How the Pentagon Punished NSA Whistleblowers

To understand why Edward Snowden leaked top-secret documents revealing that the National Security Agency was spying on hundreds of millions of people across the world, you have to know the stories of two other men.

“The first is Thomas Drake, who blew the whistle on the very same NSA activities 10 years before Snowden did. Drake was a much higher-ranking NSA official than Snowden, and he obeyed US whistleblower laws, raising his concerns through official channels. And he got crushed. Drake was fired, arrested at dawn by gun-wielding FBI agents, stripped of his security clearance, charged with crimes that could have sent him to prison for the rest of his life, and all but ruined financially and professionally. The only job he could find afterwards was working in an Apple store in suburban Washington, where he remains today. Adding insult to injury, his warnings about the dangers of the NSA’s surveillance programme were largely ignored. “The government spent many years trying to break me, and the more I resisted, the nastier they got.””

Written by Mark Hertsgaard, read by Christopher Ragland and produced by Simon Barnard
Illustration by Nathalie Lees

The Guardian’s Audio Long Reads | 3rd June 2016

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Open Office

open-office_1How a vision on a mountaintop led to the birth of the open office. We meet the stylish man that brought that idea to life and, probably, to a workplace near you.
“Walls, doors, privacy—if you work a desk job, you probably do not have these luxuries anymore. When we tell the story of the open office, we often begin with tech startups. Open offices feel nimble, informal, and social—just like startups, right? And then older companies saw the results from Silicon Valley, and they wanted in. To grow like a tech company, why not look like one? So the open office spread. Now, seventy percent of American offices are open plan. That’s how the story goes. But the idea to tear down the walls did not come from Silicon Valley.”

Planet Money | 3rd June 2016

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