Tuesday, 20 May 2014
The second speaker admired the first speaker's statement about reconciling security with freedom, but added that, in his opinion, the mother of all challenges was how to reconcile security not with freedom but with privacy. He then enumerated the elements that any Magna Carta would need. These included all the obvious and usual points, together with user notification (so that an individual can challenge surveillance upon him which he might not otherwise know about), transparency and integrity of security systems (so they should not contain "back doors" through which surveillance might be conducted).
NSA) bulk data-gathering practices should be stopped since there is no evidence that they have brought any positive results. Protection of users' needs should not be left in third party hands either: companies like Google and Verizon have less interest in the protection of individuals' data than do those individuals themselves. Use of market forces was also worth trying: for example, Germany has said that it won't give work to companies that give data to the NSA.
The next speaker spoke of a "flurry of principles" caused by various bodies and organisations expressing their sentiments concerning control of surveillance and freedom of opinion and expression. Hearings have been held, proposals for data protection and routing made, legal proceedings have been commenced and diplomatic action initiated. In the long term there might be a formal agreement, but in the meantime there will be more of a consolidation of principles within the global community. Definitions must replace carte blanche as to what is necessary, what is proportional, what is justifiable.
NSTIC) initiative was a case in point. Another discussant suggested that there were times when identity is crucial, such as where a patient seeks medical help, and times when it may be undesirable, such as when a citizen is seeking information from a government.
Other topics discussed at this point included data retention as a surveillance issue, how to get Parliamentary involvement and the voluntary adoption of internet technical standards, whether the real danger to the internet was provided by organisations like the NSA or giant users like Google and Facebook and whether a piece of paper such as a governance treaty was sufficient when what was truly needed was a "G20".