August 28, 2012
Poitras, who says she is on the government’s “watch-list” after a documentary she made criticized the US occupation of Iraq, has personally been detained and questioned about 40 times at different airports.
The Program documentary reveals the Stellar Wind program’s highly classified nature, undoubtedly due to its blatant violation of individual privacy rights.
In her film, William Binney details his work in developing a program meant to intercept and monitor Soviet communications. Binney has direct insider knowledge, having worked for the NSA for a staggering 32 years as former technical director.
Binney says the domestic spy program – code-named Stellar Wind, or simply “The Program” as known to insiders – gathers data from individuals, storing it in massive databases and allowing customized profiles for each person to be queried à la search engine-style. He says Stellar Wind’s sole purpose is to monitor what everyone is doing.
Unwittingly, Binney says he built the back-end for a program that has since been redirected towards the American people, tracking and logging every citizen’s phone calls, texts, emails, Google searches, and even social network history.