Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism
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Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism

Edited by Ben Saul

This newly revised and updated second edition provides a comprehensive overview of international counter-terrorism law and practice. Brand new and revised chapters provide critical commentary on the law from leading scholars and practitioners in the field, including new topics for this edition such as foreign terrorist fighters, the nexus between organized crime and terrorism, and the prevention of violent extremism.
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Chapter 28: Terrorism, surveillance and privacy

Simon Chesterman


In recent decades, a combination of threats, technology, and culture has ensured the inexorable expansion of government surveillance powers — spectacularly revealed by the non-governmental organization WikiLeaks, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, and a group of dedicated investigative journalists. This chapter considers the rise of intelligence collection activities in key jurisdictions (particularly the US, UK and in Europe) that, as a legal or practical matter, are unlikely to be restrained by the type of accountability mechanisms traditionally used in regulating the activities of national security agencies. It then examines the most important effort to check the use of intelligence information in the late-twentieth century – constructing a ‘wall’ between intelligence and law enforcement – and why it failed in the US. The last two sections outline the contours of a more promising approach to regulating the use of intelligence and what this means for our understanding of privacy.

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