Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/22921
Title: INTERNET SURVEILLANCE TECHNOLOGIES AND THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY: AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE
Authors: VINCENTS OKECHUKWU BENJAMIN
Keywords: Internet, human rights, privacy, surveillance, tracking, interception
Issue Date: 30-Apr-2010
Source: VINCENTS OKECHUKWU BENJAMIN (2010-04-30). INTERNET SURVEILLANCE TECHNOLOGIES AND THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY: AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This project seeks to determine the technologies that are used for monitoring and tracking the internet activities of persons by both public and private sector actors. It asks if the use of such technologies interferes with internet users¿ right to privacy. It also asks, in the event that privacy is indeed interfered with, what should be the legal response to the use of such technologies in the United States, United Kingdom, and Singapore? On the basis of their functionality and mode of interference with privacy, the thesis generally divides surveillance technologies into interception and tracking technologies. This categorization is in line with the two broad methods by which the technologies interfere with privacy: interference with information while in transit, and the recording of usage data or online habits respectively. Furthermore, as regards the standards for determining the content of the right to privacy and measuring the responses in the relevant jurisdictions, the thesis endorses the provisions of international human rights treaties on privacy as the relevant standards of protection. It thus relies on Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as interpreted by the Human Rights Committee, and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights. It also leans on the EC Data Protection Directive in evaluating responses to private sector tracking technologies. In accomplishing its objectives, the thesis identifies and examines the major technologies used for surveillance on the internet in the public and private sectors. It finds that these technologies do indeed interfere with internet users¿ right to privacy as that term is understood in the jurisprudence of the ICCPR and the ECHR. On the basis of this jurisprudence also, the thesis also outlines what the responses to these technologies should be. Specifically, it finds that the laws of the US generally meet the standards of the treaties on the interception of content but not on the interception of addressing information. The laws of the UK are slightly less satisfactory in both respects and Singapore needs to enact comprehensive legislation to regulate communications surveillance. On tracking technologies, the thesis finds that the UK¿s implementation of the EC Data Protection Directive, for the most part, satisfies treaty expectations on the right to privacy in this area but the US and Singapore need to enact comprehensive legislation. On the basis of these findings, the thesis is also able to generally recommend that countries similarly situated as Singapore, which does not have adequate laws and needs to enact some for public and private sector surveillance should, for relevant standards, look to the ECHR on regulating interceptions and the EC Data Protection Directive on regulating the tracking and profiling of persons in the private sector.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/22921
Appears in Collections:Ph.D Theses (Open)

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