20 - 21 November 2017 / 

speaker William Binney

  • William Edward Binney is a former highly placed intelligence official with the United States National Security Agency (NSA) turned whistleblower who resigned on October 31, 2001, after more than 30 years with the agency. He was a high-profile critic of his former employers during the George W. Bush administration.

    Binney continues to speak out during Barack Obama's presidency about the NSA's data collection policies, and continues to give interviews in the media regarding his experiences and his views on interception of communication of American citizens by governmental agencies. In a legal case, Binney declared in an affidavit that the NSA is acting in deliberate violation of the U.S. Constitution.

    Binney grew up in rural Pennsylvania and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the Pennsylvania State University in 1970. He said that he volunteered for the Army during the Vietnam era in order to select work that would interest him rather than be drafted and have no input. He was found to have strong aptitudes for mathematics, analysis, and code breaking, and served four years from 1965–1969 at the Army Security Agency before going to the NSA in 1970.

    Binney was a Russia specialist and worked in the operations side of intelligence, starting as an analyst and ending as a Technical Director prior to becoming a geopolitical world Technical Director. In the 1990s, he co-founded a unit on automating signals intelligence with NSA research chief Dr. John Taggart. Binney's NSA career culminated as Technical Leader for intelligence in 2001. Having expertise in intelligence analysis, traffic analysis, systems analysis, knowledge management, and mathematics (including set theory, number theory, and probability), Binney has been described as one of the best analysts in the NSA's history.

    After retiring from the NSA he founded “Entity Mapping, LLC”, a private intelligence agency together with fellow NSA whistleblower J. Kirk Wiebe to market their analysis program to government agencies. NSA continued to retaliate against them, ultimately preventing them from getting work, or causing contracts they had secured to be terminated abruptly.