Thursday April 24, 2014 
from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM CDT

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Thursday April 24, 2014 
from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM CDT

Add to Calendar



Museum of Contemporary Art
220 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Driving Directions



Claire Gaiefsky
Human Rights Watch


Event Co-Sponsor


Privacy is a gateway right that affects our ability to exercise almost every other right, not least our freedom to speak and associate with those we choose, make political choices and practice our religious beliefs.

The mass global surveillance programs revealed by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden have raised many questions, including:

  • Who is really being harmed by the NSA mass surveillance practices? 
  • How do intelligence alliances impact US citizens and businesses, both here and abroad? 
  • What change is possible in post-9/11 US politics? How can we move the debate?

Join us on April 24 as we debate these questions and more with some of the nation's leading voices on the issue, led by Laura Pitter, Senior National Security Researcher for Human Rights Watch.

Special guests will include Geof Stone, University of Chicago law professor and NSA Review Panel Member; journalist and blogger Kevin Gosztola of FireDogLake; Cato Institute research fellow Julian Sanchez, and ACLU National Security Fellow Patrick Toomey.

We hope you will join us for a free and stimulating evening as we engage in one of the most important issues of our time.


Speaker Biographies


Geof Stone is the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law. Mr. Stone received his J.D. from the University of Chicago in 1971, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Law Review. After serving as law clerk to Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. of the Supreme Court of the United States, he joined the faculty of the Law School in 1973. Mr. Stone has served as Dean of the Law School (1987-1994) and Provost of the University of Chicago (1994-2002).

Mr. Stone is the author or co-author of many books on constitutional law, including Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime (2004), which received eight national book awards, War and Liberty: An American Dilemma (2007), and Top Secret: When the Government Keeps Us in the Dark (2007). Mr. Stone is currently chief editor of a twenty-volume series, Inalienable Rights, which is published by Oxford University Press. He is an editor of the Supreme Court Review, a former chair of the Board of the American Constitution Society, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Law Institute, and the National Advisory Council of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Laura Pitter (@Laurapitter) senior national security researcher in Human Rights Watch's US Program, monitors, analyzes and writes on US national security policies. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch, Laura was a journalist, human rights advocate, and attorney who practiced in both the public and private sectors. She was a reporter during the war in Bosnia where she wrote for Time Magazine and Reuters News Agency among other media outlets. Following the war she worked for the United Nations in both Bosnia and post Sept. 11-Afghanistan as a protection and political affairs officer. After Afghanistan, Laura practiced law for eight years, first as a public defender and later with a product liability law firm, both in New York. Laura holds a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a master's in international affairs from Columbia University, and a law degree from the University of San Francisco.

Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) is a writer for Firedoglake.com who regularly covers WikiLeaks, whistleblowing, secrecy and various issues created by the national security state of America. His work has also appeared on news websites including Salon.com and The Nation. He has been regularly traveling to Fort Meade to cover the court martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning and co-authored Truth and Consequences: The US vs. Bradley Manning with The Nation's Greg Mitchell.

Julian Sanchez (@normative) is a research fellow for the CATO Institute, where he studies issues at the busy intersection of technology, privacy, and civil liberties, with a particular focus on national security and intelligence surveillance. Before joining Cato, Sanchez served as the Washington Editor for the technology news site Ars Technica, where he covered surveillance, intellectual property, and telecom policy. He has also worked as a writer for The Economist’s Democracy in America blog, and an editor for Reason magazine, where he remains a contributing editor. Sanchez has written on privacy and technology for a wide array of national publications, ranging from National Review to The Nation, and is a founding editor of the policy blog Just Security. He studied philosophy and political science at New York University.

Patrick Toomey (@PatrickCToomey) is a Staff Attorney in the ACLU’s National Security Project, where he works on issues related to electronic surveillance, national security prosecutions, whistle-blowing, and racial profiling. Mr. Toomey is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School. After graduating from law school, he served as a law clerk to the Hon. Nancy Gertner, United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts, and to the Hon. Barrington D. Parker, United States Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.


Banner Photo by Kai Pfaffenbach 2013 Reuters Limited