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Dataveillance and Terrorism: Swamps, Haystacks and the Eye of Providence / Stuart Macdonald

Routledge Handbook of Law and Terrorism, Pages: 147 - 162

Swansea University Author: Macdonald, Stuart

Abstract

In today’s pre-crime society it is easy to understand the appeal of a technology that promises to identify terrorist plots and stop attacks before they happen – even when the would-be perpetrators have never previously attracted the attention of the authorities or aroused any suspicion (unknown unkn...

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Published in: Routledge Handbook of Law and Terrorism
Published: Abingdon Routledge 2015
Online Access: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415870375/
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa18076
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Abstract: In today’s pre-crime society it is easy to understand the appeal of a technology that promises to identify terrorist plots and stop attacks before they happen – even when the would-be perpetrators have never previously attracted the attention of the authorities or aroused any suspicion (unknown unknowns, in Rumsfeldian terminology). Mass dataveillance programmes – which have been the subject of much discussion and controversy since the Snowden revelations of 2013 – have been claimed to offer this degree of predictive potential. This chapter first of all examines the effectiveness of pattern-based queries, arguing that there are significant problems in terms of modelling, false positives and false negatives. Given that pattern-based queries involve suspicion-less searches of individuals’ data, the chapter then examines legal protection of the right to privacy in this context and considers the significance of these privacy-based concerns.
Keywords: Dataveillance, counterterrorism, privacy, human rights
College: Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law
Start Page: 147
End Page: 162