Category Archives: Surveillance

Before Privacy, Power: The Structural Constitution & the Challenge of Mass Surveillance

The rich legal literature that has grown up to assess the constitutionality of bulk communications collection by the government has focused overwhelmingly—and understandably—on the challenge such programs pose to particular claims of individual right against the state, yet attempting to describe what seems troubling about bulk collection in terms of individual rights alone has significant doctrinal and conceptual limits.

Beyond Privacy & Security: The Role of the Telecommunications Industry in Electronic Surveillance

From the perspective of private industry, Mieke Eoyang examines the interplay between US national security electronic surveillance and the US telecommunications companies that are necessary intermediaries for this surveillance, tracing the history of major surveillance programs and identifying key areas of tension. Eoyang recommends reforms including a court process for government access to overseas data on foreign customers, leaving bulk, unfiltered data in the hands of private industry, and working with close allies to build consensus around electronic surveillance norms.

Terrorism, the Internet, & Propaganda: A Deadly Combination

Ariel Lieberman outlines the evolution, content, and goals of modern terrorist propaganda on the Internet, and presents a three-pronged approach for challenging such propaganda using a combination of criminal prosecution, removal of terrorist propaganda from social media platforms, and an active counter-propaganda campaign to discredit and undermine terrorist groups.

10 Standards for Oversight & Transparency of National Intelligence Services

Authors Sarah Eskens, Ott van Daalen, and Nico van Eijk present a set of 10 standards for oversight and transparency for surveillance by intelligence services. The authors approach these recommendations from the viewpoint of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and illustrate their implementation using cases from the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights.

An Essay on Domestic Surveillance

In his essay on domestic surveillance, Philip Heymann explores the ways in which technological advancements have changed expectations of privacy and the legal protections against government intrusion. He outlines current constitutional and other legal protections, including evolving limitations on government activity that could be considered not a “search” under the Fourth Amendment. Heymann concludes with predictions about the future balance between citizens’ demands for privacy and the government need for information.