About #MSConf2018

Two Days of Intensive Brainstorming

28-29 September 2018

Participant Profile

The event will bring together the digital rights and internet freedom activists, public-spirited digital security experts, journalists, academics and business people to discuss the implications of increasing employment of mass surveillance technologies by the governments and its potential impacts on our relationship with the state.

Aims and Objectives:

This event will provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of:

  1. potential short-term implications of the use of mass surveillance technologies on the rights and freedoms of individuals;
  2. the possible policy infrastructure options that would best respond to privacy vs. security dilemma;
  3. acceptability and applicability of surveillance technologies on security issues;
  4. how to maintain civil rights, responsibility and individual autonomy in the face of the increased capacity of states to interfere with our lives;

In addition to the above, the event will create an excellent opportunity for networking and establish a sustainable network of partner and stakeholder organizations who are already or potentially involved with the conference themes.


  • learn about the latest of mass surveillance technologies from different contexts
  • utilize an opportunity to disseminate the results of successful policy applications
  • meeting peers and share what works and what doesn’t and identify synergies and ways of working together to help in the future work
  • meet and network with experts in the field


Technological changes, if large enough, may lead to massive transformations in the way human societies organize themselves. For example, a certain advance in the military technology, the invention of the cannonballs that are powerful enough to bring down fortified bulwarks made it impossible for a small group of people to defend a castle against an army for extended periods of time. They, now, needed standing armies, a development catalyzed the transformation from empires to nation-states.

In the first two decades of the 21st century, technology made unprecedented advances. We created tools that enabled an ordinary person to share & consume information instantly. Today, hundreds of millions of individuals share data about themselves, their immediate environment and their ideas at any moment. This data, if aggregated for a sufficient amount of time, might reveal important information about a) the individual and b) long-term trends in the society.

This aggregate data is used by companies to achieve a plethora of different purposes from product development to market orientation. Governments also use them for various ends that are or might potentially be harmful to individual liberties and privacy. On the other hand, with the rise of ICT, security challenges became extremely complex and multi-layered which requires intervention in different levels.

The 2013 Snowden revelations ignited a vehement debate on the legitimacy and breadth of intelligence operations that monitor the Internet and telecommunications worldwide. The ongoing invasion of the private sphere of individuals around the world by governments and companies is an issue that is handled inadequately using current technological and organizational measures.

#MSConf2018 is an interdisciplinary roundtable conference

  1. To explore the possible short and long-term effects of the use of mass surveillance technologies on human rights, governance, statehood and the society.
  2. To address relevant responses; policy or other, to ensure better coordination vis-à-vis increasingly complex security challenges presented by increased capacity and willingness on the part of states to interfere with the lives of individual


The first morning would be devoted to a roundtable discussion on privacy vs. security including journalists and the other stakeholders on the topic.



10:00 – 10:30

Welcome Notes

Medeni Sungur, Executive Director, Freedom Research Association

Dr. Hans George Fleck, Director, Friedrich Naumann Foundation Turkey Office

10:30 – 12:00

Ralf Dahrendorf Roundtable: An Age Old Debate Revisited: Freedom vs. Security Dilemma in the 21st Century by European Liberal Forum

Salih Bıçakçı – Assoc. Prof. of International Relations, Kadir Has University

Andreas Haggman – Information Security Group, Royal Halloway University of London

Demir Murat Seyrek – Senior Policy Advisor, European Foundation for Democracy

Moderator: Nevşin Mengü, Journalist

12:00 – 13:30

Lunch buffet @ The Marmara Panorama Lounge & Bar

13:30 – 15:00

FutureTalk w/ Prof. Steve Fuller: Future of Political Authority in the Age of Surveillance

Steve Fuller – Professor, Sociology, University of Warwick

Moderator: Salih Bıçakçı – Assoc. Prof. of International Relations, Kadir Has University

15:00 – 15:30

Coffee and Tea Break

15:30 – 17:00

World Café: Are we bound to a Bare Life? Changing Definitions of Public / Private Sphere

10:00 – 12:00

Panel: The Role of Private Enterprise in Producing the Surveillance Technologies and Protecting Consumer Data

Minhac Celik – Editor, Siberbulten.org

Burçak Unsal – Unsal & Gunduz Attorneys at Law

Moderator: Ahmet Sabancı – Tuhaf Gelecek

12:00 – 13:30

Lunch buffet at The Marmara Bosphorus Terrace

13:30 – 15:00

Surveillance in Practice: China & India

Mareike Ohlberg – Research Associate, Mercator Institute for Chinese Studies

Smitha Krishna Prasad – Senior member of the Technology, Media and Telecoms, Intellectual Property, Center for Communication Governance, National Law University, New Delhi

Moderator: Medeni Sungur, Executive Director, Freedom Research Association

15:00 – 15:30

Coffee and Tea Break

15:30 – 17:00

Surveillance in Practice: Russia & Israel

Ilya Yablokov – Teaching Fellow in Russian Studies, Universty of Leeds

Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler – Senior Fellow, Center for Democratic Values and Institutions; Head of Media Reform Program and the Democracy in the Information Age

Moderator: Milan Assies, International Project Officer, International Democratic Initiative

17:00 – 17:30

Concluding remarks




We kindly request you to register to the conference via below link so that we can sustain an enhanced communication. Thank you!

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International Democratic Initiative
Friedrich Naumann Foundation
International Republican Institute
European Liberal Forum


The Marmara Taksim
Osmanlı Sokak, No:1 Taksim Square/Istanbul


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