Tag Archives: Human Rights

Effective Oversight of Large-Scale Surveillance Activities: A Human Rights Perspective

Daragh Murray, Pete Fussey, Lorna McGregor, and Maurice Sunkin explore the international human rights law implications of state surveillance.

Today, state surveillance involves the large-scale collection and analysis of digital data—activities which allow for widespread monitoring of citizens. And while commentary on the legality of these bulk surveillance regimes has focused on whether this routine surveillance is permissible, the European Court of Human Rights has recently held that, subject to appropriate safeguards, surveillance of this type is legitimate, and sometimes necessary, for national security purposes in a democratic society.

In their analysis, the authors outline the types of oversight mechanisms needed to make large-scale surveillance human rights compliant. To do so, they break down state surveillance into its constituent stages—authorization, oversight, and ex post facto review—and focus their attention on the first two stages of the process.

First, they argue that effective oversight of authorizations requires increasing data access and ensuring independent judicial review. Second, they argue that effective oversight of ongoing surveillance requires improving technical expertise and providing for long term supervision. The authors conclude that a “court-plus” model of judicial officers and non-judicial staff would deliver enhanced judicial qualities to authorizations while also providing continuous engagement through ongoing review and supervision.

Advancing Accurate & Objective Cybercrime Metrics

Cybercrime has increased dramatically in this century. Although there is broad academic consensus that a dearth of official data on crimes committed in cyberspace hampers cybercrime enforcement efforts, even the most affluent nations have not yet managed to systematically catalogue cybercrime statistics.

Through a detailed analysis of efforts to keep track of this ever-evolving area of the law, Stephen Cobb outlines a future strategy that builds on the existing machinery of crime measurement and applies it at the national, regional, and international level.

At a time when cyberthreats are escalating, Cobb sheds light on historical and contemporary examples of successful monitoring efforts to show that committing to closing the cybercrime metrics gap is critical to crime deterrence efforts everywhere.

Requiem for Korematsu?

Stephen Dycus reviews Professor Eric K. Yamamoto’s timely book In the Shadow of Korematsu: Democratic Liberties and National Security, published just weeks before the Supreme Court decided Trump v. Hawaii. Dycus draws out the book’s core themes, highlighting Yamamoto’s analysis of the Korematsu decision and its continued relevance in American jurisprudence. The review concludes with a discussion of Yamamoto’s proposed process for judicial review in cases that involve both national security and civil liberties.