Past Event
Books & Debates

Complicity and the ethics of undercover security

Thu 11 Feb 2016

What is the state justified in doing to protect its citizens? In particular, to what extent is it justified in getting its agents – the police and security services – to lie in order to do their job? And what is the role of the public in relation to such practices? These issues will be debated by a panel of speakers before opening up to general discussion.

Chaired by Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee, the panel will also feature Policy Officer at Liberty, Silkie Carlo; Reader in Security at the University of Leicester, Dr. Jon Moran and; Blast Theory artist and co-creator of Operation Black Antler, Matt Adams.

Polly Toynbee, Guardian
Polly is a former BBC Social Affairs Editor. She has won two national press awards as Commentator of the Year and the George Orwell prize. Her books include, A Working Life, Hospital, Lost Children and Hard Work, Life in Low Pay Britain. With David Walker, other books include Unjust Rewards, The Verdict: Did Labour Change Britain? Unjust Rewards and Cameron’s Coup.

Silkie Carlo, Liberty
Silkie Carlo is one of Liberty’s Policy Officers, specialising in technology and surveillance. Since joining in November 2015, she has focused on the Investigatory Powers Bill (Snooper’s Charter), contributing to legal, policy and technical analysis and promoting surveillance powers that are human rights compliant. Before joining Liberty, Silkie provided technical training to journalists and lawyers at risk and worked for Edward Snowden’s official defence fund.

Dr. Jon Moran, University of Leicester
Jon’s research interests lie in the area of security studies, which grew from work on political development and democratisation. He is interested in the continuing power of the state in the international system and specifically in the role of the state military and intelligence agencies both domestically and internationally. His last book was From Northern Ireland to Iraq: British Military Intelligence Operations, Ethics and Human Rights which covered the role of army intelligence and special forces since the 1970s.

Matt Adams, Blast Theory
Matt is a co-founder of artist group Blast Theory who, since 1991, have been making interactive art that invites audiences to question their place in society and explores the dangerous territory between political realities and popular culture. Over the last three years Blast Theory have been collaborating with Hydrocracker to create Operation Black Antler, an immersive theatre piece that invites audience members to enter the murky world of undercover surveillance and question the morality of state-sanctioned spying.