This page contains some of my presentations, but it’s not at all complete and woefully out of date. Feel free to drop me a line if you’re wondering whether I can contribute to your conference, event or class. Video and slides of talks I’ve given over time, both in English and in Dutch:

  • 04.03.2018: In ‘Buitenhof’, one of my favourite Dutch TV-shows, I took part in a debate on the reform of the Dutch legal framework for intelligence and security services. I’m a critic of the adopted legislation for many reasons, most importantly because the law enables disproportionate breaches of human rights. Unique to The Netherlands, a referendum was held two weeks later on the matter, in which a majority of the Dutch electorate voted against the law (49% – 47% split).  You can watch the 17 minute debate here (Dutch). Admittedly, I got off to a  bit of a slow start (after eating over 10 aspirines in the 36 hours before the debate), but it gets more coherent after the first few interventions :-) My columns in recent months contain more background (in Dutch). The public debate about state power, freedom and technology has now gone mainstream, which I feel is the most important outcome of the referendum.
  • 25.01.17: The wonderful Dutch online magazine ‘De Correspondent’ published a long interview on my book ‘Securing Private Communications’. The interview digs in deep on several fundamental changes in the governance of the European Union. Even if politics are turbulent these days, I believe the EU is becoming a more complete Union, that is (finally) constitutionally designed to protect the privacy and cybersecurity of EU citizens. A strong judiciary is badly needed in times of populism. Read the entire interview, alas only in Dutch, here.
  • 18.11.2016 – gave a keynote at the National Privacy Conference on 18 November 2016, about the status and viability the E.U.-U.S. Privacy Shield from an academic, consumer and business perspective. I also touched upon data outsourcing practices of French escort services in the the 1970s, the consequent privacy awareness of French politicians such as Mitterand and the subsequent birth of international data transfer prohibitions in the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive. And the immense impact of quantum computing on privacy and cybersecurity (policy) in the future. Slides here.
  • 02.08.2016: For Dutchies, here’s a 25 minute conversation I had on BNR national radio about my new book:
  • 25.11.2015 – defended my thesis and obtained my degree as a doctor in law during a public ceremony in the University of Amsterdam church aula. These are the slides of my ‘Lekenpraatje’, a very brief overview of some of the issues we discussed during the defense. Click on the image below to open a lowres .pdf.


  • 04.06.2015 – speaker at a ALDE hearing in the European Parliament, titled “#cybersecurity: what’s the plan?”. In my 15 minute intervention, I talked about re-orienting E.U. cybersecurity policy towards protecting fundamental rights and regulating market failures, rather than letting national security dominate and capture the E.U. digital agenda. Basically, a short version of the short version of the conclusion of my Ph.D. thesis :) Video available here (starts at 33:09).
  • 16.12.2014 – Guest in the talk show RTL Late Night.Guest in the talk show RTL Late Night on Dutch data protection regulator investigations into Facebook and Google. As they confronted some audience members with embarrasing content on their Facebook profile, I had to test the great TV hosts’ Dutch Supreme Court case law knowledge and help the audience. Host Umberto Tan happens to be a former law student, which spurred some quite funny interaction towards the end of the item. To embed the video I would have to offer you an insecure connection and confront you with third party ad tracking, but you can watch it here.
  • The Question Lawyers Don’t Ask: Can Law Address Total Transnational Surveillance?, EPFL Lausanne Congress on Privacy & Surveillance. Liveblog by The Guardian, slides [pdf], video:

axel epfl

  •  Het maatschappelijke debat na PRISM – vijftig open vragen over privacy, column at the Big Brother Awards 2013, 29 Aug. 2013. Being a column of fifty questions, i wanted to be make this a very fast delivery and be very true to my text [pdf]. Video:

Slides and video of other talks (selected):

  • Speaker at the NYU Security Seminar, on 22 April in New York. Talked about three claims to communications security, and how these technical, policital and constitutional ‘security’ concepts feed into the emergence of a regulatory concept of communications security at the E.U. level. [slides pdf].
  • Panel at the Surveillance.01-USA art show in the Made in NY Media Center by IFP in Dumbo, Brooklyn.
  • PRISM: ‘Obscured by Clouds or the Dark Side of the Moon?: How to Address Governmental Access to Cloud Data from Abroad, Short keynote [pdf] at the E.U. Mission to the U.S. delivered before the JHA/HR/Political Counselors meeting, Washington D.C., 10 June 2013. A Eurovision song festival kind of setting, with furious EU diplomats, days after PRISM was revealed.
  • Justitie VS onderzoekt lekken klokkenluider Edward Snowden, NOS Nieuwsuur, 10 Jun. 2013 [Dutch]. The entire item is interesting in retrospect – how little did we know back then. My comments in front of the White House start at 9:35. Back then, I basically said that nobody in the U.S., including the President working right there behind me, really cares about the privacy and security of foreigners. Any policy response that doesn’t take that fact into account is naive, has a hidden agenda or both.
  • 29c3 talk on the Certificate Authority Collapse, at the 29th Chaos Communication Congress, Hamburg, 29 Jan. 2012. If you’re interested in the systemic failures of HTTPS/TLS and hearing about the damn good story that is the Diginotar hack. Starts for real at 5:11.

  • Toezicht op gegevens in een cloud is hard nodig, NOS 20u Journaal, 13 Oct. 2012. Our first report on the lack of information security and privacy safeguards with refard to data stored in the cloud, in particular because of FISA s702. It headlined the eight o’clock news, because we found out that both the controversial Dutch biometric passport and the national electronic health records used U.S. cloud providers to secure the data, exposing highly sensitive data to requests by U.S. authorities such as the NSA. Nine months before Snowden, it lead to a great deal of traction both at the national and at the E.U. level.

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Law and policy at the digital frontier