Political Theory

Privacy in a Free Society


This conference explored the claim of whether privacy is in fact an individual right and evaluated the degree to which its exercise is connected to the broader panoply of rights associated with a free society. Certainly protection is a necessary part of government's role, but can the use of surveillance go too far? Where is the line? These were the central issues explored here.


Conference Readings

“Are They Allowed to Do That? A Breakdown of Selected Government Surveillance Programs.” Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. http://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/analysis/Government%20Surveillance%20Factsheet.pdf (7/28/14).

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, Executive Summary of the Report on the Telephone and Records Program Conducted under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and on the Operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. (January 23, 2014). Pages 8-20.

Liberty and Security in a Changing World: Report and Recommendations of The President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies. 12 December 2013

American Civil Liberties Union. “What’s Wrong with Public Video Surveillance? [February 25, 2002] .” American Civil Liberties Union. https://www.aclu.org/technology-and-liberty/whats-wrong-public-video-surveillance (accessed 7/29/14).

American Civil Liberties Union. “You are Being Tracked: How License Plate Readers Are Being Used To Record Americans’ Movements. (July 2013).” American Civil Liberties Union. https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/071613-aclu-alprreport-opt-v05.pdf (7/29/14).

Bendix, William and Paul J. Quirk. “Institutional Failure in Surveillance Policymaking: Deliberating the Patriot Act.” Brookings Institute, Issues in Governance Studies (July 2013): 1-15.

Brin, David. The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? Reading, Massachusetts: Perseus Books, 1998.

Epstein, Richard. “Deconstructing Privacy: And Putting It Back Together Again.” Social Philosophy and Policy 17, no. 2 (2000): 1-24.

Fraser, John A. “The Use of Encrypted, Coded, and Secret Communications is an ‘Ancient Liberty’ Protected by the United States Constitution.” Virginia Journal of Law & Technology (Fall 1997): 1-19.

La Vigne, Nancy G., Samantha S. Lowry, Allison M. Dwyer, and Joshua A. Markman. Using Public Surveillance Systems for Crime Control and Prevention: A Practical Guide for Law Enforcement and Their Municipal Partners. Washington, DC: Urban Institute, 2011.

Manjoo, Farhad. “We Need More Cameras, and We Need Them Now: The Case for Surveillance.” Slate (April 18, 2013): 1-4.

Pilon, Roger and Richard Epstein. “NSA Surveillance in Perspective.” Chicago Tribune (June 12, 2013): 1-2.

Posner, Richard. The Economics of Justice. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981.

Rothbard, Murray N. The Ethics of Liberty. New York: New York University Press, 2002.

Sanchez, Julian. “A Reply to Epstein and Pilon on NSA’s Metadata Program.” CATO at Liberty (June 16, 2013): 1-8.

Sanchez, Julian. “Leashing the Surveillance State: How to Reform Patriot Act Surveillance Authorities.” CATO Policy Analysis (May 16, 2011): 1-25.

Sengupta, Somini. “Privacy Fears Grow as Cities Increase Surveillance.” The New York Times (October 12, 2013): 1-2.

Solove, Daniel J. Understanding Privacy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008.

Warren, Samuel D. and Louis D. Brandeis. “The Right to Privacy.” Harvard Law Review 4, no. 5 (December 15, 1890): 193-220.