Privacy and Power: A Transatlantic Dialogue in the Shadow of the NSA-Affair


This afternoon seminar brings together a distinguished group of speakers to discuss the state of privacy, surveillance and the different approaches shown by governments across the Atlantic. Offering distinct American, German and Danish perspectives, the seminar marks the publication of a new book offering a comprehensive analysis of the response to intrusive data collection efforts by the US National Security Agency. This timely volume documents and critically engages with the profound differences concerning privacy and intelligence-gathering that opened up between the U.S. and Europeans after Edward Snowden’s dramatic revelations.  In nearly 30 contributions from leading scholars and practitioners in the fields – from both sides of the Atlantic – the book both advances the thesis that privacy is a socially contingent interest and explains the social foundations that lead to strong differences on that issue in the U.S. and Europe.  The book unfolds in several sections:  contributions generally reframing the issues of privacy and security in the post-Snowden era; two remarkable chapters pointedly framing the nature of the transatlantic dispute; a diverse collection of views on the law and policy of the NSA-Affair from the U.S. and Germany; commentary reflecting on the international and supranational legal implications of these issues; and several cultural studies chapters considering the social framing of these issues in the U.S. and Europe.  This is the comprehensive record and incisively critical assessment of the NSA-Affair.


Mr. Ronald Lee, Partner, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, Washington DC, former General Counsel of the NSA and former Chief of Staff of the Central Intelligence Agency,

Professor Russel Miller, an American expert of German constitutional law at Washington & Lee University in Virginia and editor of the book,

Dr. Stefan Heumann, director of Stiftung Neue Verantwortung in Berlin, a major German think tank focussed on issues of digital governance, and

Professor Peter Blume and Associate Professor Ebrahim Afsah from our own law faculty.

The seminar is offered in conjunction and as part of the instruction in the course States of Emergency offered by Ebrahim Afsah.

Attendance is open to the public. Afterwards there will be an opportunity to mingle with the panellists over some complimentary wine and cheese.


15:00 – 15:15 Arrival and registration

15:15 – 15:30 Welcome
Associate Professor Dr. Ebrahim Afsah, University of Copenhagen 

15:30 – 15:45 Introduction to the book “Power and Privacy: A Transatlantic Dialogue in the Shadow of the  NSA-Affair”
Professor Russell A. Miller, Washington & Lee University  

15:45 – 16:00 Comments from contributors to the book
Ronald D. Lee, Partner at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer
Dr. Stefan Heumann, Member of Board at Stiftung Neue   Verantwortung 

16:00 – 16:30 Questions to the panel from the moderator
Professor Peter Blume, University of Copenhagen
Associate Professor Dr. Ebrahim Afsah
Ronald D. Lee
Dr. Stefan Heumann

16:30 – 17:00 Open debate followed by wine and cheese  


Stefan Heumann, Member of the Management Board

02.03.2017 - 15:00 bis 17:00