Video of The State of Surveillance

Event: The State of Surveillance

The New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU,
Institute for Public Knowledge, &The Brennan Center for Justice

Legal, Cultural, and Technological Perspectives

A conversation with Danah Boyd, Carrie Cordero,
Peter Maass, Faiza Patel, and Eyal Press

October 23, 2013 at New York University

In order of appearance:
-  Eric Banks, Director, New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU (00:03 - 05:41)
-  Faiza Patel (5:43 - 18:46)
-  Carrie Cordero (18:50 - 29:56)
-  Danah Boyd (30:20 - 41:17)
-  Peter Maass (41:18 - 55:17)
-  Eyal Press (55:18 - 1:11:17)
-  Q&A with moderator (1:11:18 - 1:26:42)
-  Q&A with audience (1:27:26 - 1:53:35

Perhaps few news stories in recent months have been as unsettling as the revelations that the National Security Administration (NSA) and other government agencies maintain routine mass surveillance of the lives of ordinary American citizens. Is such information-gathering vital for reasons of national security, and if so, what are the legal parameters of such activity? Are we destined to exist in a world without privacy, where our communications and movements, web surfing and purchasing habits are subject to scrutiny by both government and corporations? What are the implications for investigative journalism and a free press? The varied response to whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden, and the controversy as to how to label him, tell us about the conflicted feelings Americans harbor towards individual dissenters like him, and towards the information being disclosed. Ultimately, the question becomes--in what kind of society do we want to live?

The Brennan Center for Justice's Faiza Patel (Co-Director, Liberty and National Security Program); former Department of Justice attorney Carrie Cordero (Director, National Security Studies, Georgetown University Law Center); author-journalists Peter Maass and Eyal Press; and one of the leading technological researchers and scholars on the subject of social media and youth culture, Danah Boyd, gather to discuss what boundaries, if any, we might seek to establish.

About Participants

Danah Boyd is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, a Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU, and a Fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Her research examines social media, youth practices, tensions between public and private, social network sites, and other intersections between technology and society. She co-authored Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media. Her new book It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens (Yale University Press) will be released in February 2014. At the Berkman Center, she co-directed the Internet Safety Technical Task Force, as well as the Youth and Media Policy Working Group Initiative, funded by the MacArthur Foundation. Fast Company named Boyd one of the Most Influential Women in Technology; Fortune Magazine dubbed her the smartest academic in tech; and in 2011, the World Economic Forum selected Boyd as a Young Global Leader. She serves on the advisory board of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), and in 2008-2009, was a Commissioner on the Knight Commission on Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy. She maintains a blog on social media called Apophenia.

Carrie Cordero is Director of National Security Studies at Georgetown University Law Center. From 2000 to 2010 she served in national security related policy and operational legal positions at the Department of Justice, most recently as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for National Security. In a joint duty capacity, she served from 2007 to 2009 in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), where she worked on the legislation, implementation and oversight of significant amendments to FISA. While at the ODNI she also served as the legal advisor to the National Counterproliferation Center, as an advisor to senior leadership on civil liberties law and policy, and as an interagency coordinator of sensitive national security prosecutions.

Peter Maass is a journalist and author. He has written about cellphone tracking, the National Security Agency, and the FBI's investigation of David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell, and is currently working on a book about surveillance and privacy.  Maass's writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Foreign Policy, and The New York Times Magazine, for whom he recently profiled Laura Poitras, the documentarian who while on a government watch list played a key role together with Glenn Greenwald in publishing secret documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Faiza Patel, of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, is Co-Director of the Liberty & National Security Program, which seeks to ensure that our government respects human rights and fundamental freedoms in conducting the fight against terrorism. Before joining the Brennan Center, Ms. Patel worked as a senior policy officer at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague, and clerked for Judge Sidhwa at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Eyal Press is the author of Beautiful Souls, a book about individual acts of conscience and resistance. He has written for The New York Review of Books, The Nation, The New York Times Magazine, among other publications, and is a past recipient of the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. Press is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Public Knowledge at NYU.



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