- Top Terrorism Experts Say that Mass Spying Doesn’t Work to Prevent Terrorism!
The fact that mass spying on Americans isn’t necessary to keep us safe is finally going mainstream. The top counter-terrorism czar under Presidents Clinton and Bush – Richard Clarke – says:
The argument that this sweeping search must be kept secret from the terrorists is laughable. Terrorists already assume this sort of thing is being done. Only law-abiding American citizens were blissfully ignorant of what their government was doing.
If the government wanted a particular set of records, it could tell the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court why — and then be granted permission to access those records directly from specially maintained company servers. The telephone companies would not have to know what data were being accessed. There are no technical disadvantages to doing it that way, although it might be more expensive.
Would we, as a nation, be willing to pay a little more for a program designed this way, to avoid a situation in which the government keeps on its own computers a record of every time anyone picks up a telephone? That is a question that should have been openly asked and answered in Congress.
William Binney – the head of NSA’s digital communications program – says that he set up the NSA’s system so that all of the information would automatically be encrypted, so that the government had to obtain a search warrant based upon probably cause before a particular suspect’s communications could be decrypted. But the NSA now collects all data in an unencrypted form, so that no probable cause is needed to view any citizen’s information. He says that it is actually cheaper and easier to store the data in an encrypted format: so the government’s current system is being done for political – not practical – purposes. Binney’s statements have been confirmed by other high-level NSA whistleblowers.
Binney also says:
– Massive surveillance doesn’t work to make us safer
– The government is using information gained through mass surveillance in order to go after anyone they take a dislike to (a lieutenant colonel for the Stasi East German’s agrees)
NSA whistleblower J. Kirk Wiebe has long said that such intrusions on Americans’ privacy were never necessary to protect national security. NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake agrees. So does NSA whistleblower Russell Tice.