by Laura Poitras
August 22, 2012

from NYTimes Website




Laura Poitras is a documentary filmmaker who has been nominated for an Academy Award and whose work was exhibited in the 2012 Whitney Biennial. She is working on a trilogy of films about post-9/11 America. This Op-Doc is adapted from a work in progress to be released in 2013.




NSA Whistleblower William Blinney Tells All
NY Times Op-Docs - The Program





-  The Program  -

The filmmaker Laura Poitras profiles William Binney,

a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency

who helped design a top-secret program he says

 is broadly collecting Americans’ personal data.


It took me a few days to work up the nerve to phone William Binney.


As someone already a “target" of the United States government, I found it difficult not to worry about the chain of unintended consequences I might unleash by calling Mr. Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency (NSA), turned whistle-blower.


He picked up. I nervously explained I was a documentary filmmaker and wanted to speak to him.


To my surprise he replied:

“I’m tired of my government harassing me and violating the Constitution. Yes, I’ll talk to you.”

Two weeks later, driving past the headquarters of the NSA in Maryland, outside Washington, Mr. Binney described details about Stellar Wind, the NSA’s top-secret domestic spying program begun after 9/11, which was so controversial that it nearly caused top Justice Department officials to resign in protest, in 2004.

“The decision must have been made in September 2001,” Mr. Binney told me and the cinematographer Kirsten Johnson. “That’s when the equipment started coming in.”

In this Op-Doc, Mr. Binney explains how the program he created for foreign intelligence gathering was turned inward on this country.


He resigned over this in 2001 and began speaking out publicly in the last year. He is among a group of NSA whistle-blowers, including Thomas A. Drake, who have each risked everything - their freedom, livelihoods and personal relationships - to warn Americans about the dangers of NSA domestic spying.


To those who understand state surveillance as an abstraction, I will try to describe a little about how it has affected me.


The United States apparently placed me on a "watch-list” in 2006 after I completed a film about the Iraq war. I have been detained at the border more than 40 times.


Once, in 2011, when I was stopped at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and asserted my First Amendment right not to answer questions about my work, the border agent replied,

“If you don’t answer our questions, we’ll find our answers on your electronics.”’

As a filmmaker and journalist entrusted to protect the people who share information with me, it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to work in the United States.


Although I take every effort to secure my material, I know the NSA has technical abilities that are nearly impossible to defend against if you are targeted.


The 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which oversees the NSA activities, are up for renewal in December.


Two members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado, both Democrats, are trying to revise the amendments to insure greater privacy protections.


They have been warning about "secret interpretations" of laws and backdoor “loopholes” that allow the government to collect our private communications. Thirteen senators have signed a letter expressing concern about a “loophole” in the law that permits the collection of United States data.


The A.C.L.U. and other groups have also challenged the constitutionality of the law, and the Supreme Court will hear arguments in that case on October 29 (2012).









Stellar Wind

-   Secret NSA Domestic Spying Program   -

September 9, 2012
from ActivistPost Website






As the anniversary of 9/11 approaches, instead of listening to mainstream media and government propaganda about what happened that day, and how all of the police state measures that have followed have made us more free, we should continue to uncover the lies of what really happened.

Now that the entire police state apparatus has obviously turned inward, as admitted in numerous government announcements and reports that are putting everyday Americans on terror watch lists, whistleblowers are stepping forward to reveal just how extensive and ongoing the surveillance has been.


Instead of being heralded for their patriotism, these whistleblowers are being persecuted by the U.S. government.


However, key insiders such as Sibel Edmonds, Susan Lindauer, and Thomas Drake (below video) have prevailed to reveal a startling amount of information that should concern any American who values civil liberties:






Former top NSA mathematician and code breaker, William Binney, has gone on record to publicly reveal the scope of a top-secret surveillance program that has directly targeted everyday Americans following 9/11.


He is sounding an alarm about the massive scope of this project that engages in 24/7 warrantless wiretapping of the American population.

Surveillance and data collection of the U.S. population has been in the making for some time, perhaps best known through programs like ECHELON, but to have a 32-year, top-level veteran of the NSA reveal in the video at top of the page, the domestic component of a program code named Stellar Wind, and his concerns that we are heading down the road to totalitarianism if not brought under control, should be a wake-up call to those who still believe that we are immune from the treatment that has been dished out across the rest of the planet.

Blinney has previously stated that the U.S. government retains "most" e-mail communications. In an interview with documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras published by The New York Times (itself the source of leaks to intelligence agencies)


A clearly fed-up Blinney begins by stating:

I’m tired of my government harassing me and violating the Constitution. Yes, I’ll talk to you.

He goes further to trace the origins and methods of a program which led to his resignation, as well as many other Justice Department officials, and the subsequent harassment he endured by his own government. 


He states that the scope of the data collection forms a map that can,

"show your entire life over time."

The NSA is set to complete its $2 billion fortress of domestic surveillance by September 2013 that, as Blinney says, can store 100 years worth of electronic information.


Coupled with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act up for renewal in December, insiders and citizens alike need to have the courage to confront the NSA betrayal of the very people whose money is funding their increasing power.