SURVEILLE guest at Centre of Excellence in Foundations of European Law and Polity, Helsinki

On Thursday, November 15th, SURVEILLE was a guest of the Centre of Excellence in Foundations of European Law and Polity, Helsinki, at the workshop “On the End of Freedom, Law, Surveillance and Technology in Times of Global Insecurity”, organized by Jens Kremer(PhD candidate at University of Helsinki & CoE Foundations). The seminar “addressed open legal conflicts in relation to surveillance and security”, and focused on “how the employment of these technologies and legal safeguards would shape the scope of freedom and control for future generations”. Guests discussed different technologies and challenged both normative assumptions and the existing legal framework.

Session 1 featured the Finnish Data Protection Authority, Reijo Aarnio, who addressed the issue of video surveillance in Finland, as well as journalist Hanna Nikkanen, who presented the role of private companies in surveillance-related personal data collection and processing, who called for greater cooperation between journalism and academia.

In session two, EUI SURVEILLE team member Mathias Vermeulen (and PhD candidate at Vrije Universiteit Brussels) gave his critical view on smart CCTV and GPS, focusing in particular on the recent case of Jones in the US. The host of the workshop, Jens Kremer, concluded the morning session with a speech on urban surveillance in the US (Chicago) and the EU (London). The afternoon session featured EUI team member Maria Grazia Porcedda (and PhD candidate at the EUI), who challenged the security vs. privacy approach from the perspective of cyber-security and cyber-crime, and focused in particular on deep-packet inspection in the EU. Subsequently, EUI SURVEILLE team member Tuomas Ojanen (and professor of Constitutional law at University of Helsinki) explained how the rights to privacy and data protection offer legal limitations to the (lawful) implementation of surveillance. Finally, Keegan Elmer (University of Helsinki & The Finnish Institute of International Affairs) gave a speech on micro-blogging in China, explaining how media control and civil unrest interact with each other, and what is the role of Internet Service Providers in China.