The Hoover Institution hosted "Privacy & Power: A Transatlantic Dialogue in the Shadow of the NSA-Affair" on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST.
The Hoover Institution's National Security, Technology and Law Working Group, along with Hoover's Washington, DC office discussed Privacy and Power: A Transatlantic Dialogue in the Shadow of the NSA-Affair. Benjamin Wittes (Hoover working group member and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution), Russell Miller (professor of law at Washington & Lee University School of Law) and Prof. Ralf Poscher (professor of law at University of Freiberg) discussed fundamental differences in the way that Americans and Europeans approach the issues of privacy and intelligence-gathering.
Edward Snowden’s revelations of American intelligence-gathering and surveillance activities around the world stirred widespread resentment and dramatic law and policy responses in Europe. It is clear that there is almost nothing on which Americans and Europeans differ so dramatically as the questions of privacy and security. In dozens of contributions from leading commentators, scholars, and policymakers from both sides of the Atlantic, Privacy and Power definitively documents and critically engages with those differences. The book’s opening section acknowledges that Snowden’s revelations, and the startling glimpse they give us into the implications of our new big-data era, challenge us to reconsider our old notions of privacy. The book’s second section, featuring contributions from Benjamin Wittes (Brookings) and Anne Peters (Heidelberg Max Planck Institute), distills, embodies, and frames the transatlantic debate on these issues in these succinct terms: “Germany needs to grow up” and “American needs to obey the law”. The book’s third section consists in a collection of chapters from leading American and European privacy law experts that both substantiates the transatlantic divide and exposes the diversity of views within those spheres. A fourth section features commentary from experts on the supranational and international law implicated by these issues, thereby giving the European Union privacy and data-protection regimes the central role in the debate they are due. The book’s final section concludes with a collection of cultural commentary offering profound and challenging insights into the deeper causes of the American and European differences on these issues.