Privacy Icon Simon Davies Interviewed by Alumna Challis Popkey

Challis Popkey

Challis Popkey

Challis Popkey graduated from JCU with a major in Communications in 2015. She recently moved to New York City, where she currently works as Multimedia Producer at WNET, Manhattan’s PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) affiliate.

Popkey recently interviewed privacy advocate Simon Davies for SciTech Now , a public media blog. The founder of Privacy International, in his 25-year career Davies has led campaigns and research initiatives worldwide and is one of the most frequently quoted experts on Internet privacy and data protection.

After giving a lecture series at JCU in February of 2014, Davies was invited to return as a visiting professor. In Fall 2014 he taught CMS/BUS 385: Surveillance, Privacy and Social Identities: Practices and Representations.

After a brief introduction to Davies and his work, Popkey started her interview with a question on his new initiative Code Red. This project’s aim is to go to the very heart of the issues that block privacy reform and that nurture the surveillance society. According to Davies, 95 percent of our daily routines are under surveillance.

Professor Simon Davies

Professor Simon Davies

He also shared his take on the recent U.S. Department of Justice vs. Microsoft case. The U.S. Government has requested access to private emails stored on Microsoft cloud servers in Ireland. The emails pertain to a 2013 narcotics case. Microsoft appealed the ruling, claiming the government does not have the right to access private data stored on foreign soil. Davies strongly agrees with Microsoft on this case.

“If Microsoft loses, the US will see much of the data environment throughout the world as its own dominion, to do with as it pleases,” he said. “If we lose this territorial rule, then the likes of China, Uganda, and Russia will have a moral basis for seeing the world exactly the same way. If you’re happy for such countries to have access to your information, then please do go ahead and support the Department Of Justice position!”

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