Bill Binney was a brilliant cryptologist and long-time National Security Agency (NSA) analyst, since 1997 serving as Technical Director.
Binney developed a sophisticated program named ThinThread for gathering data capable of providing clues, in real-time, of potential terrorist threats.
From Executive Producer Oliver Stone
“A Good American (2017)” from Director Friedrich Moser (The Brussels Business), tells the story of the best code-breaker the USA ever had and how he and a small team within NSA created a surveillance tool that could pick up any electronic signal on earth, filter it for targets and render results in real-time while keeping the privacy as demanded by the US constitution.
The tool was perfect – except for one thing: it was way too cheap. Therefor NSA leadership, who had fallen into the hands of industry, dumped it – three weeks prior to 9/11. In a secret test-run of the program against the pre-9/11-NSA database in early 2002 the program immediately found the terrorists. This is the story of former Technical director of NSA, Bill Binney, and a program called ThinThread.
A GOOD AMERICAN is more than just a film. We need to get rid of this mass surveillance nonsense.
Mass surveillance is not only violating everybody’s privacy – it also aids terrorists to reach their goal, because while filling the pockets of government surveillance contractors, it makes intelligence analysts dysfunctional by flooding them with useless information. Analysts have been complaining about this for years. We have their testimony from the Snowden documents. You find a detailed analysis of that in our follow-up documentary THE MAZE, a film we made in response to the series of terror attacks since Paris 2015.
A GOOD AMERICAN not only tells the amazing account of the best code-breaker America ever had – it also tells the chilling story of ThinThread, a program that managed to find a solution against being flooded by useless information through filtering out UPFRONT the 99% useless data and focusing in UPFRONT on the 1% that were real threats, providing warning in milliseconds as threat-scenarios were building up.
Now here is some good news:
a sort of ThinThread 2.0 is ready to go – built in Europe by a small big-data start-up. You find the intriguing story about it in THE MAZE. A working alternative to mass surveillance is on the table again, including a solution to really protect our fundamental right to privacy.
However, as we are writing this, a battle is still going on in our parliaments and institutions to expand mass surveillance – in US Congress, in several European Parliaments, but also in the largest democracy on earth, India. The battle is on between those who knowingly fail to provide security while stealing our privacy for the sake of power and money, and those who try as hard as they can to provide the best security while protecting our right to privacy and our fundamental freedoms.
If we want it or not, everybody is choosing sides in this battle.
Watch full film below or rent via VIMEO ON DEMAND