Mass Surveillance & State Emergency

Bart van der Sloot graduated from law school on the topic of the state of emergency. This has remained a field of interest ever since. He has written a standard article on the interpretation of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights on Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights (state of emergency). He has also published on the regulation of Intelligence Services and Secret Services, mass surveillance and predictive policing.

This article analyzes the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights on the interpretation of Article 8 ECHR, the right to privacy, in cases revolving around (mass) surveillance.

 

Human rights protect humans. This seemingly uncontroversial axiom might become quintessential over time, especially with regard to the right to privacy. Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights grants natural persons a right to complain, in order to protect their individual interests, such as those related to personal freedom, human dignity and individual autonomy. With Big Data processes, however, individuals are mostly unaware that their personal data are gathered and processed and even if they are, they are often unable to substantiate their specific individual interest in these large data gathering systems.

 

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This book contains, among others, contributions on the regulation of mass surveillance and predictive policing.

 

Big Data is making headlines almost every day. Intelligence services are investing in it to combat global terrorism; companies are using it to optimize and personalize their services; and the healthcare industry is adopting data analytics to improve delivery of medical care. But are these hopes realistic? And what are the potential downsides of using Big Data?

 

This book offers the reader a full and comprehensive account of the different aspects of this new phenomenon. The authors put forward suggestions on how the current legal regime could be adjusted to facilitate the positive uses of Big Data while preventing its potentially negative effects.

 

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This article contains an elaborate analysis of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights on the interpretation of Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights (state of emergency).

 

With the decline of traditional warfare and the rise of the fight against terrorism, the doctrine of martial law is increasingly applied by States to modern threats such as terrorism. Under this doctrine, also referred to as the state of emergency or state of necessity, fundamental rights, even those contained in a nation’s Constitution or Bill of Rights, may be derogated from in times of war. Enacted in the wake of the Second World War, in which the Nazi-regime abused this doctrine to increase and broaden its powers, Article 15 ECHR embodies strict rules and limitations for States who want to invoke the state of emergency and reserves a major role for European supervision.

 

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This article, titled 'Privacy in the Post-NSA Era: Time for a Fundamental Revision?', discusses moving towards a new privacy paradigm to deal with issues such as mass surveillance by the NSA.

 

Big Brother Watch and others have filed a complaint against the United Kingdom under the European Convention on Human Rights about a violation of Article 8, the right to privacy. It regards the NSA affair and UK-based surveillance activities operated by secret services. The question is whether it will be declared admissible and, if so, whether the European Court of Human Rights will find a violation. This article discusses three possible challenges for these types of complaints and analyses whether the current privacy paradigm is still adequate in view of the development known as Big Data.

 

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Other Scientific Contributions

Report on the state of emergency in the Netherlands (in Dutch)

 

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Report on Regulation of Big Data (only in Dutch)

 

 

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International and Comparative legal study on Big Data

 

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Article on Secret Services (only in Dutch)

 

 

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