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Martha Barnett To Give Preiskel-Silverman Lecture, "Terrorism, Technology, and the Changing Reality of Personal Privacy"


Martha Barnett, a partner at the law firm of Holland & Knight LLP and former president of the American Bar Association, will consider the current state of the right to privacy in the Unites States when she delivers the 2002-2003 Preiskel-Silverman Lecture on February 25, 2003. Her talk is titled "Terrorism, Technology, and the Changing Reality of Personal Privacy" and will be held in Room 127 at Yale Law School at 4:30 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public.

"In our country there has long been a tension between an individual's right to privacy and what society, whether it's government or others, knows about that person," says Martha Barnett. Some of this tension has been codified in law, such as the constitutionally mandated regulations of search and seizure, or the laws governing the information in public records.

Barnett will use developments in these areas over the last two decades to consider the current state of privacy law, which she sees as challenged by two factors, technology and terrorism. Her talk will consider "the impact that technology, in and of itself, has on concepts of personal privacy and public information and then, as a layer over that, of the enhanced tension that comes from this war on terrorism that we are currently involved in."

"I hope to give some examples that will make people think about some of the issues in a way they probably haven't thought about them before," says Barnett. Indeed, the conclusion Barnett reaches from her consideration of the evidence is that new thinking is required: "My thesis, frankly, is that there isn't any such thing anymore [as a right to privacy], and that we need to look at a new paradigm as to how to protect privacy as we move into this technological, global age."

Martha W. Barnett is a partner in the law firm of Holland & Knight LLP and serves on its Directors' Committee. Her primary areas of practice are administrative and governmental law, public policy, and state and local taxation. She was the president of the American Bar Association in 2000-2001.

The Preiskel-Silverman Lecture is sponsored by the Robert H. Preiskel and Leon Silverman Program on the Practicing Lawyer and the Public Interest, a fund established by the law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson in honor of Robert H. Preiskel, LL.B. 1948, and Leon Silverman, LL.B. 1948, to sponsor lectures and other events celebrating private lawyers' contributions to the public interest.