TEWI-Forum 2013

Yes we scan – Big Brother on the Internet? – 18th TEWI-Forum

What happens on the internet is logged. This ostensibly technological feature has significant social implications. In business, marketing experts are pleased that they can better understand the behaviour of customers and tailor their campaigns more specifically to customer needs. The NSA affair has made us aware that state institutions also have a great interest in what happens on the internet. This is mainly justified by the early detection and clarification of terrorist activities. On the part of citizens and consumers, the attitude towards this latent surveillance of their behaviour varies between ignorance, indifference and vague concern. Young people in particular seem to have no problem displaying even very private details of themselves on social media. The rude awakening may come later. The pillar of a free and liberal society, the right to privacy, is thus put to the test.
At the 17th TEWI Forum, the audience was given an in-depth insight into the field of tension between surveillance and privacy on the internet, with a special focus on state surveillance. Competent experts presented the topic from different perspectives and discussed the opportunities and risks that the internet brings with it.

The first presentation by Jürg Bühler, lawyer and vice director of the Federal Intelligence Service, dealt with the topic “Intelligence on the Internet – today and tomorrow”. How are the threats to the security of Switzerland and its inhabitants developing on the internet? How does the intelligence service work today to identify and combat them? What additional measures does the preliminary draft of the new Intelligence Service Act envisage to protect against future threats? These and other questions were addressed and discussed in the presentation.
You can find the whole presentation here.

Pascal Gloor, Senior Network Systems Engineer and President of the Pirate Party Switzerland, then spoke about “Internet surveillance – the end of privacy? Surveillance is omnipresent, whether by intelligence services, social networks or marketing companies, the goal is always the same: to obtain as much data as possible and evaluate it for commercial or security purposes. What are the consequences? Why don’t citizens fight back? The lecture explained possible measures that can be taken against surveillance and offered an outlook into the future.
You can find the whole presentation here.

At the end, Dr. Matthias Stürmer, senior assistant at the Institute for Business Informatics, led a discussion with the two speakers. The security of Switzerland is at stake, say some. The transparent individual is defenceless against the powerful state, say the others. The discussion addressed the challenging aspects from the presentations and offered the audience the opportunity for questions and comments.
You can find the discussion round here.

Everything is ready – the forum can start!
Prof. Dr. Thomas Myrach welcomes the audience