One Nation Under Surveillance: A New Social Contract to Defend Freedom Without Sacrificing Liberty

Paperback | May 1, 2013

bySimon Chesterman

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What limits, if any, should be placed on a government's efforts to spy on its citizens in the interests of national security? Spying on foreigners has long been regarded as an unseemly but necessary enterprise. Spying on one's own citizens in a democracy, by contrast, has historically beensubject to various forms of legal and political restraint. For most of the twentieth century these regimes were kept distinct. That position is no longer tenable. Modern threats do not respect national borders. Changes in technology make it impractical to distinguish between 'foreign' and 'local'communications. And our culture is progressively reducing the sphere of activity that citizens can reasonably expect to be kept from government eyes.The main casualty of this transformed environment will be privacy. Recent battles over privacy have been dominated by fights over warrantless electronic surveillance or CCTV; the coming years will see debates over data-mining and biometric identification. There will be protests and lawsuits,editorials and elections resisting these attacks on privacy. Those battles are worthy. But they will all be lost. Modern threats increasingly require that governments collect such information, governments are increasingly able to collect it, and citizens increasingly accept that they will collectit.The point of this book is to shift focus away from questions of whether governments should collect information and onto more problematic and relevant questions concerning its use. By reframing the relationship between privacy and security in the language of a social contract, mediated by a citizenrywho are active participants rather than passive targets, the book offers a framework to defend freedom without sacrificing liberty.

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What limits, if any, should be placed on a government's efforts to spy on its citizens in the interests of national security? Spying on foreigners has long been regarded as an unseemly but necessary enterprise. Spying on one's own citizens in a democracy, by contrast, has historically beensubject to various forms of legal and political...

Simon Chesterman's books include Shared Secrets: Intelligence and Collective Security (Lowy Institute for International Policy, 2006), You, The People: The United Nations, Transitional Administration, and State-Building (Oxford University Press, 2004), and Just War or Just Peace? Humanitarian Intervention and International Law(Oxford ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:May 1, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199674957

ISBN - 13:9780199674954

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The End of PrivacyPart I: Context1. The Spy Who Came In from the Cold War2. The Exception and the Rule3. Secrets and LiesPart II: Cases4. The United States Before and After 9/115. Britain Before and After the European Convention on Human Rights6. The United Nations Before and After IraqPart III: Lessons7. Oversight and Review8. Limits on the Collection or Use of Intelligence9. A New Social Contract

Editorial Reviews

"In One Nation Under Surveillance, Simon Chesterman, a law professor at the National University of Singapore and New York University, maintains that privacy is already a dead letter, and proposes that we concentrate instead on regulating the governments use of the information it gathers,rather than futilely seeking to control surveillance itself. He argues convincingly that the specter of catastrophic terrorist attacks creates extraordinary pressure for intrusive monitoring; that technological advances have made the collection and analysis of vast amounts of previously privateinformation entirely feasible; and that in a culture transformed by social media, in which citizens are increasingly willing to broadcast their innermost thoughts and acts, privacy may already be as outmoded as chivalry" --New York Review of Books