I remember Binney sort being painted as a crazy conspiracy lunatic.
It is interesting how he stood up to them but was afraid for his life for a bit there. Wonder if he knew of any cases of people being suicided on US soil by the US govt or just a general precaution. Wonder if anyone from that dept. would leak anything...
He was one of the principal forces behind the "Five Eyes" agreement that "allows" for the end-run around our Constitutional protections, for example.
Still, I find 'purity' useless in the real world and it's important to have folks like Binney speaking out.
But Binney's story and motivations are a big ambiguous as well. He doesn't go into as much detail here but from another interview I read how he basically had his program and his proposal on how to do things, then at some point higher ups decided to go with contractors and use another approach, and also appropriated some of his code and his ideas (but without including him). He mentioned coming to work one morning and seeing a large amount of monitoring equipment (switches, servers?) being delivered but he wasn't told about it beforehand. And then he figured it out. So it is a bit of being back-stabbed at work as part of internal politics and not everything was purely ideological as he might make it seem.
I wish the FBI or relevant body could get their shit together and say "hey, we really should look into this and do something about it."
Why can't we have a well informed debate over the new cyber weapons that our government has developed? I didn't know about operations like Nitro Zeus until a few days ago. (That's where the US used software to infiltrate Iran's power grid, radio communications, surface to air missiles, etc. in preparation for war back in 2009). How are normal citizens supposed to understand the stakes when we can't even see most of the information? If they were able to do that attack back in 2009 I shudder to think of what they can do in 2017...
Because some of these new toys would be denied.
I'm just cynical enough to honestly believe that the answer is: "We're not."
"Would you advise young people to put their talents at the service of the NSA?"
"I am an advocate of infiltration: joining the ranks of those working and coming out through the ranks of the administration of that agency, whatever the agency may be: the CIA, the FBI, whatever. As long as you preserve your character and integrity, you do the right thing, and that is what we need: people doing the right thing. It's the only way to change things, in the end. The other way is to come from the outside and put them in jail".
I'll bet I could design a system to reveal the exact dates of terrorist attacks after they've happened too.
The entire SAIC program it was replaced with was a contractors wet dream but nothing but a million data firehouses shoved into a warehouse with no real deciphering capability, and it demonstrably and provably hurt and continues to hurt national security.
Hayden single handedly did more to damage national security by terminating thinthread than any single terrorist organization, full stop. Was it a panacea? No, of course not, but it would have been the correct thing to do, unless of course Binney and Drake are completely lying and the data this comment is based on is false.
So, when it's neither incompetence or malice, as most would claim of Hayden, fraud is the only option left. Of course, they aren't mutually exclusive.
And usually everyone takes this as fact, and the government ends up giving them more powers, because "they are the experts, and if they say they the problem was that they needed more spying powers, then it must be true."
People need to push back against this narrative, and show everyone the facts. And the facts are that mass surveillance can't stop terrorist attacks . The attacks that are usually prevented are those where the agencies received some strong tips that those people were planning something, and only then the surveillance becomes effective. But they wouldn't need mass surveillance powers for that. They just need a warrant (a regular one).
You've only got Bill Binney's word for it, to be sure. But let's not lose sight of the matter at hand in the rush to make points which are strongly held but tangential.
There's only two fields that I can think of where failing gets you a promotion: government and banking. The latter is largely due to the involvement of government.
Edit: this only works for the upper echelons though. If a street level FBI agent screws up badly, they get reprimanded.
ThinThread's the kind of program you want: Cost-effective, focused, productive, scoped to respect law and the privacy of non-actionable data as much as possible.
When the Bush Administration came in, they shit-canned it in order to push their own cost-overrunning, un-focused and all-consuming, non-productive and arguably actively counter-productive wet-dream of "total-awareness" and contractor enrichment. (Yes, there are reports of Cheney et al. specifically pushing this.)
Given this, combined with Bush's willful and apathetic disengagement from his intelligence and security responsibilities, responsibility for 9/11 can and should be hung around his neck, and malfeasance should be at least fully investigated and reported where it cannot be prosecuted.
Good people were railroaded to career death and attempted long-term imprisonment. The people who did this to them and furthermore screwed this country over, should be pursued with every legal measure and reported on with the minimum possible constraint by classification of the relevant information.
The problem is that immediately before and even during, we don't know what the important parts are. Or worse, we have contradictory signals that throw off the analysis and lead investigators down dead ends.
But even then, we don't know what the dead ends are until the accompanying event doesn't happen.. and then persistent (and wrong) analysts will shift their analysis to match whatever event happened to be semi-close in date, location, etc.
For every privacy invading technology you see, I will show you a company that lobbied for it to exist. You want examples? Level III systems and those idiotic naked body scanners at the airports. The Real ID Act is another--nothing wrong with most state issued driver's licenses, they just weren't expensive enough.
If you want to be free then you have to accept certain dangers in life. It's not like the tech put in place is doing anything to make you safer, anyways--it's only purpose is to suck billions of dollars out of taxpayers and concentrate that wealth in the hands of those who know how to go out and force it in their direction. When we inevitably suffer more attacks, it's all "we did our best."
I hold out very little hope for any of this to change, but we as citizens need to keep resisting anyways. Gut some government agencies, cut the budgets, stop the revolving door of lobbyists.
They didn't develop it after the fact.
Thinthread ... was one of the first things
Michael Hayden's NSA got rid of
Was your programme, Thinthread, ready for 9/11?
"Yes, actually it was ready in November 2000
(Corrupt may be too strong, if there is a softer term like "crony-ist" or selfish / self-interest it might be more appropriate. But then, seeing the number of lives lost due to the failure to prevent 9/11, maybe corrupt isn't too strong at all)
You have declared that after 9/11 you heard the
high echelons of the NSA saying: we can milk this
cow for the next 15 years. What did they mean?
"They meant: we can keep the money flowing for
the next 15 years to keep programs running.
> As the Commissioner said, when we look back through our cases, in nearly every single terrorist case that we face in the United States, terrorism attacks in Chattanooga, terrorism attacks in San Bernardino, Ft. Hood, hatchet attack in Queens, when we look back through those cases, in nearly every single case, somebody saw something, somebody saw a turn, a change in behavior, either online or in person, and didn’t say something. That’s understandable in a way because there is a natural human tendency to write an innocent narrative over what we felt were the facts. Save yourself the trouble. He probably had a bad day. I guess I didn’t hear that right. Our request of the American people is don’t do that.
Someone hasn't heard of confirmation bias.
source: https://www.fbi.gov/news/speeches/standing-together-against-... (also really really terrible title)
This is why you don't need blanket surveillance on your entire population. Many old hat NSA guys have stated repeatedly that its the connections that matter. With terrorists, you have to monitor the connections to foreign countries that sponsor terrorism, have active terror cells in them and are hostile to the US. Then again, maybe they really don't want to know the people plotting against us are some of our own supposed "allies"?
Had they done that, they could have easily predicted and probably prevented nearly every terrorist attack, including the 9/11 attacks. Blanket surveillance actually allows for more cover for terrorists and the ability to hide through obscurity.
I don't like this idea but I respect it. I might even support it. Problem is that evil people will use this sentiment and turn it around to say they want to cut taxes so these agencies have less money to spend which leads to smaller government. Evil people like Ronald Reagan have argued that with starve the beast and we know how that worked. Please do not support tax cuts in an effort to gut government agencies. If you want to gut government agencies, do so directly.
We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13632981 and marked it off-topic.
I guess it's true that every opinion exists, and they just need a person to have them.
> Reagan, just eight months into his first term in office, treated the strike as a challenge to his authority. By his deadline, August 5th, only thirteen hundred striking controllers had returned to their posts. The President made good on his threat, fired the truant eleven thousand three hundred and forty-five controllers, and banned them from federal employment for life. (Bill Clinton lifted the ban in 1993.)
To use the words of Marco Rubio as he talked about Obama, Reagan knew exactly what he was doing. He was not a well meaning idiot. There's been easy to much astroturfing and "correcting the records". I'm ashamed that people honestly believe he is one of our best presidents. I hope, with time, truth will prevail.
Even if it can be largely attributed the Bush Sr, Reagan was still President and ultimately responsible.
The strikers banned for life?
I don't know if my understanding is the common one, or if I just made up a rule by mistake that other people don't use.
So the usage of mustn't should be exactly the usage of must not because that's literally what it is.
"You must not spend time on US conspiracy forums."
"Must" is an imperative or a command. "Should" is a recommendation.
If any of the conspiracies peddled since then had any credibility, Russia, Iran, and China would have been all over it. Get real.