CS ED WEEK EVENT: Distinguished Lecture: Dr. Christopher Soghoian, Privacy Researcher

5 to 6 p.m., Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, Room100, November 28, 2012 — To kick-off the celebration, the Department of Computer Science and iSchool welcome Dr. Christopher Soghoian for a special privacy lecture. Dr. Soghoian is well-known in the privacy and security field and currently working as the Principal Technologist and a Senior Policy Analyst with the Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Can you hear me now? Law enforcement surveillance of Internet and mobile communications

Abstract: Telecommunications carriers and service providers now play an essential role in facilitating modern surveillance by law enforcement agencies. The police merely select the individuals to be monitored, while the actual surveillance is performed by third parties: often the same email providers, search engines and telephone companies to whom consumers have entrusted their private data.

Although assisting Big Brother has become a routine part of business, the true scale of law enforcement surveillance has long been shielded from the general public, Congress, and the courts. However, recent disclosures by wireless communications carriers reveal that the companies now receive approximately one and a half million requests from U.S. law enforcement agencies per year.

When automated, industrial-scale surveillance is increasingly the norm, is communications privacy a thing of the past? For those of us who'd like to keep our private information out of government databases, what options exist, and which tools and services are the best?

Christopher Soghoian is a privacy researcher and activist, working at the intersection of technology, law and policy.

He is a Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington, D.C. He is also a Visiting Fellow at Yale Law School's Information Society Project and a Fellow at the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research at Indiana University.

Soghoian completed his Ph.D. at Indiana University in 2012, which focused on the role that third party service providers play in facilitating law enforcement surveillance of their customers. In order to gather data, he has made extensive use of the Freedom of Information Act, sued the Department of Justice pro se, and used several other investigative research methods. His research has appeared in publications including the Berkeley Technology Law Journal and been cited by several federal courts, including the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Between 2009-2010, he was the first ever in-house technologist at the Federal Trade Commission's Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, where he worked on investigations of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Netflix. Prior to joining the FTC, he co-created the Do Not Track privacy anti-tracking mechanism now adopted by all of the major web browsers.

He is a TEDGlobal 2012 Fellow, was an Open Society Foundations Fellow between 2011-2012, and was a Student Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University between 2008-2009.

View more information and a full list of CS Education Week events here.