Dissonance Speaker Series: Privacy & Security Challenges in Investigative Journalism

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 5:30pm

Henderson Room, Michigan League

Technology, law, privacy, and security are inextricably linked. Each area is intertwined with the way that government and commerce take place. This holds true for higher education, where these subjects underpin and enable how universities, including the University of Michigan, fulfill their teaching, learning, research, and clinical mission. The Dissonance speaker series seeks to explore these topics from a global and national perspective, and in doing so increase university-wide multidisciplinary discourse and support university initiatives related to data science.

Knight-Wallace journalists Bastian Obermayer and Laurent Richard will share the stories behind the biggest data leaks in history, and how privacy and security play important roles and present significant challenges in investigative journalism in the digital age. This discussion will be moderated by Gautam Hans, Clinical Fellow in the U-M School of Law.

Speaker bios:

Bastian Obermayer is deputy head of the investigative unit for Süddeutsche Zeitung, the largest national daily subscription newspaper in Germany. He is the reporter initially contacted by the anonymous source of the Panama Papers. In 2005, Obermayer began working for the SZ-Magazin, the weekly publication of Süddeutsche Zeitung, specializing in long-form and investigative journalism. In 2012, he transferred to the daily newspaper where he coordinated the work of the team that investigated Offshore Leaks, Luxembourg Leaks and Swiss Leaks. He has received numerous honors for his work, including the Theodor-Wolff-Prize, the Henri-Nannen-Prize, the Helmut-Schmidt-Prize and the Waechter-Prize. Obermayer is the author of several books, the latest of which is the story of the Panama Papers. It will be published in English, Spanish and several other languages.

Laurent Richard is a French investigative journalist and editor-in-chief of Premières Lignes, a television and news agency based in Paris. He is co-founder of the highly reputed inquiry magazine "Cash Investigation" broadcast. Richard graduated from law school and began his career in local television. He freelanced for several years, making documentaries in Kashmir and Israel before accepting a job with the French investigative show "Pièces à Conviction." Following the broadcast of an inquiry into post-traumatic stress in U.S. soldiers in Iraq, he joined the press agency CAPA as editor-in-chief. Richard founded the award winning investigative magazine "The Insiders." In 2011, he was approached by a French television station and asked to develop a new innovative magazine, "Cash Investigation," dedicated to the business world. In addition to his duties as editor-in-chief, Richard keeps one foot in the field by leading, among others, investigations into dictators in the Caucasus region and Central Asia. "My President Is on a Business Trip," a 120-minute documentary on the topic, was awarded best investigative report at FIGRA festival in France in 2016. In 2015, he cosigned the book "Reporting Is Not a Crime. Stand Together Against Censorship," a collective work of 15 French journalists denouncing pressures against the press.

Admission is free and light refreshments are included. For more information, visit https://www.safecomputing.umich.edu/events/dissonance