NKU to host dialogue, lecture on privacy debate beginning today at 11 a.m.

For immediate release…
Wednesday – Oct. 9, 2013

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - Northern Kentucky University will host a free public dialogue and lecture at noon today focusing on the privacy debate. The event will begin with an open dialogue at 11 a.m. followed by a lecture at noon.

The lecture, sponsored by the NKU Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Philosophy, will be presented by Dr. Mike Nellis, emeritus professor of criminal and community justice at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Titled “I am not a number. I am a free man,” it will be held in the Griffin Hall George and Ellen Rieveschl Digitorium.

Dr. Nellis will examine the implications of government surveillance in the digital age. He will explore the intense and ongoing debate in Britain about Eric Snowden, and whether he should be considered a whistleblower or a spy, a traitor or a hero. Were Snowden’s revelations to the press about the NSA (National Security Agency) and its massive surveillance program in the public interest?

Dr. Nellis will argue that the current debate over state surveillance can be illuminated by the still dominant views expressed in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four; the heroic status given to England’s World War II secret code breaker Alan Turning; and the insights of the 1960s British cult TV series The Prisoner, which was prescient in its understanding of the coming surveillance society.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the NKU Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement; the Department of Political Science, Criminal Justice & Organizational Leadership; the Honors Program; Steely Library; the College of Informatics; Chase College of Law; and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Before the lecture, Dr. Nellis will gather with students for a dialogue on privacy issues facilitated by Jon Garon, director of the NKU Chase Law + Informatics Institute. The dialogue will be in Room 108 of the James C. and Rachel M. Votruba Student Union at 11 a.m. and last 45 minutes. All NKU students are welcome to attend.

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