Conference Call

Surveillance and Citizenship
State-Media-Citizen Relations After the Snowden Leaks

18-19 June 2015
Cardiff University, UK

Conference and Workshop, as part of the ESRC project “Digital Citizenship and Surveillance Society”, in collaboration with the “Unlike Us” network

The revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden have provided unprecedented insights into contemporary mass surveillance. They have prompted significant debates on the nature of civil rights in digital environments; the possibilities and challenges of secure communication; the nature of the security state; the quality of media coverage; and new threats to press freedom and political dissent.

Two years after the revelations started, the conference “Surveillance and Citizenship” will review their impacts and consequences for state policy, technological development, internet uses and the media. It will address the following questions:

• What is the policy environment for surveillance and the work of intelligence agencies? Which policy reform proposals have emerged?
• Which technical platforms have been particularly vulnerable; what tools exist for secure communication; and what standards are required for privacy protection?
• What is the level of public reaction? How do people perceive digital surveillance?
• What are the implications of surveillance for journalism, activism and social movements?
• Have the media reported accurately on the leaks? Which challenges have emerged for journalists?
• What is the nature of citizenship in the ‘Snowden Era’?

The conference will combine academic analysis and practical workshops. It will include paper presentations, hackathons, and strategic workshops. We invite submissions of:

• academic paper proposals on any of the above-mentioned subjects
• proposals for workshops, hackathons and practical project presentations.

In addition, the conference will serve to present preliminary research results by the research project “Digital Citizenship and Surveillance Society: UK State-Media-Citizen Relations after the Snowden Leaks”. The collaborative project, hosted by Cardiff University, explores the nature, opportunities and challenges of digital citizenship in light of mass surveillance.

Speakers include (among others):
Ben Wizner (ACLU, Edward Snowden’s lawyer)
Caspar Bowden (former Chief Privacy Adviser for Microsoft)
Mark Andrejevic (Ponoma College, US)
Kirstie Ball (Open University, UK)
Seda Guerses (New York University, US)
Tony Bunyan (Statewatch)
James Ball (The Guardian)

The conference will bring together leading UK and international scholars, and representatives of organisations such as Privacy International, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Tactical Tech, Open Rights Group, and the Centre for Investigative Journalism.


Please submit a 300-500 word abstract to DCSSproject[at] If you would like to send these submissions using PGP either download our public key, or search the following keyservers for ‘DCSS Project’ – here, here, and here.

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Submission deadline: 15 February 2015

All submissions must include a title, author name(s), institutional affiliation(s) and full contact information (mailing address, email address). If you propose a workshop or practical demonstration, please provide a clear statement of purpose and a detailed description of activities, as well as any infrastructure requirements.


The conference will take place in Cardiff, the capital of Wales. Cardiff can be reached from London by train (2 hours) or coach (3 hours). Cardiff has an international airport and is also easily reachable from Bristol Airport and London Heathrow. Logistical information on the venue, hotels, etc. is available on

Further information about the conference: Jonathan Cable, DCSSproject[at]

Conference organizing committee:
Dr Arne Hintz (Cardiff University), Prof Karin Wahl-Jorgensen (Cardiff University), Dr Lina Dencik (Cardiff University), Prof Ian Brown (Oxford University), Dr Michael Rogers (Briar Project, Technical University of Delft), Dr Jonathan Cable (Cardiff University)

For information about the ESRC project, see: