This Maryland Codebreaker Blew the Whistle on the NSA a Decade Before Snowden

Share the News


A decade before Edward Snowden blew the whistle on NSA surveillance techniques, another Maryland man attempted to alert Congress about the agency’s alleged illegal spying on United States citizens.

Mathematician and codebreaker William Binney, of Severn, began working for the NSA in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. He helped develop a new system for scanning large quantities of data (from cellphone conversations and emails) and zeroing in on what’s important. 

When Binney decided that the program had become too invasive, he says he alerted Congress and resigned his position.

Congress didn’t act on Binney’s warning, but in 2007, he says he was treated to an FBI raid in which “they pushed their way in with guns drawn and pushed my son out of the way and came upstairs and pointed guns at my wife and me. They took our computers and all the electronic equipment we had.”

Share the News