Workshop on Surveillance and Technology

This is an announcement for a workshop that I am organizing in conjunction with the Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS). Due to the Snowden disclosures, mass surveillance has become one of the most highly-discussed and controversial issues in politics, policy, technology and international affairs. Modern surveillance, however, relies heavily on technology and, therefore, our community has a unique role to play in not only understanding surveillance but in mitigating it when excessive and restraining/limiting it when appropriate.

Are Compliance and Privacy Always at Odds?

Chris Soghoian points to an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal. It describes mounting pressure on the NSA to re-design its phone-data program---the program under which it compels telecommunications companies (telcos) like Verizon to turn over their phone record data. In the article, Timothy Edgar, a former privacy lawyer who served in the Bush and Obama administrations is quoted as saying: Privacy technology under development would allow for anonymous searches of databases, keeping data out of government hands but also preventing phone companies from learning the purpose of NSA searches.