My first and (I hope) only post on the misguided attacks on @ggreenwald.
SO - I really didn't want to do this - but after what happened yesterday, it's impossible not to.
Context: I was sitting at home late last night (Danish time) with sleeping cats, kids and wife all over the place, trying to focus on
A) A hearing in DC where NSA officials were being questioned (and lying constantly) by US senators
B) A remarkable 50 minute doc by Swedish TV, featuring Greenwald, Ryan Gallagher and some dudes from Swedish TV, revealing things about my next-door country and their (illegal of course) dealings with NSA/GCHQ (watch it here: http://t.co/YefTQRCfsK)
C) An "Open Letter Calling for Whistle-Blowers" I've written w/a bunch of very cool people - it's being published in newspapers around the world (most recently in The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/11/whistleblowers-open-letter-after-snowden-revelations)
when all of the sudden, I come across this mindboggling dishonest attack on Greenwald and Co: http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2013/12/11/bfp-breaking-news-omidyars-paypal-corporation-said-to-be-implicated-in-withheld-nsa-documents/
Do read it, if you can handle it.
To be clear: I'm sure that PayPal IS doing all kinds of evil stuff w/the NSA.. and Omidyar should answer all questions. But this is just insane.
What really bugs me, is that it's written by Sibel Edmonds (whistle-blower herself - and someone I used to admire greatly... I think I was the first(only?) to cover her case here in Denmark back in 2005-ish)
One thing is that Edmonds makes all kinds of wild assertions, without much basis in facts (that doesn't really do anything, than muddy the waters for all the REAL questions that Pierre Omidyar should be forced to answer; about Paypal, WikiLeaks, The PayPal14)
Worse: Edmonds pulls out some VERY well respected people, from my perspective, chiefly ex-NSA William Binney, in an attempt to smear Greenwald and co.
Do read the quotes from him in the piece.
The problem is, I was PRETTY sure Binney didn't feel this way about the subject; both because I've followed him for a long time too - and also because I've spent the past 10 days in intense conversations with a lot of cool people (say.. my co-signers on the Call for whistle-blowers) so naturally we discussed these matters too..
Anyway; instead of just screaming a few slogans on twitter, I contacted Binney and asked him to comment; here is (with his permission) his reply:
"Unfortunately, Sibel attributes some of her words to me. I do not know that
PAYPAL is involved - only that financial data is being used by NSA. And, based
on the "BR" number 13/80 on the Verizon court order to give records to NSA,
I estimated that this program involved 78 companies. These would include:
telecom's, internet service providers, banks/finance/credit cards, travel, plus
others. So, there's a lot of business data being collected by NSA and the
FBI. In the future, if I am to be quoted, I will have to I will have to insist on a pre-publication review.