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

Location: OSI-New York
Event Date: April 4, 2012
Event Time: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Speakers: Steven Aftergood, Nancy Chang, Thomas Drake, Jameel Jaffer, Jesselyn Radack, Tim Shorrock
rsvp

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 will be 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 will offer insights informed by their own direct encounters with national security secrecy and surveillance.

Speakers

  • 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
back to the top of the page
Related Information

The Fight for Freedom of Information in Chile
Vonda Brown
March 14, 2012
blog BLOG   video VIDEO  
One of the first cases of its kind in Chile, and one of only a handful in the hemisphere, argues that emails between officials should be accessible to the public not only as a matter of transparency, but also as a vital part of the historical record.


Britain's Debate over National Security and the Public's Right to Know
Emi MacLean
March 2, 2012
blog BLOG  
Britain's debate over the use of classified intelligence material in court highlights the need to set an appropriate and transparent balance between what may legitimately be held in secret, and the public's right to know.


Open Society Grantee Demonstrates the Power of Uganda's Access to Information Act
August 30, 2011
When the Human Rights Network Uganda filed a right-to-information request, it revealed corruption involving a stadium project in Bushenyi District.


Hiding Government Salaries in the Czech Republic
Jakub Mréček
August 25, 2011
blog BLOG  
The Open Society Fund Prague is supporting investigative journalists in their attempts to uncover, what should be, publicly-available information and helping to demonstrate the importance of access to information.


Article 19: UN Reinforces Right to Freedom of Expression and Information
Sandra Coliver
July 28, 2011
blog BLOG  
After two years of consultations on the right of free of expression, the UN Human Rights Committee has strengthened protections for new media, and says blasphemy laws should not be used to restrict legitimate free expression.