In our continuing efforts to bring noted whistleblowers to the HOPE X audience, we're happy to announce that former senior National Security Agency executive Thomas Drake will be a speaker at our conference this summer.
Drake is a decorated U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy veteran, and was a senior executive and technical director for NSA's software engineering and implementation - where he discovered and blew the whistle on massive multi-billion dollar fraud, waste, and abuse; the failures that led to 9/11; and the widespread violations of citizens' rights through secret mass surveillance programs after 9/11.
After years of addressing these issues in vain thorough official channels, Drake finally went to the press - and soon became the first whistleblower since Daniel Ellsberg in 1971 to be charged with espionage. (Ellsberg is also one of our keynote speakers at HOPE X.) Drake faced spending the rest of his life in federal prison for defending the Constitution. After refusing to testify against his colleagues and demanding a jury trial, the government's case of all ten felony counts collapsed in 2011 and he went free.
Drake is the recipient of the 2011 Ridenhour Truth Telling Prize, a joint recipient with Jesselyn Radack of the 2011 Sam Adams Associates Integrity in Intelligence Award, and the 2012 Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award. He has been keenly interested in the many developments within the hacker world over the years.
HOPE X is humbled and honored to host Thomas Drake as a speaker and participant in what is turning into our most significant conference yet. In the coming days, we will begin posting our full lineup on our website and you'll see some of the other surprises we have in store.