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Human rights treaties and foreign surveillance: privacy in the digital age

journal contribution
posted on 2015-01-01, 00:00 authored by M Milanovic
The 2013 revelations by Edward Snowden of the scope and magnitude of
electronic surveillance programs run by the U.S. National Security Agency
(NSA) and some of its partners, chief among them the UK Government
Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), have provoked intense public debate regarding the proper limits of such intelligence activities. Privacy activists decry such programs, especially those involving the mass collection of the data or communications of ordinary individuals across the globe, arguing that they create an inhibiting surveillance climate that diminishes basic freedoms, while government officials justify them as necessary to prevent terrorism. Snowden’s disclosures proved especially damaging for U.S. foreign policy interests when it was revealed that the United States and some of its “Five Eyes” partners1 spied on the leaders of allied governments, including Germany, Mexico, Brazil, and Indonesia.2

History

Journal

Harvard international law journal

Volume

56

Issue

1

Season

Winter

Pagination

81 - 146

Publisher

Harvard International Law Club

Location

Cambridge, Mass.

ISSN

0017-8063

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2015, Harvard International Law Club