The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Andrew Harman, GAP Communications Director

Phone: 202.457.0034 ext. 156


NSA Whistleblower Bill Binney Wins Prestigious Sam Adams Award

Former recipients of award, given for exceptional ethics and integrity, include Edward Snowden and Tom Drake

Berlin, Germany

The Government Accountability Project (GAP) is proud to announce that retired NSA Technical Director and GAP client, William "Bill" Binney, will accept the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence Award today in Berlin, Germany. The award is presented annually by the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) to a professional who has taken a strong stand for ethics and integrity.

Upon receiving the award, Mr. Binney stated:

I am honored to accept the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence 2015 Award. I resigned from the NSA shortly after 9/11 when the agency began violating the privacy rights of hundreds of millions of innocent people, an abandonment of core constitutional principles that was never necessary to protect the country. Recent political events have shown that mass surveillance is a total failure, as NSA is unable to find actionable intelligence in its gigantic haystack of data, much of it belonging to innocent persons. I am flattered to be recognized by such an esteemed group of patriots who have stood up for ethical intelligence work, and I greatly appreciate the risks they have taken at great personal expense. It is wonderful today to be in the company of intelligence professionals who are steadfastly committed to the rule of law.

Mr. Binney, a 36-year intelligence agency veteran, resigned from the NSA in 2001 and became a whistleblower after discovering that elements of a surveillance program he had helped develop were being used to spy on Americans. After he warned Congress and the Inspector General about the misuse of the program, federal agents raided his home with guns drawn, confiscating his computer, disks, and personal records. Binney has since dedicated his life to reforming gross overreach by the intelligence community, serving as a witness in U.S. lawsuits challenging the legality of massive surveillance and testifying before European governing bodies about his experience with intrusive surveillance systems.

About the Award

The award is named for CIA employee Sam Adams, who discovered in 1967 that the U.S. government grossly undercounted the number of armed Vietnamese Communists to deceive the American public and urged the U.S. government to come clean about the erroneous numbers. After Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg came forward and exposed the false numbers, on March 19, 1968, the New York Times published a stinging story based on Adams' correct figures.

Former awardees include FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley, GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack, and GAP clients/NSA whistleblowers Thomas Drake and Edward Snowden.

The Government Accountability Project (GAP) is a 30-year-old nonprofit public interest group that promotes government and corporate accountability by advancing occupational free speech, defending whistleblowers, and empowering citizen activists. We pursue this mission through our Nuclear Safety, International Reform, Corporate Accountability, Food & Drug Safety, and Federal Employee/National Security programs. GAP is the nation's leading whistleblower protection organization.