It was my pleasure last night to take part in an hour-long conversation on “Privacy, Security, and the Digital Age,” which was co-sponsored by Mediaite and the Koch Institute. The discussion focused on a wide range of issues related to government surveillance powers, Big Data, and the future of privacy. It opened with dueling remarks from former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton and Ben Wizner of the ACLU. You can view their respective remarks here.
I then sat on a panel that included Atlantic Media CTO Tom Cochrane and Michael R. Nelson, who is affiliated with with Bloomberg Government and Georgetown University. The entire session was expertly moderated by Andrew Kirell of Mediaite. He did an amazing job facilitating the discussion. Anyway, the videos for my panel are below, split into two parts. My comments focused heavily on the importance of separating the government uses of data from private sector uses and explaining the need to create a high and tight firewall between State and Industry when it comes to information sharing. I also argued that we will never get a handle on government-related privacy concerns until we get control of the scope of government power. I used the example of the drug war and our government’s constantly-expanding militaristic activities both abroad and here at home. So long as government is expanding without any rational, constitutional constraint, we are going to have serious surveillance and privacy problems. (See this essay, “It’s About Power, not Privacy,” by my colleague Eli Dourado for more on that theme.)