Terrorism and the Proportionality of Internet Surveillance
European Journal of Criminology, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 119-134, 2009
11 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2008 Last revised: 27 Feb 2014
Date Written: March 9, 2008
As the Internet has become a mainstream communications mechanism, law enforcement and intelligence agencies have developed new surveillance capabilities and been given new legal powers to monitor its users. These capabilities have been particularly targeted toward terrorism suspects and organisations, which have been observed to use the Internet for communication, propaganda, research, planning, publicity, fundraising and creating a distributed sense of community. Policing has become increasingly pre-emptive, with a range of activities criminalised as "supporting" or "apologising for" terrorism. The privacy and non-discrimination rights that are core to the European legal framework are being challenged by the increased surveillance and profiling of terrorism suspects. We argue that their disproportionate nature is problematic for democracy and the rule of law, and will lead to practical difficulties for cross-border cooperation between law enforcement agencies.
JEL Classification: K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation