Edward Snowden Revelations
and the Public Right to Know
The Electronic Frontier Foundation:
David Greene, Nadia Kayyali,
1030 Art Group:
Antonio Cortez, Alex Benedict,
Tana Lehr, Teddy Milder
The San Francisco Arts Festival 2015 is proud to present The Edward Snowden Revelations and the Public Right to Know, a public program in conjunction with the exhibition Bearing Witness: Surveillance in the Drone Age.
President Barack Obama: “But I think it’s important for everybody to understand…. that there are some trade-offs involved. . . . you can’t have a 100% security and also then have a 100% privacy and zero inconvenience. You know, we’re going to have to make some choices as a society.”
Three panelists, David Greene, Nadia Kayyali, and Hugh D'Andrade from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will examine and discuss in some detail the criminal complaint against Edward Snowden, who is accused of espionage after leaking documents about a secret National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program.
Five artists, Phillip Hua and four members of the 1030 Art Group, intrigued by Edward Snowden’s revelations will reference their individual investigations into matters of privacy, personal/public boundaries, and the government’s right, or not, to gather information on its citizens and to what end.
The Snowden revelations have sparked a global conversation about citizens' rights to privacy on the Internet that is still raging. The panel is committed to keep the conversation going.
Moderated by Hanna Regev and Matt McKinley co-curators of “Bearing Witness: Surveillance in the Drone Age.”
Here are some questions that merit a public discourse and that the panel will address:
- Should NSA be allowed to keep metadata (the call records but not the content) of American phone calls for five years or fewer or not at all?
- Who should have access to the data?
- Why privacy matters and should mass surveillance be tolerated?
- Where do we draw a line on revealing personal information and can a balance between individual liberty and national security coexist?
- Can the existing laws protect us?
- Can mass surveillance be stopped?
- What role does EFF play in raising awareness about the Snowden case?
- How do artists weigh in?
- What recourse do Americans have in controlling personal data that are collected by government and corporations?
- Have you formed an opinion about Snowden? Have the scale of the revelations of the U.S. government’s eavesdropping on Americans and other people around the world changed your mind about the government?
- Do you share the belief that Snowden has performed a great public service that more than outweighs any breach of trust he may have committed?
The Electronic Frontier Foundation
is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. We work to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology grows.
Senior Staff Attorney, has significant experience litigating First Amendment issues in state and federal trial and appellate courts and is one of the country's leading advocates for and commentators on freedom of expression in the arts.
is a member of EFF’s activism team. Nadia's work focuses on surveillance, national security policy, and the intersection of criminal justice, racial justice, and digital civil liberties issues.
As EFF's senior designer, he helps craft EFF's image by designing the organization’s websites, t-shirts, stickers, white papers, as well as the murals that grace its stairwell. Hugh has worked with EFF in various capacities since 2007, and is the artist behind some of EFF's most iconic images.
1030 Art Group:
is a multimedia artist exploring the boundaries of abstract mathematics and conceptual physics in service to the visual arts. Having received the invitation to participate in “Bearing Witness,” Cortez saw the exhibition as the perfect forum for bringing the work of the eight members of the 1030 Art Group exploring Snowden’s revelations into the public eye.
As an artist and software developer, he finds computers to be natural tools for expressing complex abstractions inherent in visual arts. Benedict is particularly drawn to concepts about the interplay between form and context. His installation "Collusion" is based on how connections believed to be private inform our public persona.
a multimedia artist, web designer, and educator, exhibits her work in New York and the Bay Area. She has a BS in Textile Design and an MA in Multimedia. Lehr teaches graphic and web design at California State University, East Bay and St. Mary’s College of California. Lehr’s piece “Peekaboo" is an interactive web work that mirrors the suspicion and self-censorship generated by the awareness of the dark, hidden nature of massive data collection by National Security Agency (NSA) exposed by Snowden.
is a mixed-media artist based in Berkeley, California who constructs pieces that integrate textile, sculptural, and digital techniques. After researching Snowden’s revelations, Milder realized that personal privacy and security is forever shattered; that acronyms used in PRISM, the NSA data surveillance system, have an ironic poetic sensibility. In “Bearing Witness: Surveillance in the Drone Age” Milder traces and interprets the complex PRISM data flow into “The Poetics of Prism: A Trail of Shattered Security.”
Artist and educator, he addresses Edward Snowden and Wikileaks through his portrait of Edward Snowden using layers of transparencies with redacted information printed on them. His work both illuminates the volume of information Snowden revealed as well as references the art historical practice of canonizing public figures that stand up to governmental malfeasance.