National Security Secrecy and Surveillance: Defending the Public’s Right to Know

The scale of government secrecy and surveillance has surpassed all previous boundaries—especially in the national security arena, where the budgets, size and scope of intelligence agencies have ballooned since 9/11. Unprecedented secrecy is largely evading traditional oversight mechanisms, leaving policy makers, the media, and the public in the dark.

What impact are secret governmental operations having on our democratic processes, and are the decisions that are being made behind closed doors helping or harming our national security? What tools are available to penetrate this secrecy, foster a new culture of government accountability, and impose enforceable constraints on intrusive surveillance of innocent Americans?

These questions are explored by a distinguished panel consisting of high-profile government whistleblowers, key plaintiffs and litigators from headline Freedom of Information Act cases, and expert journalists who have followed the evolution of the national security state for years. Each offers insights informed by their own direct encounters with national security secrecy and surveillance.


  • Steven Aftergood, Senior Research Analyst at the Federation of American Scientists, will moderate
  • Nancy Chang, OSF National Security & Human Rights Campaign Manager, will introduce the panel
  • Thomas Drake, National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower
  • Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director & Center for Democracy Director
  • Jesselyn Radack, National Security & Human Rights Director at the Government Accountability Project, and Department of Justice whistleblower
  • Tim Shorrock, Investigative journalist and the author of Spies For Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing
Date: April 4, 2012
Time: 6:008:00 p.m.

OSI-New York

Steven Aftergood, Nancy Chang, Thomas Drake, Jameel Jaffer, Jesselyn Radack, and Tim Shorrock
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