privacy and surveillance in cyberspace
April 4, 1996


What is privacy and who needs it? Is it an outdated or endangered concept in a technological world increasingly impersonal and anonymous? Have recent developments in information technology reduced the possibility of privacy? How necessary is privacy in the emerging commercial and intellectual environments of the World Wide Web? How can we reconcile the idea of privacy as something essential to human dignity with our belief that democracy is best served by openness? What ethical, legal and technical choices are available to a society that values both the individualism associated with privacy and the civic responsibility necessary to a democratic community? Our panelists are known for their work on these and related questions. John Markoff, who covers cyberspace for The New York Times, is the author of Takedown, about the pursuit and capture of a cyberspace outlaw. Gary Marx, a sociologist who has written extensively on privacy issues, is completing a book titled Surveillance and Society in an Age of High Technology. Theodore Ts'o is a member of the Internet Engineering Task Force, the standards body for the Internet, and serves on the Security Area Directorate for that standards organization. Andrew Lippman is Associate Director of the Media Lab at MIT.


John Markoff
The New York Times
Gary Marx
Urban Studies, MIT
Theodore Ts'o
Information Systems, MIT
Moderator: Andrew Lippman
Media Lab, MIT