Nothing happened? Consequences of the NSA Scandal

Wau Holland Foundation and Reporter without Borders present a panel with Snowden lawyer Jesselyn Radack and former senior executive of the NSA and whistleblower Thomas Drake in collaboration withZeit Online on Thursday, June 19th, 2014 at 7pm in Zeit Online’s event room at Askanischer Platz 1, 10963 Berlin.

A year ago US Whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the scale of mass surveillance by international secret services like NSA or GCHQ. His revelations showed that government organizations are not only groundlessly collecting and storing data of blameless citizens, but also are targeting lawyers, journalists and human rights organizations specifically. An arrest warrant has been issued for Snowden by the US government. He is currently living in Russia, where he was granted temporary asylum until the end of July.

So far German politicians have only reacted to Snowden’s revelations in an inadequate manner. Although the Parliament created the German Parliamentary Committee investigating the NSA spying scandal, whose task is to investigate the extent of spying in Germany, and Chief Federal Prosecutor Harald Range initiated investigations into the spying of Angela Merkel’s cellphone, these steps are not sufficient. Recently new details from the Snowden documents were made public, which seem to show that the NSA didn’t use data collected in Germany for anti-terrorism operations only, but also for the murder of suspects. In addition, Germany hosted the largest NSA branch in Europe. Nevertheless, the German government remains silent and doesn’t view the education of the general public about those incidents as its duty.

Also, how can secret services be controlled in a democratic way that respects the rule of law in the future? What about whistleblower protection? And how does the federal government of Germany plan on regaining the trust of its citizens if not by putting effort into investigating this scandal?


Jesselyn Radack is a US lawyer and whistleblower. In 2002, when she was working as a jurist for the Justice Department, she shared internal information about irregularities in the interrogation of US Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh with the press and was put under surveillance as a consequence. Nowadays she is representing whistleblower Edward Snowden and Thomas Drake as a lawyer.

Thomas Drake was a senior executive of the US secret service NSA. He blew the whistle on mass surveillance by the USA years before Snowden’s revelations. As the Justice Department was unable to prove that he divulged official secrets he was only sentenced to one year of imprisonment for misusing the agency’s computer system.

Presentation: Patrick Beuth works for Zeit Online. As a journalist he focuses on the NSA scandal and surveillance in general.

The panel will be held in English. It will end at 8.30pm latest. After the panel the speakers will be available for interviews. Free entrance.

Seats are limited, please register here.