Workshops Research Groups 'Law and Ethics' and 'ICT'
News - 01. June 2015

Workshops Research Groups 'Law and Ethics' and 'ICT'

​​​PRIO organised two workshops in the context of the 'Law and Ethics' Research Group and the 'ICT' Research Group. ​



11 June 2015: "What values, which society, whose security? And what does technology have to do with it?"
Key note: Ben Hayes (Statewatch, Transnational Institute and PRIO): From innovation to imposition: how technolgy is shaping EU security policy and transforming European values. ​
The EU is founded on the principles of respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. Defending these values in the face of new threats – real and imagined – is seen as a prerequisite for maintaining societal security. To what extent is this endeavour being undermined by the EU's fixation with the development and implementation of new security technologies and repressive policies? What are the implications for nature and quality of democracy, the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights in Europe? Faced with these contradictions, is the EU changing its policies, or its values? 



12 June 2015: Breakfast seminar "Bringing 'the cloud' back to earth. For a material history of bits"
Key note: Jean-Francois Blanchette, UCLA
Social scientists are increasingly interested in researching the implications of high-tech security devices, such as those used, for example, for surveillance, authentication, or risk assessment. However, a clear understanding of the inner workings of these technologies and their related processes is often missing. For many, the Internet itself remains elusive and concepts such as "the cloud" reinforce the virtual, intangible character of the digital. As a result, there is a limited understanding of how the "Information Age" is structured by material constraints, such as power consumption, bandwidth, and processing power, preventing social scientists from providing critical studies of such processes. In this presentation, Professor Blanchette (UCLA) will give an introduction into the material dimension of computing technologies, providing a vantage point from which to better appreciate the concrete limitations of cloud computing, and how these limitations inevitably shape its future evolution.

More information on this event can be found here. This meeting was followed by an internal ICT Group Meeting.