Courage Advisory Board member Thomas Drake is a candidate to be the next Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy for the United Nations. In 2006, Drake blew the whistle on the NSA’s fraudulent and abusive warrantless wiretapping. Courage wishes to congratulate Drake on his candidacy and fully supports his run.
Drake has already taken a stand for privacy in the global sphere. In September 2013, he testified to the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee on the threat that mass surveillance poses to privacy and human rights. In July 2014, he participated in the German Parliament’s formal surveillance inquiry, using his extensive knowledge as a former senior executive with the NSA.
The government persecuted Drake for speaking to the media about wiretapping, charging him with Espionage, bankrupting him with an extensive trial and ruining his career. But since then Drake has been an outspoken voice on civil liberties and privacy in the digital age. In 2011, Drake was awarded the Ridenhour Prize for Truthtelling and was given the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence award. He was featured in the 2014 documentary Silenced, about the US government’s extensive retaliation against whistleblowers.
Rapporteur announcements will be made at the 29th session of the Human Rights Council, held 15 June – 3 July 2015. See other candidates and positions and more information here.