There’s a lot more heat than light in the debate on security, privacy and how we form laws that actually work. Last month Adrian Kennard gave a barnstorming critique of the issues facing ISPs and so on the 16th of February, Duncan Campbell is going to put the current debate into some sort of historical context. Our ideas on privacy and the rights of the government to search based on Georgian ideas of liberty may not make sense in the mid 21st century or we might be giving up a little freedom for an illusion of security?
In essence, is there a way we can have a rational balance between competing concerns?
Duncan’s CV and Wikiepedia page reads like a history of privacy and snooping. Most recently he’s been working on responses to new laws on data interception and regulation of investigatory powers. Duncan was the first journalist to reveal the existence of GCHQ in 1976, was C in the infamous ABC official secrets case, and exposed the existence of the ECHELON global eavesdropping network. He’s prepared reports for audiences as diverse as the European Parliament and The Register, somehow also managing to find time to be a founder of Stonewall and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Duncan has some good ideas on getting the right balance, a consummate grasp of the deeper issues at stake and is ready to discuss them under the Chatham House rule to ensure we can all speak freely.