Announcement: NISA Conference 2019 - Old wine, new bottles? The transforming discipline of intelligence collection

UPDATE 2019-11-17: now available: conference booklet (5MB .pdf)

UPDATE 2019-10-17: registration for waiting list has opened here. All new registrations, except for limited free tickets assigned to sponsors, will be placed on a waiting list.

UPDATE 2019-10-16: registration has closed for now. If you have questions, contact Clotilde Sebag (Leiden University): .

UPDATE 2019-09-26: draft conference program now added (see below).


Registration is now open: register here. [CLOSED]

NISA International Conference 2019

Date: Thursday 21 November 2019
Time: 09:00-19:00 CET (includes drinks)
Location: HSD Campus, Wilhelmina van Pruisenweg 104, The Hague

conference schedule

Theme: "Old wine, new bottles? The transforming discipline of intelligence collection"

Since a few years, the world has been receiving mixed messages about the world of intelligence. On the one hand, we are told that ‘the trade’- the techniques used to gather intelligence - has changed markedly: we now live in an information age, in which big data and social media intelligence transform signals intelligence at its core. To that also human intelligence has to adapt, because cameras are everywhere and covers are blown in the blink of an eye.

On the other hand, despite the changing face of it, at heart intelligence collection seems to revolve around the same principles. Disinformation might now be spread through Facebook and Twitter trolls, but it is still disinformation, a phenomenon that has been around forever. What is more, hostile intelligence services still use undeclared agents (‘illegals’) who still seem to use one-time pads and short-wave radio transmissions.

This raises the question whether the intelligence collection disciplines have truly adapted to an environment that has fundamentally changed – or should do so – or whether this is old wine in new bottles.

The Netherlands Intelligence Studies Association ( organizes a conference on this topic on Thursday 21 November 2019 at 09:00-19:00 CET at the HSD Campus in The Hague (NL).

We are delighted to announce the keynote speakers:

  • James Risen, Pulitzer-prize winner & senior national security correspondent for The Intercept (more).
  • Dr Paul Killworth, deputy director of strategic policy at GCHQ.
  • Dr Ron Deibert, professor of political science at the University of Toronto & director of Citizen Lab (more).

During the conference we will explore the geopolitical, societal, and technological factors that influence the trade of intelligence collection. In addition to the keynotes, a variety of presentations and interactive sessions will be held.

The conference is open to the public. Conference fee:

  • Regular: EUR 100
  • Students: EUR 40
  • NISA members: free admittance (covered by NISA membership fee)

Registration is now open: register here. [CLOSED]

The conference is made possible with support from:

Hague Security Delta   AIVDNetherlands Ministry of DefencePolitieacademieDcypher