Stellar Wind

Filmmaker Laura Poitras profiles William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency who helped design a top-secret program, called Stellar Wind, which, he says, is broadly collecting Americans’ personal data.

Binney described details about Stellar Wind, the N.S.A.’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, says Poitras in an op-ed piece in the NY Times.

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.

“The decision must have been made in September 2001,” Mr. Binney said. “That’s when the equipment started coming in.”

Binney is among a group of N.S.A. whistle-blowers, including Thomas A. Drake, who have each risked everything — their freedom, livelihoods and personal relationships — to warn Americans about the dangers of N.S.A. domestic spying.

The 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which oversees the N.S.A. 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.

General Keith Alexander, as head of the NSA, was a crucial player in a covert American program called Olympic Games that targeted the Iranian nuclear program. When the Stuxnet worm inadvertently became public, many United States officials and outside experts expressed concern that it could be reverse-engineered and used against American targets.

Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco, has announced the restoration of its internal computer networks following a serious malware attack earlier this month, reports The Verge. It is believed to be a Stuxnet copycat. The announcement comes less than a week after the Cutting Sword of Justice — a hacktivist group which originally claimed responsibility for the breach — vowed to redouble its efforts against the company.

A congressional committee wants to know whether telecommunications powerhouse Huawei is a national security threat. Such concerns have tripped up Huawei’s ambitions to displace Western tech giants such as Cisco and Ericsson, who work closely with the U.S. government.

Related Dailywireless articles include; NRO: The Real Ice Station Zebra?, DEFCON 20, FISA Amendments Extended, ISPs Adopt Cyber Security Recommendations, Russians Not Controling Springfield Water Pumps, Dueling Cyber Security Bills, SCADA: How Big a Threat?, Stuxnet: Year One, Cyber War: The New Frontier, Satellite Hacked?, Chinese Telecoms Investigated As Security Threat, Wireless Providers Team on AMR and SmartGrid.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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