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Dave Ross

The other whistle-blowers

In April of 2012 Bill Binney and Jacob Appelbaum were a part of a teach-in at New York's Whitney Museum of American Art. (Image courtesy

The mysterious Edward Snowden is not the only whistle-blower with a story about how much data the National Security Agency is gathering on Americans. In fact, his story about the government storing the phone records of every American is not even new.

“The decision must have been made, about a week after 9/11, to begin this program that’s spying on everybody here,” said former NSA programmer Bill Binney.

Binney has been talking about it for at least a year now.

In April of 2012, he was part of this teach-in at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, “What they’re doing now is pulling billing records on everyone in the country. So that meant they could map your social network. That was about 320 million records every day.”

Which is just what we’re hearing now. At that same teach-in last year, a privacy crusader named Jacob Appelbaum actually handed out a list of street addresses.

“And I have a little surprise for the audience,” said Appelbaum. “Possible domestic NSA interception points, 2651 Olive Street…”

They were the addresses of NSA interception points.

Now the only coverage I found of this event dismissed it as just so much left-wing paranoia. And yet it’s pretty much the same story that’s being taken seriously now, and has members of Congress even talking treason.

By the way, this is how the teach-in ended:
“Remember, whatever happens to either of us, even if there is a videotape, it was murder,” said Appelbaum. The audience chuckled. “Seriously,” he added. “Bill, you agree?”

“I make it perfectly clear to all the lawyers I have, I will never commit suicide,” said Binney.

“Same here,” said Appelbaum.

Read more:
The cloud is watching you
Whistleblower: NSA targets communications of everyone – Now are you concerned?
Watch the Surveillance Teach-In at
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About the Author

Dave Ross

Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.


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