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The Ultimate Goal of the NSA is Total Population Control _ Antony Loewenstein _ Comment is Free _ Theguardian

The Ultimate Goal of the NSA is Total Population Control _ Antony Loewenstein _ Comment is Free _ Theguardian

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The ultimate goal of the NSA istotal population control
 At least 80% of all audio calls, not justmetadata, are recorded and stored in the US,says whistleblower William Binney – that's a'totalitarian mentality'
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theguardian.com, Thursday 10 July 2014 19.54 EDT
 
William Binney testifies before a German inquiry into surveillance.Photograph: Getty Images
William Binney is one of the highest-levelwhistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA. He wasa leading code-breaker against the Soviet Unionduring the Cold War but resigned soon after September 11, disgusted by Washington’s movetowards mass surveillance.On 5 July he spoke at a conference in Londonorganised by the Centre for Investigative Journalismand revealed the extent of the surveillance programsunleashed by the Bush and Obama administrations.“At least 80% of fibre-optic cables globally go via theUS”, Binney said. “This is no accident and allows theUS to view all communication coming in. At least 80%of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded andstored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores.”
 
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The NSA will soon be able to collect 966 exabytes ayear, the total of internet traffic annually. Former Google head Eric Schmidt once argued that theentire amount of knowledge from the beginning of humankind until 2003 amount to only five exabytes.Binney, who featured in a 2012 short film by Oscar-nominated US film-maker Laura Poitras, described afuture where surveillance is ubiquitous andgovernment intrusion unlimited.“The ultimate goal of the NSA is total populationcontrol”, Binney said, “but I’m a little optimistic withsome recent Supreme Court decisions, such as lawenforcement mostly now needing a warrant beforesearching a smartphone.”He praised the revelations and bravery of former NSAcontractor Edward Snowden and told me that he hadindirect contact with a number of other NSAemployees who felt disgusted with the agency’s work.They’re keen to speak out but fear retribution andexile, not unlike Snowden himself, who is likely toremain there for some time.Unlike Snowden, Binney didn’t take any documentswith him when he left the NSA. He now says that hardevidence of illegal spying would have beeninvaluable. The latest Snowden leaks, featured in theWashington Post, detail private conversations oaverage Americans with no connection to extremism.It shows that the NSA is not just pursuing terrorism,as it claims, but ordinary citizens going about their daily communications. “The NSA is mass-collectingon everyone”, Binney said, “and it’s said to be aboutterrorism but inside the US it has stopped zeroattacks.”The lack of official oversight is one of Binney’s keyconcerns, particularly of the secret ForeignIntelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa), which is heldout by NSA defenders as a sign of the surveillancescheme's constitutionality.“The Fisa court has only the government’s point of view”, he argued. “There are no other views for the judges to consider. There have been at least 15-20trillion constitutional violations for US domesticaudiences and you can double that globally.” A Fisa court in 2010 allowed the NSA to spy on 193countries around the world, plus the World Bank,though there’s evidence that even the nations the US
 
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isn’t supposed to monitor – Five Eyes allies Britain,Canada, Australia and New Zealand – aren’t immunefrom being spied on. It’s why encryption is today soessential to transmit information safely.Binney recently told the German NSA inquirycommittee that his former employer had a “totalitarianmentality” that was the "greatest threat" to US societysince that country’s US Civil War in the 19th century.Despite this remarkable power, Binney still mockedthe NSA’s failures, including missing this year’sRussian intervention in Ukraine and the IslamicState’s take-over of Iraq.The era of mass surveillance has gone from thefringes of public debate to the mainstream, where itbelongs. The Pew Research Centre released a reportthis month, Digital Life in 2025, that predicted worsening state control and censorship, reducedpublic trust, and increased commercialisation of everyaspect of web culture.It’s not just internet experts warning about theinternet’s colonisation by state and corporate power.One of Europe’s leading web creators, Lena Thiele,presented her stunning series Netwars in London onthe threat of cyber warfare. She showed how easy itis for governments and corporations to capture our personal information without us even realising.Thiele said that the US budget for cyber security wasUS$67 billion in 2013 and will double by 2016. Muchof this money is wasted and doesn't protect onlineinfrastructure. This fact doesn’t worry themultinationals making a killing from the grossexaggeration of fear that permeates the publicdomain.Wikileaks understands this reality better than most.Founder Julian Assange and investigative editor Sarah Harrison both remain in legal limbo. I spenttime with Assange in his current home at theEcuadorian embassy in London last week, where hecontinues to work, release leaks, and fight variouslegal battles. He hopes to resolve his predicamentsoon. At the Centre for Investigative Journalism conference,Harrison stressed the importance of journalists whowork with technologists to best report the NSAstories. “It’s no accident”, she said, “that some of thebest stories on the NSA are in Germany, wherethere’s technical assistance from people like Jacob
 
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