Headline May 18, 2016/ ''' SNOOPING-AND - *HUMAN RIGHTS* '''



SECRECY, SNOOPING AND JUSTICE  just, just don't mix. All it does create is utter and gross injustice, and suffering. 
This is the lesson of History.

HISTORY HAS TAUGHT US  -that transformational processes take time. 
The long suppressed ideas and energies unleashed by events like Arab Spring must mature before having their full effect on society.

So, while in U.A.E, and determined to educate myself   -I did get to read of a recent survey of 100  Arab thought leaders conducted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace revealed a sweeping consensus about what underlies many of the region's problems : a lack of good governance. 

It was an honour to catch up on the great work and writing of Mr. Marwan Muasher, a former deputy prime minister of Jordan, is a Vice President  for Studies and Director of the Middle East Programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.   

THE REAL TRUTH IS  -that a number of governments risk undermining democracy while pretending to protect it.

So very true, Sir!  And that last para is from nobody less or other than  Nils Muiznieks, who  is the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.

Regrettably, these judgments are often ignored by key decision-makers. Many of the surveillance policies that have recently been adopted in Europe fail to abide by these legal standards.

Worse, many of the new intrusive measures would be applied without any prior judicial review establishing their legality,proportionality or necessity. 

*This gives excessive power to governments and creates a clear risk of arbitrary application and abuse*.

If European governments and parliament do not respect fundamental principles and judicial obligations, our lives will become much less private. 

Our ability to participate effectively in public life is threatened, too, because these measures curtail our freedom of speech- and our right to receive information   -including that of public interest.  

Not all whistleblowers have the technical knowledge Mr. Snowden possessed. 

Many would fear discovery if they communicated with the journalists , who in turn would lose valuable sources, jepardizing their ability to reveal unlawful conduct in both public and private spheres. 

Watergate can only happen when whistleblowers feel protected.

*Indiscriminate mass surveillance can also impinge on attorney-client privilege and medical-confidentiality. You might think twice before seeing a lawyer or a doctor, knowing that the authorities   -and private companies-are aware of your communications and movements*.

It is essential that  European countries pause and consider the damage they have done. At a minimum, three core safeguards should be provided.

FIRST,  legislation should limit surveillance and the use of data in a way that strictly respects the right to privacy as spelled out in-

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and that of the European Court of Justice.

These norms oblige states to respect human rights when they gather and store information relating to our private lives and to protect individuals and unlawful surveillance, including when carried out by foreign agencies.   

SECOND, there must be rigorous procedure for the examination, use and storage of all data obtained, and those subjected to surveillance should be given a chance to exercise their legal rights to appeal.

THIRD, security agencies must operate under independent scrutiny and judicial review. They will require intrusive oversight oversight powers for parliament and a judiciary that is involved in the decision-making process to ensure accountability.

*Countries that have adopted controversial surveillance laws should reconsider or amend them. And those considering new surveillance legislation should do so with great caution*.

Terrorism is a real threat and it requires an effective response. But adopting surveillance measures that undermine human rights and the rule of law is not the solution. 

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society and the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Honouring Opinions '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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