Masterclass: Duncan Campbell & William Binney on NSA, GCHQ, Stellarwind and much more

From University of Sussex. Chaired by PL

Published on 6 May 2016

SHL Masterclass – Duncan Campbell & William Binney

@ Digital Humanities Lab, University of Sussex, 8th March 2016

Pioneering investigative journalist and author Duncan Campbell and former senior US National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence officer William Binney will explore the lack of parliamentary and public oversight of the proposed UK Investigatory Powers Bill (aka The Snoopers’ Charter), which is intended to confirm and consolidate GCHQs expansive powers and resources, asking what this means for our understanding of mass surveillance in contemporary society.
Based on extensive research of the classified US and UK documents revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and 40 years of analysis, Campbell and Binney offer a unique insight into the United Kingdom’s signals intelligence agency (GCHQ) and the rationale for the surveillance that silently permeates our daily lives.
Chaired by Dr Paul Lashmar, this Masterclass will examine what roles civil society actors, such as academics and journalists, should play in effectively analysing and critiquing mass surveillance culture in the Twenty-First Century? Binney and Duncan will debate GCHQ’s capabilities, strategy and ambitions and suggest how future research can help frame issues of public interest on matters of surveillance.
In the 1970s Duncan Campbell was the first journalist to publicly reveal the activities of GCHQ, leading to his arrest and trial in the famous ABC Case. In the 1980s, as a result of Duncan’s investigation for TV of the secret Zircon satellite programme, the BBC was raided by Special Branch. Brighton based, and a Sussex postgraduate alumnus, Duncan remains a prominent analyst of GCHQ’s activities and is recognised as a knowledgeable and engaged critic by the intelligence community itself.
William Binney is a 30-year veteran of the NSA and prominent whistleblower. Described as one of the best analysts in the NSA’s history, Binney was a high-profile critic of his former employers during the George W. Bush administration and accused both of violating the US constitution. He has been consistently critical of bulk collection by intelligence agencies and believes that it is ineffective in identifying terrorists. Binney recently gave evidence to the UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill and opposed GCHQ’s bulk collection methodology.