William Binney is one of the most senior whistleblowers ever to have emerged from the shadows of the US intelligence establishment. In 2012 he estimated that the NSA has intercepted 20 trillion communications including phone calls, emails and other data.

He served four years (1965–1969) at the Army Security Agency before going to the NSA in 1970. Binney was a Russia specialist and worked in the operations side of intelligence, starting as an analyst before becoming a geopolitical world technical director. Having expertise in intelligence analysis, traffic analysis, systems analysis, knowledge management, and mathematics (including set theory, number theory, and probability), Binney has been described as one of the best analysts and code breakers in the NSA's history

Binney broke with the NSA in 2002 on the issue of waste and incompetence and particularly the extended mass surveillance of US citizens saying, the NSA spying was “better than anything that the KGB, the Stasi or the Gestapo and SS every had.”

In 2007 armed FBI agents surrounded his house and one pointed his gun at Binney, while he was coming out of the shower. Having charged that NSA activities with “purposefully violating the Constitution,” his reports were ignored by most mainstream media and only were accepted after Edward Snowden brought out the documents, which proved Binney’s charges.