The Golden Age of Surveillance

What does it mean for our society to increasingly live in a virtual matrix where more and more of our lives are under the persistence gaze of the digital panopticon? What does it say when our post 9/11 world has turned surveillance into a global growth industry feeding the demands for data about us of all kinds, no matter where you live? Mr. Drake has already lived that future and will share his experience from the frontlines of freedom on just how deeply society has backdoored and buried itself in the insatiable appetite to know virtually everything about anybody at anytime driven by fear and safety. Are there any secrets worth keeping any more? Is the price of surveillance our own privacide where increasingly nothing and no one can hide? The fight for privacy rights is one of the central issues of our time. Will technology save us or enslave us?

Mr. Drake will provide a provocative peek at the present future of the national security state, encryption and the de-evolution of democracy and the rise of technocracy from both a personal and professional perspective. His talk directly impacts and implicates information security and the challenges faced by industry in the digital age against the backdrop of massive data collection, advanced persistent threats, covert exploits, insecure designs and the commoditization of persona-level privacy in our increasingly cybercided society.


Thomas Drake is a former senior executive at the National Security Agency, where he blew the whistle on massive multi-billion dollar fraud, the widespread violations of the rights of citizens through secret mass surveillance programs after 9/11, and critical 9/11 intelligence failures. In 2010, he was charged under the draconian Espionage Act for his oath to support and defend the US Constitution. In 2011, the government’s case against him collapsed and he went free in a plea deal. He is featured in the “Silenced” documentary as well as the US PBS Frontline special “The United States of Secrets”.

In 2017, Drake received his PhD in public policy and administration. His dissertation “Eyewitness to History in Devolution of Democracy and Constitutional Rights Following 9/11” focused on the centrality of the post-9/11 security driven world and the price paid by those who speak truth about the abuse power and the erosion of our rights and freedoms. He speaks widely on privacy and security issues and the critical need to protect our inalienable human rights. Mr. Drake has a varied career background that includes teaching, information technology, systems and software engineering, code analysis and military and intelligence experience. He is now dedicated to the defense of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.