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Lessons from Snowden: His Lawyer on Whistleblowing & Surveillance
March 22, 2019, 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
When: 22nd of March 2019, 7:00PM – 9:30PM (must arrive by 7:20PM to guarantee your spot)
Where: Hart House, 7 Hart House Circle, Toronto, ON M5S 3H3
Mr. Robert Tibbo | LL.B, Canadian Human Rights Lawyer & Legal Counsel to Edward Snowden
Robert Tibbo is a Canadian national known for his work as a lawyer in human rights. Previously a chemical engineering graduate from McGill University, he went on to receive his law degree from the University of Auckland, focusing on administrative and constitutional law. Tibbo has been active in wider social advocacy, having previously served as a director of Vision First, an NGO that provides human rights advocacy and humanitarian assistance to asylum seekers in Hong Kong. He has defended many notable clients including Edward Snowden, the Snowden Refugees, and Xiao Hui. As Snowden’s lawyer, Tibbo successfully secured his safety through the UNHCR in Hong Kong, facilitated his hiding in Hong Kong to avoid extraordinary rendition by the US government, and ensured his safe passage out of Hong Kong to Russia in June 2013. Tibbo has appeared in a number of documentary films including Oscar-winning film “Citizen Four”, and “Terminal F/Chasing Snowden”. He was also portrayed in the Oliver Stone film “Snowden”. As of November 2017, he went into exile from Hong Kong, having had assistance to leave the jurisdiction from Lawyers Without Borders Canada and the Officers from the Canadian Consulate in Hong Kong. Presently, he continues to act for Snowden (in Moscow) and the Snowden Refugees (in Hong Kong). Tibbo has been responsible for engaging and working with a group of Montreal based lawyers to act and file refugee applications for the Snowden Refugee in Canada. He also continues to act for another forty-plus asylum seekers in Hong Kong.
Dr. Brenda McPhail | Canadian Civil Liberties Association
Brenda McPhail became Director of the Privacy, Technology, and Surveillance Project in 2015, after first working from 2013 as a project coordinator for the grant-funded Pathways to Privacy and TalkRights projects. Brenda focuses on advocacy and public education about privacy rights and the ways in which these rights are at risk in contemporary society. This includes privacy in relation to national security, intelligence, and public safety surveillance, privacy and information sharing practices and policies in the public and private sector, and privacy in the social context of existing and emerging technologies. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Information and holds Master’s degrees in Information Studies and English. In her peer-reviewed work, she has explored do-it-yourself approaches to privacy protective identification, privacy risks of RFID-enhanced driver’s licenses, identity performance in government service interactions, Canadian ePassport development, attitudes to video surveillance, and privacy issues inherent in connected cars.
Ms. Kate Robertson | Markson Law & Citizen Lab Fellow
Kate Robertson practices criminal and regulatory litigation representing both individual and Corporate Clients at Markson Law, where she retains a particular interest in computer-based investigations and crime. As a Fellow at The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, she consults on constitutional law and policy issues relating to cybersecurity, law enforcement, surveillance, and national security. Prior to her call to the bar, Kate served as a law clerk to the Honourable Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella of the Supreme Court of Canada. Kate has worked with the United Nations in Cambodia at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. She regularly provides pro bono services to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, and the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic. Kate is a graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law with honours.
Dr. Jonathan Obar | Department of Communication Studies, York U
Jonathan A. Obar is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies. He also serves as a Research Associate with the Quello Center for Telecommunication Management and Law at Michigan State University, where he previously worked for four years. His teaching and research focus on information and communication policy, and the relationship between digital technologies, civil liberties and the inclusiveness of public culture. Recent academic publications address Big Data and privacy, internet routing and NSA surveillance, network neutrality, and digital activism. Jonathan has served as a Research Fellow with the public policy think tank the New America Foundation and the media reform organization Free Press, as a researcher with the Open Society Foundations, and as a Senior Advisor to the Wikimedia Foundation’s Wikipedia Education Program. Jonathan has a Master of Arts degree in Media Studies from Syracuse University and a Ph.D. in Mass Communications from Penn State University.
Megan Siyi Liu (Moderator) | University of Toronto
Megan Siyi Liu is a second-year student at the University of Toronto studying in the Rotman Commerce program with a focus in Strategy and Innovation. By pursuing a career in consulting or entrepreneurship, she hopes to make the world a more sustainable and ethical place. She serves as the Director of External Communications at Hart House Debates and Dialogue Committee and is the incoming President at the Rotman Commerce Consulting Association.