MARCH 25, 2016 | 5:00-7:00PM
CENTENNIAL HALL | 1020 E. University Blvd., Tucson, AZ

The competing stresses posed by balancing government intrusion and individual rights in pursuit of a safe society was the topic of a panel discussion featuring MIT Professor Noam Chomsky, journalist Glenn Greenwald and former NSA subcontractor Edward Snowden presented by the University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.  Chomsky and Greenwald appeared in person while Snowden videoconferenced from Russia.  Nuala O’Connor, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology, was the moderator for the discussion.


Edward Snowden (Photo by Laura Poitras/ACLU)Edward Snowden made headlines in 2013 when, while employed as an NSA contractor, he revealed top-secret information about the NSA’s and CIA’s global surveillance activities. As a result, the U.S. Government has charged Snowden with violations of the Espionage Act. His actions sparked international debates over information privacy, mass surveillance and government secrecy. Snowden has been invited to speak on these issues around the world, including recent appearances to audiences at Princeton, Stanford, the University of Iowa and the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Glenn GreenwaldAs one of the first journalists contacted by Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, who is also a constitutional lawyer, has in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of government surveillance in the U.S. and Britain. Since his original Guardian exposés of Snowden’s revelations, Pulitzer-winner Greenwald continues to stoke public debate on surveillance and privacy, including in his most-recent book “No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State.”

Noam ChomskyNoam Chomsky is a world-renowned linguist, public intellectual and political activist. A professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chomsky has written more than 100 books, his most recent being “Masters of Mankind: Essays & Lectures, 1969-2013 (2014)” and “Propaganda & the Public Mind” (2015). Chomsky has argued that mass surveillance is ineffective in stopping terrorism. He will be a visiting scholar in the UA Department of Linguistics for two weeks in March.


Nuala O'Connor (Photo from https://cdt.org/staff/nuala-o%E2%80%99connor/)

President and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology, Nuala O’Connor is an internationally recognized expert in Internet and technology policy, particularly in the areas of privacy and information governance. At the U.S. Department of Commerce, she has served as deputy director of the Office of Policy & Strategic Planning, chief privacy officer and chief counsel for technology. She was also the first chief privacy officer at the Department of Homeland Security.


When the idea came up to invite Edward Snowden to be a part of the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences’ yearlong discussion on privacy, faculty and staff working on the events discussed the pros and cons of adding his voice to the conversation.   We asked the dean to answer a few questions about the March 25th event and the decision to include Snowden in "A Conversation on Privacy." Read the Privacy Q&A.