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‘We had the information to stop 9/11’

Tamsin Wort | Former US NSA technical director William Binney says the agency had the information needed to stop 9/11 but didn’t have the processes in place to act on it.

JOHANNESBURG - The US National Security Agency (NSA) had the tools needed to prevent the 9/11 tragedy, but didn't have the necessary processes in place that would make it possible for it to be recognised and acted on.

These are claims being made by former NSA technical director William Binney.

Binney blew the whistle in 2001 that the NSA and US government were adopting procedures of spying and collecting information on American citizens.

He says his main responsibility was to look at the Soviet Union.

"At the time that meant understanding how they operated, their procedures and how their mechanisms have controlled the population internally."

He says, "What I saw with the NSA and with my government at the time was that we were adopting their procedures of spying and collecting information on everyone, just like the Stasi did in East Germany."

Binney is the keynote speaker this week at the ITWeb Security Summit taking place at Vodaworld in Midrand.

The summit has been labelled a must attend for every IT and security professional, and senior managers with business and infrastructure management responsibilities.

"The problem with the IT industry today is that we created something like the internet, which allows such an exchange of ideas and understanding around the world, but at the same time it also creates one of the greatest spying mechanisms that has ever existed," Binney says.

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