There have long been well-founded suspicions that state security agencies, notably the US National Security Agency (NSA), have secretly been conducting surveillance of internet communications, but the revelations from documents Edward Snowden leaked in June 2013 have surprised everyone in terms the global scope and fine grained detail of internet interception. This surveillance, and the related weakening of encryption standards as well as more targeted injection of spyware into thousands of computers around the world, has provoked widespread concern. This talk will provide an overview of the various forms of recently revealed mass state surveillance, highlighting the interception of communication at internet choke points and the risk this poses for domestic traffic that is routed via the US and its Five Eyes partners.
Presenter Andrew Clement is a Professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, where he coordinates the Information Policy Research Program and co-founded the Identity Privacy and Security Institute. With a PhD in Computer Science, he has had longstanding research and teaching interests in the social implications of information/communication technologies and participatory design. Among his recent privacy/surveillance research projects, are IXmaps.ca an internet mapping tool that helps make more visible NSA warrantless wiretapping activities; SurveillanceRights.ca, which crowd-sources the documentation of video surveillance installations and their (non)compliance with privacy regulations; and Proportionate ID, which demonstrates through overlays for conventional ID cards and a smartphone app privacy protective alternatives to prevailing full disclosure norms. Clement is a co-investigator in The New Transparency: Surveillance and Social Sorting research collaboration - see it here.