KEYC - MAYDAY! Conference Addresses Citizens Role In Surveillance

MAYDAY! Conference Addresses Citizens Role In Surveillance

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ST. PETER, MINN. -

For many, technology has made life easier, but sometimes, it puts us more at risk with the ability to track our every move.

In the digital age, electronic devices capture our constant attention, but the information about how we use that technology is currently being examined.

Gustavus Associate Professor of Political Science Mimi Gertstbauer said, "We have some changes right now through Congress and the Trump Administration about privacy related to our internet use."

And it's not confined to smartphones.

From surveillance cameras to the use of drones, the issue of Big Brother and finding the balance of privacy is the focus of the 37th Annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference at Gustavus.

Gertstbauer said, "I think we could all be a little bit more scared than we are, so I hope that happens, that people really seriously consider "Oh, should I be concerned about this issues" But MAYDAY! is also concerned about what we could do about it."

The annual event named after the international distress call for planes and ships is meant to address peace issues.

This year included keynote speaker Bruce Fein, a constitutional lawyer who worked in the Reagan administration, talking about the state of the country and what American citizens can do.

Keynote speaker Bruce Fein said, "It's the obligations of citizens to speak truth to power, to pursue justice as opposed to domination and control."

Fein says surveillance is driven by the multiple military conflicts the U.S. has been involved with since World War II as the country moved towards a global empire.

Even with the Edward Snowden leaks of the U.S.'s surveillance programs, Fein says the conversation has moved away from the tech.

Fein said, "No one asking why are we doing this anyway, especially because the surveillance has deterred no terrorist acts in the United States, not one."

The conference included former members of the FBI and NSA.

--KEYC News 12