In the last decade data leaks have vastly improved our understanding of everything from the war in Iraq to the machinery of domestic surveillance. But the authorities are striking back. In the UK and US a wave of legislation threatens the very existence of investigative journalism. Internationally the weaponisation of journalism and leaks, together with a thick new fog of electronic propaganda, makes a confrontation between superpowers look increasingly likely. As we inch our way into electronic totalitarianism, we ask where the conspiracies really lie, and who’s conspiring against who.

Curated by the Centre for Investigative Journalism, the third international Logan Symposium brings together a unique global community of engaged investigative journalists, hackers, whistleblowers, artists and experts to London to illuminate the prospects for truth, freedom and democracy. We tackle the conspiracies that thrive online and in fact-free fringe media, and ask why, in our new media age, people still prone to joining up the dots in irrational ways. In an era of dwindling print and TV budgets for real investigations, we’ll also be asking tough questions about the propaganda that finds its way onto our screens and into our media diets.

Conspiracy! is about the growing machinery of surveillance and censorship, and what might be our response to it. Then there’s official propaganda and subterfuge. From paid Russian Trolls toiling to Western-funded “media activists” in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, what are the chances for real freedom and democracy when the new media machinery becomes a powerful new weapon of war? The proposed new Espionage Act in the UK, and the renewed threat of prosecutions under the 1917 Espionage Act in the US, deliberately blur the distinction between information-seeking investigative journalists and spies from a hostile state.

Faced with the conspiracies on all sides, we convene a unique global network of investigators and doers, rich in practical advice and personal stories, to steer a more enlightened path through.