Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Policy Recommendations: Seminar 3

Policy Recommendations from Seminar 3
Media Agenda-Building, National Security, Trust & Forced Transparency
8th July 2015, Brunel University
(Seminar Leader: Dr Paul Lashmar)

1.         More accountability, not only transparency, concerning the actions of the state and secret-services is needed if public trust is to be rebuilt. Given the many conflicting opinion polls and studies conducted since Snowden, a definitive analysis is needed on public perceptions of intelligence, surveillance, oversight and accountability.
2.         More education and a better quality public debate (eg in the media) are required to inform the public on matters of surveillance and national security. The complexity of the issue makes it difficult to explain, and we need to find ways of making these issues both clearer and more relevant for a general public, bearing in mind that social change can happen through ‘agitators’ creating a better debate.
3.         Specific training for journalists focusing upon the intelligence realm is needed in NCTJ courses, including understanding RIPA and new technology. Journalists must be able to understand current technologies and be able to assess them in their regulatory context.
4.         An academic think tank, perhaps stemming from DATA-PSST participants, is needed to intervene on policy and media debates on these issues. We should also conduct a workshop on state secrecy structures and how to research them. This group could also try to do the ethical assessment analysis required by every EU security program that weighs the possible results against the intrusions of privacy and freedom.
5.         A very high proportion of consent notices are non-compliant. Better implementation is needed, and enforcement by the ICO. The ICO would like us to come up with real systems that work better, rather than just generalised talks on transparency.

6.         At policy-making level, participants recommend that: the government’s definition of its targets and who extremists are needs to be much more narrow; and selling surveillance technologies to non-democratic states must be regulated with better monitoring.


  1. We really need metaveillance: Watching the watchers and sensing the sensors.

    Specifically we need undersight (sousveillance) not just oversight (surveillance). Public policy must specifically implement such watching under from below, not just watching over from above.

  2. How might it be if in the round of chess, you are requested that move your genuine physical self around the board rather than a diversion piece? Will you envision going in a metro paying in real money as opposed to utilizing a tram token?