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Smile, you are under surveillance!
17.09.13 - The invasion of our privacy by mass surveillance is no longer a secret. But who does it and for what purpose(s)? How pervasive is it, who is targeted and how can we protect ourselves?
Organized by the EPFL’s School of Computer and Communication Sciences, the Congress on Privacy & Surveillance seeks to gather testimonials and examine mass surveillance from a legal and technological standpoint.
Professor Lenstra, could you tell us a bit more about the speakers you have chosen?
“Competence and personal commitment were the main criteria used to select the members of this international panel. To sum up briefly, Jacob Appelbaum is the main defender of the Tor project, a freely accessible software application that provides protection against surveillance techniques over the Internet. Axel Arnbak bases his research on aspects relating to security, protection of privacy and freedom of expression. Bill Binney will talk about what he was able to observe as a former employee of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). Caspar Bowden acted as an expert within the British Parliament on legal matters relating to surveillance and privacy. Nikolaus Forgó is the eminent director of the Institute for Legal Informatics in Hanover, Germany. Gordon Nardell is a lawyer specialized in personal data protection matters who has pleaded cases before the European Court of Human Rights. Finally, Bruce Schneier has been called the "security guru" by The Economist. He has written a dozen books on the subject. This event is a unique opportunity to see all of these individuals gathered together.”
Why should anyone care about mass surveillance?
“Everyone is affected by mass surveillance. And yet, how many of us have consciously chosen to be placed under surveillance? Now, are we going to do something about it, or persist in our lackadaisical attitude? It is up to each and every one of us today to become informed and to remain vigilant when it comes to protecting our privacy and personal data.”
In your opinion, have EU bodies taken adequate policymaking steps to ensure that privacy is protected?
“No, they have not. But this should come as no surprise since enacting legislation on new technologies takes time. However, we now know how the game is being played and who is holding the strongest hand. It is time for us to wake up to this reality, to defend ourselves and succeed in our efforts to impose what we feel is right.”
During the Congress on Privacy and Surveillance, seven internationally renowned speakers will discuss your right to information self-determination, the politics of privacy, how to deal with the secret global state within a state, and how to go forward.
“This is a congress of individuals who have come to defend what should eventually be defended by the institutions", concludes Arjen Lenstra.
Congress on Privacy & Surveillance
Monday, September 30th 2013, Forum Rolex, 8:45 - 18:30, program schedule and registration (until September 23rd): ic.epfl.ch/privacy-surveillance
Chaired by: Arjen Lenstra, Professor and Director of the Laboratory for Cryptologic Algorithms
With: Jacob Appelbaum, Axel Arnbak, Bill Binney, Caspar Bowden, Nikolaus Forgó, Gordon Nardell, Bruce Schneier
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