Bigger Monster, Weaker Chains: The National Security Agency and the Constitution presented at DEF CON 20

by James Bamford, Jameel Jaffer, William Binney, Alex Abdo,

Summary : The National Security Agency, the largest, most
powerful spy agency in the world, has taken in
an estimated 15 to 20 trillion communications
since 9/11, often in defiance of the Constitution
and Congressional statutes. The NSAs goal,
some say, is to collect virtually all of our
electronic communications to allow mass data
mining reminiscent of the notorious and now
reportedly-defunct program, Total Information
Awareness. The limits on the agencys authority
to sweep up and analyze this information are
critical to our safety and our privacy. The NSA
is investing vast amounts in increasing its data
storage, code-breaking and analysis capabilities,
frequently claiming the investments are for
foreign intelligence or cybersecurity purposes.
However, instead of keeping its equipment trained
on terrorism suspects or foreign governments,
the NSA is increasingly monitoring the
communications of innocent people. Longtime
NSA official and whistleblower Bill Binney will
join investigative journalist and NSA expert
James Bamford and ACLU lawyer Alex Abdo to
explore the NSAs goals, reach, and capabilities,
and the legality (or illegality) of its actions.