Former NSA director, whistle-blower to keynote ITWeb's Security Summit in Johannesburg
A former director of the National Security Agency (NSA), Bill Binney, will speak at ITWeb's Security Summit 2015.
The 10th annual gathering of IT security professionals and executives in charge of protecting their business data is on at Vodacom World from 26 to 28 May.
Binney is a former highly-placed intelligence official with the United States National Security Agency (NSA), turned whistle-blower. He resigned in 2001, having spent more than 30 years working at the NSA, and has been described as one of the best analysts in its history. He was a high-profile critic of his former employers during the George W Bush administration.
Speaking ahead of his visit to South Africa, to deliver the opening keynote at the ITWeb Security Summit 2015, Binney said mass surveillance is a big problem, and covers the entire planet, including Africa and SA, with no exceptions.
Stories about NSA surveillance programmes have littered the headlines since 2013, following the leaks of secret documents by famous whistle-blower Edward Snowden. However, it seems the more we hear, the less clear things are, and questions have been raised as to whether mass surveillance is even relevant to businesses and other organisations in SA. Binney believes it is, and in his keynote: 'Unveiling the intelligence agencies', he will discuss the threat posed by the NSA, how too much data could be compromising its effectiveness, as well as solutions to the problem.
Binney says the NSA collects and stores more data than it could possibly analyse and use to effectively uncover intentions and capabilities of threats.
The NSA threat is a growing one, as it is becoming dysfunctional as a result of all the data it make its analysts look through, he says. In terms of a solution, Binney believes the way forward should be to focus collection of data to only those in proximity to "bad guys" in the social graphs, or those who are showing properties that may suggest they need to be looked at.
Although recent reports have suggested Binney is critical of Snowden, who first lifted the lid on NSA snooping, over his comments about hacking into China, Binney says he remains a strong supporter of the whistle-blower.
Binney continues to speak out about the NSA's data collection policies, and has also been publicly critical of the NSA for spying on US citizens, saying of its expanded surveillance after the 11 September 2001 attacks that "it's better than anything that the KGB, the Stasi, or the Gestapo and SS ever had".
The 10th annual ITWeb Security Summit is a 'must-attend' event for every IT and security professional and senior manager with business and information management responsibilities. For further information, visit www.securitysummit.co.za.