Surveillance and publicity

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Päivälehden museo, address: Ludvigink. 2 - 4, Helsinki


University of Tampere and Helsingin Sanomat Foundation

An intensifying international discussion during recent years has focused on enhanced capacities of digital surveillance – both by state and commercial actors. While slowly building up already earlier, the debate erupted to a global political scandal four years ago with the revelations Edward Snowden’s revelations about the secret practices of the US intelligence and its allies. 

The controversy has been since then been fueled by a constant flow of news about terrorism, hacker-activity and news kinds of commercial and political uses of user data. In this atmosphere, the imperatives of societal and individual security are being values against the demands for privacy and civil rights. In Finland, an initiative for a new law to regulate these matters is currently in process.

Organised by University of Tampere and Helsingin Sanomat Foundation, this seminar contributes to the debate on these complex issues by asking how public oversight of surveillance and intelligence (activities aimed at the communication of individuals) can and should be made publicly accountable. The discussion will be sparked by two short presentation, drawing from recent international research. This will be followed by a panel discussion with Finnish experts – and members of the audience.

The seminar will be held in English.

14:00  Opening
14:10  Journalism and Surveillance
John Lloyd (Financial Times, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Oxford University):
John Lloyd’s presentation draws from his recent investigation looks into the relationship between journalism and surveillance, which provides journalism with acute dilemmas. The media claims the responsibility of holding power to account, but cannot know more than superficial details about the newly empowered secret services. His recent book, Journalism in an Age of Terror, (I.B. Tauris) is the first examination of the state of relations between two crucial institutions in the modern state: the intelligence services and the news media.
Introductory chapter of the book can be uploaded here
14.40 Lessons and question from the Snowden revelations
Risto Kunelius University of Tampere)
This presentation draws from an international study of the mainstream media discussions provoked by the NSA revelations in USA, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China, reported in a recent book Journalism and the NSA Revelations: Privacy, Security and the Press (I.B. Tauris).
Introductory chapter of the book can be uploaded here.
15:00 Panel discussion with Finnish experts
Jyrki Kasvi, Member of Parliament
Laura Halminen, journalist, Helsingin Sanomat
Erka Koivunen, chief information security officer, F-Secure
Martti J. Kari, Colonel, Finnish Defense Intelligence Agency
16:00 General discussion            
16:30-17:00   Refreshments

Please register by 2 June by email:


Additional information

Professor Risto Kunelius, tel. +358 40 190 4085