Dr. Thorsten Wetzling

Project Director "Digital Rights, Surveillance and Democracy"

Thorsten Wetzling heads the SNV’s research unit on basic rights, surveillance and democracy. He currently directs the European Intelligence Oversight Network (EION), a collaborative research project to support and challenge intelligence oversight bodies across Europe. He is also a Principal Investigator for the international research consortium GUARD//INT which aims to build empirical and conceptual tools to better understand the limits and potential of intelligence oversight mechanisms. Since 2019, Thorsten is editor-in-chief of aboutintel.eu – a multi-stakeholder platform for European conversations on surveillance in national security contexts.

As an expert on international security governance, accountability mechanisms and supervisory technology, Thorsten testified before the European Parliament and the Bundestag on intelligence and security legislation and has been a scientific expert for the United Nations Development Program and the Council of Europe for comparative research assignments. Thorsten is a member of the advisory board on Europe/Transatlantic of the Heinrich Boell Foundation in Berlin and the scientific committee of the Cyber and Data Security Lab at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).

Thorsten holds a doctorate degree in political science from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Prior to his current position, Thorsten worked as Senior Fellow at The Hague Institute for Global Justice and as Advisor for the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and the Brandenburg Institute for Society and Security (BIGS). As Transatlantic Post-Doc Fellow for International Relations and Security (TAPIR), Thorsten compared national surveillance policies during research fellowships at the French Institute for International Relations (ifri) in Paris, the RAND Corporation in Arlington, Virginia as well as the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C


Email address: 
+49 (0)30 81 45 03 78 83
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basic rights, rule of law, government surveillance, accountability mechanisms, tech-enabled oversight innovation, oversight cooperation, data politics, European security research