(www.gawkwire.com) – The Diplomatic Council (DC, www.diplomatic-council.org), a United Nations registered global Think Tank, takes the appointment of the first Special Rapporteur on data protection of the United Nations, Joseph Cannataci, as an opportunity of to take a general position on “privacy vs. Orwellian surveillance state in the age of universal digitization”. Joseph Cannataci had been appointed July 3rd this year as the first “Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy” of the United Nations. He had prevailed over a total of 29 other candidates. In order to form its opinion, the Diplomatic Council (DC) has held an open hearing on this topic early in August this year.
Dr. Thomas Lapp, lawyer and Chairman DC Global Information Security Forum, explains: “On the one hand we all strive to preserve a private zone, in which we are safe of bugging. On the other hand, we well understand that the state has to carry out its obligations towards its citizens and hence must be entitled to wiretapping in order to uncover criminal activities in cases of reasonable suspicion. It is obvious to us that there is a need for a digital privacy all over the world.”
Dr. Dorian Hartmuth, DC Director Economic Policy, explains: “There is an urgent need to bring about a harmonization via the UN, which guarantees the people all over the world a digital privacy.”
Judges should be obliged to document the consequences of approved wiretapping
A cornerstone of the government hearing, the preceding judicial authorization, after careful consideration of the facts in each individual case, appears to be rather shaky. “In practice, the judicial review often keeps within limits,” says attorney Dr. Thomas Lapp, and gives an example: “Cunning investigators usually file applications on surveillance to the local court on Friday afternoons. At that time usually no judge is available anymore, who is familiar with that subject. Instead the judge on duty is usually represented by a younger colleague. When in doubt the young judge faces a tough choice to respond to such inquiries: either he signs off the request or next Monday morning the public prosecutor will be enquiring the district court president for an explanation for the rejection.” The DC Chairman Information Security suggests that any judge all over the world, who approves an interception measure, should be obliged to document it. He then should have to report yearly, whether the surveillance activities led to judicial proceedings and whether there were convictions. Attorney Dr. Thomas Lapp is convinced that as a result the eavesdropping requests would be examined more carefully. To the public the relation between the costs and the interference with the basic rights of citizens on the one hand and the desired effect on the other hand would be more transparent.
Also throughout the DC hearings the continuous violation of data protection legislation by big Internet companies was criticized. “There is an instant need for a global legislation to control the escalating data acquisitiveness of the big Internet corporations,” DC Director Dr. Dorian Hartmuth claims. Attorney Dr. Thomas Lapp explains how the big companies currently apparently circumvent the strict data protection rules in many countries as follows: “Corporations readily submit to the privacy laws of small countries allegedly due to the fact that they have only a few employees and thus possesses a significantly lower capacity than would be necessary for seriously coping with this huge task.”
The Diplomatic Council (DC, www.diplomatic-council.org) is a United Nations (UN) registered global Think Tank founded with the objective to serve as a bridge between diplomacy, economy and society. Members committed and dedicated to the Diplomatic Council strongly believe that a thriving economy bringing prosperity to mankind is one of the best guarantors for peace. Consequently as members the Diplomatic Council welcomes not solely members of the diplomatic or consular corps but also personalities from industry, politics, society, culture and sports.