Drake: 'Wheels came off' the US intelligence programme

Help

Thomas Drake is a former senior official at the highly-secretive National Security Agency.

He was accused of passing on information to a journalist about a government computer programme he considered wasteful.

After the government's case against him fell through, he pleaded guilty to a minor charge of overstepping his authorisation when using a government computer and was sentenced to one year's probation.

Mr Drake said that following the 9/11 attacks, laws passed against the electronic surveillance of US citizens without a warrant, except under certain circumstances, were bypassed.

"Not only did the wheels came off, we were in an entirely different vehicle," he said. He added that "aspects of a secret surveillance state have begun to manifest" in the US.

You can watch the full interview on BBC World News on Wednesday 8 May at 14:30 and 20:30 GMT and on the BBC News Channel on Thursday 9 May at 00:30 BST.

Watch more clips at HARDtalk's website.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.