Thomas Drake was a senior official at the National Security Agency before he got ensnared in a whistle-blower case that became a flashpoint in debates about the freedom of information and national security. Drake eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, but the case came with a high price: he gave up his job and now works at an Apple Store in suburban Maryland. Drake joins Kojo in the studio to chat about his experience, the Obama administration's approach to whistle-blowers and the balance between security and freedom.
Video From Inside The Studio
NSA whistle-blower Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack, national security director at the Government Accountability Project, talk about how the government's high-tech capabilities deter those who want to share intelligence. Radack said whistle-blowers now have to "basically use drug dealer tactics," such as aliases and disposable telephones. "It's really unfortunate that people have to behave like we're in the Dark Ages, especially with all this amazing technology," Radack said. Drake added that it's easy to forget similar events throughout history. "We've been here before. But this administration and the administration prior, with the combination of what's been happening since 9/11, makes the Nixon era look like pikers," Drake said.
A video was released this week where female sports journalists were read abusive online comments to their face. It's an issue that reaches far beyond that group, and The Guardian is taking it on in a series called "The Web We Want." NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with series editor Becky Gardiner and writer Nesrine Malik, who receives a lot of online abuse.
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