlie Savage in the New York Times: “Recommendation Not Taken Meant ‘Significant Changes’ for Executive Order 12333 Intercepts.”