Centre for Internet & Society

The Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore, invites you to a public lecture by Caspar Bowden*, the Chief Privacy Adviser of Microsoft’s Worldwide Technology Office, on Internet Surveillance Policy: “…the second time as farce?


In 2000, as Director of the independent think-tank, "Foundation for Information Policy Research", Caspar led a campaign to revise several aspects of a new comprehensive UK law governing electronic surveillance ("the RIP Act"). UK legislated in this area many years before most other countries, and the approach was widely criticized although some amendments were achieved. After a hiatus of a decade, many Commonwealth countries are now copying the RIP law (evidently unaware of the original controversies over its defects). Caspar will discuss the legal-technical intricacies of such legislation, the underlying policy dilemmas, the background context of the failed 1990s policy of “key escrow”, and the subsequent privacy catastrophe of blanket retention of the “traffic data” of all of the 500m citizens of the EU.

Caspar Bowden

Caspar Bowden is Microsoft's Worldwide Technology Officer for Privacy, providing advice on technology policy matters concerning privacy in over 40 countries, with particular focus on Europe and regions with horizontal privacy law. His goal is to ensure that users of Microsoft products and services are in control of their personal data and that fair information practices are respected. He is a specialist in data protection policy, privacy enhancing technology research, identity management and authentication.

Earlier he was the director of the Foundation for Information Policy Research and was also an expert adviser to the UK Parliament for the passage of three bills concerning privacy issues, and was co-organizer of the influential Scrambling for Safety public conferences on UK encryption and surveillance policy. His previous career over two decades ranged from investment banking (proprietary trading risk-management for option arbitrage), to software engineering (graphics engines and cryptography), including work for Goldman Sachs, Microsoft Consulting Services, Acorn, Research Machines, and IBM.

Who should attend?

This public talk aims to engage in a dialogue with anybody interested in questions of technology, surveillance, policy and the politics of Internet based governance. Students, research scholars, academics, practitioners, those in the business of technology development, design and study, are invited to attend the lecture that approaches the issue from different angles of technology, society and politics. 

Entry: Free; Limited Seating
Registration recommended: [email protected]

For additional info click here [PDF, 521 kb]
* Caspar is speaking in his private capacity and his remarks do not necessarily reflect any official Microsoft position