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Parliament meets Internet. Surveillance, the digital economy & the Open Internet

4 Mar 2014

OII Professor Ian Brown participates in a panel discussion on surveillance at the UK Parliament and explores how to find a balance between privacy and security. Brown makes three principal points. First, in some instances, privacy and security are not in conflict with each other; therefore improving the security of the system would not impact privacy for these cases. Second, the collection of data in bulk undertaken by several countries impacts individual freedom as well as quality of life, while the targeted proportionate use of surveillance powers to combat crime does not, according to Brown; he recommends using software for targeted information acquisition to this end. Third, Brown argues that when developing legislative frameworks, the protection of privacy should be viewed as a critical part of national security, and a human right that underpins democracy generally.