Term papers writing service


The justification of the american government in the violation of privacy through surveillance and in

  • More than forty countries now have data protection or information privacy laws;
  • See Barrington Moore, Privacy;
  • The rules within these two documents form the core of the Data Protection laws of dozens of countries;
  • It is important then that the reason given for the surveillance is not a smokescreen, but is matched by the intention for carrying out the surveillance.

Knowledgeable individuals from academia, government, human rights groups and other fields were asked to submit reports and information. Their reports were supplemented with information gathered from Constitutions, laws, international and national government documents, news reports, human rights reports and other sources. A list of contributors is located at Appendix D.

Privacy underpins human dignity and other key values such as freedom of association and freedom of speech. It has become one of the most important human rights issues of the modern age.

The publication of this report reflects the growing importance, diversity and complexity of this fundamental right. This report provides details of the state of privacy in fifty countries from around the world. It outlines the constitutional and legal conditions of privacy protection, and summarizes important issues and events relating to privacy and surveillance. Nearly every country in the world recognizes a right of privacy explicitly in their Constitution. At a minimum, these provisions include rights of inviolability of the home and secrecy of communications.

Most recently-written Constitutions such as South Africa's and Hungary's include specific rights to access and control one's personal information. In many of the countries where privacy is not explicitly recognized in the Constitution, such as the United States, Ireland and India, the courts have found that right in other provisions.

In many countries, international agreements that recognize privacy rights such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights or the European Convention on Human Rights have been adopted into law. In the early 1970s, countries began adopting broad laws intended to protect individual privacy. Throughout the world, there is a general movement towards the adoption of comprehensive privacy laws that set a framework for protection. Most of these laws are based on the models introduced by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Council of Europe.

Electronic Surveillance: Unlawful Invasion of Privacy or Justifiable Law Enforcement

In 1995, conscious both of the shortcomings of law, and the many differences in the level of protection in each of its States, the European Union passed a Europe-wide directive which will provide citizens with a wider range of protections over abuses of their data. Each EU State must pass complementary legislation by October 1998. The Directive also imposes an obligation on member States to ensure that the personal information relating to European citizens is covered by law when it is exported to, and processed in, countries outside Europe.

This requirement has resulted in growing pressure outside Europe for the passage of privacy laws. More than forty countries now have data protection or information privacy laws. More are in the process of being enacted. Reasons for Adopting Comprehensive Laws There are three major reasons for the movement towards comprehensive privacy and data protection laws. Many countries are adopting these laws for one or more reasons. To remedy past injustices.

  • In such cases, enforcement is achieved through a range of mechanisms;
  • Most of these laws are based on the models introduced by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Council of Europe;
  • Nearly every country in the world recognizes a right of privacy explicitly in their Constitution;
  • Definitions of privacy vary widely according to context and environment.

Many countries, especially in Central Europe, South America and South Africa, are adopting laws to remedy privacy violations that occurred under previous authoritarian regimes. To promote electronic commerce. Many countries, especially in Asia, but also Canada, have developed or are currently developing laws in an effort to promote electronic commerce.

These countries recognize consumers are uneasy with their personal information being sent worldwide. Privacy laws are being introduced as part of a package of laws intended to facilitate electronic commerce by setting up uniform rules.

Please Consider Donating

To ensure laws are consistent with Pan-European laws. Many of these countries hope to join the European Union in the near future. Countries in other regions, such as Canada, are adopting new laws to ensure that trade will not be affected by the requirements of the EU Directive. Continuing Problems Even with the adoption of legal and other protections, violations of privacy remain a concern. In the justification of the american government in the violation of privacy through surveillance and in countries, laws have not kept up with the technology, leaving significant gaps in protections.

In other countries, law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been given significant exemptions. Finally, in the absence of adequate oversight and enforcement, the mere presence of a law may not provide adequate protection. There are widespread violations of laws relating to surveillance of communications, even in the most democratic of countries.

State Department's annual review of human rights violations finds that over 90 countries engage in illegally monitoring the communications of political opponents, human rights workers, journalists and labor organizers. In France, a government commission estimated in 1996 that there were over 100,000 wiretaps conducted by private parties, many on behalf of government agencies. In Japan, police were recently fined 2.

Police services, even in countries with strong privacy laws, still maintain extensive files on citizens not accused or even suspected of any crime. There are currently investigations in Sweden and Norway, two countries with the longest history of privacy protection for police files.

Companies regularly flaunt the laws, collecting and disseminating personal information. In the United States, even with the long-standing existence of a law on consumer credit information, companies still make extensive use of such information for marketing purposes. Furthermore, new developments in medical research and care, telecommunications, advanced transportation systems and financial transfers have dramatically increased the level of information generated by each individual.

Computers linked together by high speed networks with advanced processing systems can create comprehensive dossiers on any person without the need for a single central computer system. New technologies developed by the defense industry are spreading into law enforcement, civilian agencies, and private companies.

According to opinion polls, concern over privacy violations is now greater than at any time in recent history. Human rights groups are concerned that much of this technology is being exported to developing countries which lack adequate protections.

Currently, there are few barriers to the trade in surveillance technologies. It is now common wisdom that the power, capacity and speed of information technology is accelerating rapidly. The extent of privacy invasion -- or certainly the potential to invade privacy -- increases correspondingly. Beyond these obvious aspects of capacity and cost, there are a number of important trends that contribute to privacy invasion: The development of the Internet is perhaps the best known example of a global technology.

Modern information systems are increasingly interoperable with other systems, and can mutually exchange and process different forms of data. MULTI-MEDIA fuses many forms of transmission and expression of data and images so that information gathered in a certain form can be easily translated into other forms. Technology transfer and policy convergence The macro-trends outlined above have had particular effect on surveillance in developing nations.

In the field of information and communications technology, the speed of policy convergence is compressed. Across the surveillance spectrum -- wiretapping, personal ID systems, data mining, censorship or encryption controls -- it is the West which invariably sets a proscriptive pace.

The transfer of surveillance technology from first to third world is now a lucrative sideline for the arms industry.

  1. Others ask for the users name, address and other personal details before allowing access. These two agreements have had a profound effect on the adoption of laws around the world.
  2. Legal protections are generally more lax in such circumstances because surveillance is frequently imposed as a condition of employment.
  3. Software companies call this process "performance monitoring. Accurate depictions can be derived as to our lifestyles, our political and religious opinions, and our habits.
  4. A voice recognition system called "Oratory" has been used for some years to intercept and analyze diplomatic phone calls.
  5. It is also the model favored by Europe to ensure compliance with its new data protection regime. Privacy is a key value which underpins human dignity and other key values such as freedom of association and freedom of speech.

The report concludes that such technologies which it describes as "new surveillance technology" can exert a powerful 'chill effect' on those who "might wish to take a dissenting view and few will risk exercising their right to democratic protest".

Large scale ID systems are also useful for monitoring larger sectors of the population. As Privacy International observed, "In the absence of meaningful legal or constitutional protections, such technology is inimical to democratic reform.

It can certainly prove fatal to anyone 'of interest' to a regime. New "smart card" projects in which client information is placed on a chip in a card may streamline complex transactions.

The Internet will revolutionize access to basic information on government services. Encryption can provide security and privacy for all parties. However, these initiatives will require a bold, forward looking legislative framework.

Please Consider Donating

Whether governments can deliver this framework will depend on their willingness to listen to the pulse of the emerging global digital economy and to recognize the need for strong protection of privacy.

The Bible has numerous references to privacy. Definitions of privacy vary widely according to context and environment. In many countries, the concept has been fused with Data Protection, which interprets privacy in terms of management of personal information.

Outside this rather strict context, privacy protection is frequently seen as a way of drawing the line at how far society can intrude into a person's affairs.

Information Privacy, which involves the establishment of rules governing the collection and handling of personal data such as credit information and medical records; Bodily privacy, which concerns the protection of people's physical selves against invasive procedures such as drug testing and cavity searches; Privacy of communications, which covers the security and privacy of mail, telephones, email and other forms of communication; and Territorial privacy, which concerns the setting of limits on intrusion into the domestic and other environments such as the workplace or public space.

The lack of a single definition should not imply that the issue lacks importance. As one writer observed, "in one sense, all human rights are aspects of the right to privacy. In the 1890s, future U.

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis articulated a concept of privacy that urged that it was the individual's "right to be left alone.

Privacy is a key value which underpins human dignity and other key values such as freedom of association and freedom of speech. Privacy is a basic human right and the reasonable expectation of every person. It protects the inviolate personality, the individual's independence, dignity and integrity. It is a state which can be lost, whether through the choice of the person in that state or through the action of another person. The right of the individual to be protected against intrusion into his personal life or affairs, or those of his family, by direct physical means or by publication of information.

The law of privacy can be traced as far back as 1361, when the Justices of the Peace Act in England provided for the arrest of peeping toms and eavesdroppers.

In 1776, the Swedish Parliament enacted the "Access to Public Records Act" which required that all government-held information be used for legitimate purposes. In 1792, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen declared that private property is inviolable and sacred. France prohibited the publication of private facts and set stiff fines in 1858.

No-one should be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks on his honour or reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interferences or attacks. Both have been particularly active in the enforcement of privacy rights and have consistently viewed Article's protections expansively and the restrictions narrowly.

For numerous Anglo-Saxon and French authors, the right to respect "private life" is the right to privacy, the right to live, as far as one wishes, protected from publicity. In the opinion of the Commission, however, the right to respect for private life does not end there.

  • Even in democratic nations, police retain the right to demand ID on pain of detention;
  • Those countries which refuse to adopt meaningful privacy law may find themselves unable to conduct certain types of information flows with Europe, particularly if they involve sensitive data;
  • In other countries, law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been given significant exemptions;
  • Part of the difficulty here is the contextual nature of surveillance;
  • The Data Protection Directive contains strengthened protections over the use of sensitive personal data relating, for example, to health or finances;
  • It is clear that it can be used to good ends, to protect the vulnerable and allow the smooth functioning of society.

The Evolution of Data Protection Interest in the right of privacy increased in the 1960s and 1970s with the advent of information technology IT. The surveillance potential of powerful computer systems prompted demands for specific rules governing the collection and handling of personal information.

In many countries, new constitutions reflect this right. The genesis of modern legislation in this area can be traced to the first data protection law in the world enacted in the Land of Hesse in Germany in 1970 This was followed by national laws in Sweden 1973the United States 1974Germany 1977 and France 1978. The rules within these two documents form the core of the Data Protection laws of dozens of countries.

These rules describe personal information as data which are afforded protection at every step from collection through to storage and dissemination.