Our speaker this month is Scott McCollough. Scott McCollough is a communications and internet attorney and former EFF-Austin board member with unparalleled knowledge and experience relating to those places where technology and regulation intersect – and often collide – all the way up the protocol stack. His clients have included competitive communications companies and Internet service and application providers, with a focus on public law and regulation relating to telecommunications, computers, Internet, privacy, procurement, electric and gas utilities, economic regulation, consulting, governmental relations, and instruction and training to individuals, groups, companies and governmental agencies. He is a past Contract Consumer Advocate (representing residential and small business consumers) with the City of Austin Electric Utility (1994-1999) and a former Regulatory Counsel for Texas ISDN Users Group and Texas Internet Service Providers Association. He is a graduate with honors of The University of Texas School of Law and currently manages his own firm here in Austin.

For our monthly meetup, McCollough will address the philosophical, ethical and legal underpinnings of the right to privacy, with specific attention to “information privacy.” As a group we will discuss what “privacy” “is” and why it is important to society. McCollough will advance the natural law, positive law and utilitarian arguments in favor of privacy. He will trace “natural law” concepts of privacy through the ages and discuss how US courts have justified finding a right to privacy based on natural law. He will show that Roman law recognized the right to privacy and British law in large part adopted and expanded the Roman law concepts. There will be a discussion of historical efforts to protect information privacy using cryptology. McCollough will then address the current means to protect information privacy and security through the Fifth Amendment and discuss compelled encryption key disclosure. He will address information privacy as a discrete privacy right under the Fourth Amendment. The talk will conclude with thoughts on the impact of recent Supreme Court appointments on privacy in general and information privacy in particular, at which point there will be time for extended Q&A and post-presentation group discussion.


Join us for the discussion from 7:00PM-9:00PM, followed by drinks and camaraderie from 9:00PM-10:00PM at Firehouse Lounge (605 Brazos St).

Capital Factory is located at 701 Brazos Street, on the 16th floor of the Omni Hotel. Once on the 16th floor, there should be a sign at the front desk directing you to our meetup. If there is no sign, and no one is on duty at the desk, we are usually in the room to the left of the front desk.

Talk will be livestreamed at https://www.youtube.com/user/austintechlive

Parking for the Omni Garage can be purchased in advance using Spot Hero. This will allow you to obtain a QR code that allows for entry to the garage at a greatly discounted rate vs what you’d have to pay on-site. Details: https://spothero.com/austin-parking