An Open Forum with Bill Binney: Reflections of an NSA Whistleblower

Thursday, March 14, 2019 - 12:30

Franklin Lew Forum

In the late 1990s William Binney, a top US National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence official, led the development of ThinThread, a sophisticated signals intelligence system with built-in encryption technology allowing the NSA to collect and analyze communications data without violating privacy laws. Around the time of the September 11 attacks, ThinThread was shelved in favour of the Trailblazer Project, a wasteful, inefficient alternative with no privacy protections. Binney left the NSA and blew the whistle in an effort to hold the agency accountable for waste and corruption, as well as for illegal and unconstitutional spying on the US population. For doing so, he was harassed and undermined, and further development of his technologies was suppressed. Today, he advocates worldwide for the adoption of “smart selection,” a disciplined, focused intelligence method that protects citizens’ privacy rights.

Don’t miss this noon-hour event honouring a legendary whistleblower. An audience Q&A will follow Binney’s telling of his fascinating and troubling story of the surveillance state, individuals’ rights to privacy, and what it means to blow the whistle on a powerful government agency.

William “Bill” Binney is a cryptanalyst, mathematician, and former technical leader for intelligence at the United States’ National Security Agency. He left the NSA and became a whistleblower in 2001, and later suffered an intimidation campaign that included an armed FBI raid on his home. Through his commitment to advancing the rule of law and holding the government accountable for its violations of citizens’ rights, Bill Binney exemplifies integrity, courage and leadership.

This event is free to attend, and lunch will be provided. Please register.