Our government is spying on us. What should we do?
Revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden have clearly demonstrated that governments around the world have been engaging in dragnet-style mass surveillance for years. We know that intelligence agencies, including the US National Security Agency (NSA), the UK’s GCHQ and Australia’s Signals Directorate have been intercepting and storing the records of hundreds of millions of our phone calls, text messages, emails, web searches, website visits, instant messages, and social media activity. We know that these agencies have been sharing our information with other governments, large corporations, and non-security organisations.
Governments have justified this mass surveillance on the grounds of “national security” against “terrorism”. Yet there is no evidence that this disproportionate intrusion into our private lives has stopped or foiled even one terrorist act, despite the vast financial and social cost.
What these government activities have done is to build an extremely effective surveillance infrastructure which police states of the past, present, and future could only envy.
It is our duty to redress this illegal and immoral societal imbalance. What legal, social, and regulatory policy reforms are necessary to safeguard our right to privacy? What can we do both now and in the future to protect our private communications from dragnet government surveillance? What level of digital spying is acceptable in an Internet where our privacy is valued?
This free and public forum is part of the Agile Australia conference. It will be a thought-provoking examination of privacy issues vital to the future of digital freedom. It will include a review of available technologies to resist dragnet surveillance, and global initiatives to strengthen individuals’ right to privacy, as enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights. It will be a call to join and shape local and worldwide activities to oppose mass government surveillance.
- Time & Date: 11:30am, 17th June 2014
- Venue: Melbourne Convention Centre, 1 Convention Centre Place, Southbank (click for map).
- Cost: FREE
- Registration: Not Required