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Surveillance and the Information Society ConferenceThis conference, jointly organised by the Constitutional Law Group, UK, and supported by Clifford Chance LLP will identify key issues concerning the spread of surveillance and information technology. When the history of the late 20th and early 21st century is written, a dominant theme will be the transformation of society by technology. Work practices of business and government and the ease by which individuals communicate have been revolutionised by the computer, mobile telephony and the internet. Information can be accessed instantly and largely stripped of its privileged access and mediation by experts.

Alongside the positive elements of the Information Society is its dark shadow, the Surveillance Society. Governments and private organisations have an unparalleled opportunity to monitor our communications, our physical movements by way of CCTV and mobile telephone signals and our habits and preferences by sophisticated and secret analysis of our internet traffic.

Among the themes which will be explored are:

  • Surveillance and the Information Society - The Major Challenges
  • Privacy, Surveillance Collection and CCTV
  • The Needs of the Security Services and the Proper Limits on Power
  • The DNA Database
  • The Network of Oversight Bodies
  • Surveillance Commissioners: A Case Study
  • Individual Freedom and the State

Confirmed speakers and chairmen include:

  • Professor Dawn Oliver FBA, Convenor, Constitutional Law Group, UK
  • Michael Smyth CBE, Head of Public Policy, Clifford Chance LLP
  • Professor Michael Clarke, Director, RUSI
  • Christopher Graham, Information Commissioner, Information Commissioner's Office
  • Professor Patrick Birkinshaw, Director, Institute of European Public Law, University of Hull
  • Professor John Fitzpatrick OBE, Kent Law School, University of Kent;
  • Eric Metcalfe, Human Rights Policy Director, JUSTICE
  • Sir David Omand GCB, Former Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator, UK
  • Lord West of Spithead GCB DSC, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Security and Counter Terrorism, Home Office
  • Lord King of Bridgwater CH, Former Chairman, Intelligence and Security Committee, UK
  • Sebastian Payne, Barrister, Lecturer in Law, Kent Law School, University of Kent 
  • Sam Lincoln, Chief Surveillance Inspector, Office of the Surveillance Commissioners
  • Baroness Neville-Jones DCMG, Shadow Security Minister and National Security Adviser to the Leader of the Opposition, House of Lords

The standard conference fee of £80 includes related documents, lunch, refreshments and attendance at a drinks reception. RUSI members pay £55.

To register, please click here.

For all other enquiries, please contact Lisa Penfold, Events and Alumni Development Manager, Faculty of Laws, University College London at or call +44 (0)20 7679 1514.

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