Humanities Discussion Series Segovia:
Privacy versus national security in the wake of the Paris attacks
Introduced by Professor Ruth Palmer
Wednesday, November 25, 6:30 pm
For months, U.S. intelligence officials have warned that the proliferation of strong encryption technologies in modern smartphone and communication services has hampered their ability to detect terrorist plots — including last week’s deadly attacks in Paris. As the current system seems to be failing in its main goal, should we undertake to further enhance our capacity for the decryption and analysis of personal data, or should we limit surveillance and respect instead the principle of citizen privacy?
Modern technology has already provided our governments the tools to track our actions, thoughts and movements through all-pervasive surveillance systems. National security is often said to be the main reason behind such an invasion of privacy, but how much does it really contribute to the protection of the lives of citizens? Can surveillance really be a solution to terrorism and a way of protecting us? Are security and civil liberty incompatible and competing goods, so that choosing one would mean forsaking the other? Or is the idea that we have to sacrifice one for the other itself part of the problem?
We invite students and faculty members to contribute to the discussion on how the matter of national security, terrorism and privacy should be best handled. Our debate will take place at 6.30 pm on Wednesday, November 25 in the Sala Capitular. From 6pm onwards, there will be snacks & drinks; then Professor Ruth Palmer will introduce the discussion with a brief remarks on the most important aspects of the problematic of security versus liberty. Also, Louisianne Bensoussane, one of our BBA students will share her personal perspective on the recent terrorist attack in her city. Looking forward to seeing you there!