Griff Ferris, Legal and Policy Officer at Big Brother Watch (BBW), will be examining what emerging technological threats mean for human rights legal practice.
This lecture is part of the 21st Century Legal Skills module. Students from other departments interested in attending should email Law@gold.ac.uk
The lecture will address the modern tools that lawyers (and those interested in a career in human rights and social justice organisations) need to have at their disposal:
- an awareness of how modern technologies operate;
- the ability to conduct sophisticated research and investigations that remain pertinent to the wider public;
- using social media and other modern technological tools to raise awareness;
- the ability to respond quickly to ongoing situations;
- the capacity to connect with, and positively influence, stakeholders;
- the tenacity and strategic know-how required to undertake sustained, evidence-based, advocacy, parliamentary lobbying, public interest litigation and human rights campaigns.
Griff will be reflecting on this technological skillset against the normative backdrop of the critical human rights work undertaken by Big Brother Watch, placing emphasis specifically on how their work on new technologies, big data and artificial intelligence tools is extending more and more beyond the right to privacy and traditional concepts of surveillance, especially with automated/predictive systems raising much more broader issues, including machine bias, engaging the right to freedom from discrimination; criminal justice predictions reversing the presumption of innocence, affecting people's right to a fair trial; as well as the continuing chilling effect of authoritarian technologies suppressing people's freedom of expression and association.
While the first part of this lecture will be mainly of theoretical nature, the second part of the lecture aims to be highly interactive, offering students a unique opportunity to engage in a simulated BBW digital project exercise. This means students will interact with Griff as if they were part of a Big Brother Watch forensic team, investigating and quickly responding to a developing situation.
In recent years, BBW has undertaken research and led on campaigns of vital importance to the protection of our civil liberties, including Digital strip searches, the use of facial recognition technologies and the use of 'predictive' policing - algorithms and 'AI' being used in the criminal justice system to predict crime and criminals.
The Law department is delighted to collaborate with Big Brother Watch, and keen to take part in current debates about the interaction between law and technology.
Dates & times
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