Award-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras has produced for the New York Times a superb 8:30 video profile of William Binney, the 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency who revealed to the public the secret program called Stellar Wind by which the NSA is recording and storing virtually all electronic data generated by U.S. citizens. -- Binney "is regarded as one of the best mathematicians and code breakers in the NSA's history," Poitras noted. -- The program discussed is illegal, a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment, which states that "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." -- But the Fourth Amendment is largely a dead letter in contemporary America, as can be seen by the willingness of the neo-Orwellian NSA secretly to interpret "intercept" to mean "search and query," and by this sophistry pretend not to be monitoring U.S. citizens. -- COMMENT: The original score by Qasim Naqvi contributes to the effectiveness of this eerie commentary on this particular step of the descent of the United States into fascism. -- BACKGROUND: Back in March, James Bamford, the historian and critic who has devoted much of his life to studying the super-secret NSA, also called attention to the fact that in Bluffdale, Utah, south of Salt Lake City, the NSA is building not a cybersecurity facility, as publicly announced, but rather an unimaginably large facility for storing and analyzing virtually all the telecommunications data in the world. -- The facility, called the Utah Data Center, which is shown at the beginning of Poitras's film, is now about one year from being operational....
By Laura Poitras
New York Times
August 20, 2012 (approximate date of posting)
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