Ferrum College to Host 4th Annual Forum

Ferrum College to Host Fourth Annual Forum on Critical Thinking, Innovation & Leadership

Thought provoking dialogue on “Internet Privacy, Civil Liberties, National Security, Law and Economics: In Search of a Coherent Policy Path Forward” scheduled for March 19 at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center

Morgan GriffithFerrum, Va. (March 7, 2014) – The annual Ferrum College Forum on Critical Thinking, Innovation & Leadership, focuses this year on the theme “Internet Privacy, Civil Liberties, National Security, Law, and Economics: In Search of a Coherent Policy Path Forward, and will be held Wed., March 19, 2014 at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center in Roanoke. The Forum sessions will include a series of presentations from leading experts on the subject, a panel discussion, and a question and answer period for attendees. Registration begins at 8 a.m.; the program will run from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. followed by a luncheon.

Between the revelations about NSA meta data collections and reports of Google’s use of Gmail content to target advertising, Internet privacy has emerged as an important topic in our national policy agenda. At a high level, privacy issues encompass two broad, related but distinct categories. First, privacy is a right that should only be limited for significant national security benefits. Second, boundaries of privacy can affect societies' efforts to correct market failures in the provision of public goods. In each case, where the privacy boundaries should be drawn is unclear. The Forum will consider the acceptable trade-offs of privacy for both national security and economic efficiency.

The Honorable Morgan Griffith, Representative from Virginia’s 9th district, will provide a Congressional perspective during the Forum, which will be moderated by Connie Stevens from WVTF/Radio IQ. Panelists will include Coleman Bazelon, a principal in The Brattle Group and an expert in regulation and strategy in the wireless, wireline, and video sectors; Steven G. Bradbury, former head of the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice during the George W. Bush administration; Priscilla M. Regan, Chair, Public and International Affairs, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, George Mason University; and Amie Stepanovich, Senior Policy Counsel at Access, an international human rights organization that defends and extends the digital rights of users at risk around the world.

Bradbury was the leader of the legal effort that resulted in the initial Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act (FISA) court approval of the National Security Agency domestic surveillance activities and telephone meta data program in 2006, and was extensively involved in the collaboration between the Executive Branch and Congress that produced the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 regarding electronic surveillance.  Regan’s primary research interests focus on both the analysis of the social, policy, and legal implications of organizational use of new information and communications technologies, and the emergence and implementation of electronic government initiatives by federal agencies.  Stepanovich’s work encompasses the Fourth Amendment, national security, domestic surveillance, cybersecurity, digital identity, international privacy, and open government.

“Ferrum College is proud to host this year’s nationally recognized speakers who will join in what promises to be a lively and important discussion about the interconnections and trade-offs society must consider as it addresses the issues surrounding Internet privacy,” said Ferrum College President Jennifer Braaten. “We are pleased that the College is able to provide this opportunity for the Roanoke Valley to participate in such a timely conversation.”

A detailed program for the event as well as registration and other information is available online at www.ferrum.edu or by calling 540.365.4211.

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About Ferrum College: Ferrum College is a four-year, private, co-educational, liberal arts college related to the United Methodist Church. Ferrum offers a choice of nationally recognized bachelor's degree programs, at a cost well below the national average for private colleges. The College celebrates its centennial during 2013-2014. For more information, visit www.ferrum.edu.

About the Forum on Critical Thinking, Innovation and Leadership: Through its sponsorship of the Forum, Ferrum College raises the level of public discourse about trending issues that require the country’s best critical thinking skills, practical innovations, and business and civic leadership. Forum attendees include regional corporate and government officials, Ferrum College faculty and students, representatives of other area higher education institutions, and other members of the community.