Planned surveillance laws in the UK are “totalitarian” and the bulk collection of people’s data makes people “more vulnerable” to terrorist attacks, a National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower has said.
William Binney, who worked in senior positions at the NSA for 30 years before leaving and speaking publicly about the agencies practices, has said the mass collection “costs lives” as it overwhelms security services with information.
Speaking to WIRED ahead of his appearance in front of the government’s Joint Select Committee that is scrutinising the government’s controversial draft Investigatory Powers Bill (IP Bill), Binney said the legislation should be rewritten.
“Fundamentally, bulk acquisition is a major impediment to success by analysts and law enforcement,” he said. Instead of mass collection of personal information the former NSA technical director said a targeted surveillance approach, built on previous intelligence should be used to track down suspected criminals.
“Retroactively analysing people, anybody you want, any time you want, that’s certainly possible with bulk acquisition of data but that’s certainly not what democracies are built on. That’s what totalitarian states are built on,” Binney told WIRED.