[IRP] Counter-terrorism: intrusive measures in fight against terrorism should be opposed, says UN expert

Katitza Rodriguez katitza
Wed Jan 20 04:05:17 EET 2010

RT @privacyint UN report says global privacy protections needed. [PI  
advised Rapporteur on report.] http://bit.ly/6BeUf7
GENEVA (19 January 2010) - ?The current wave of privacy-intrusive  
measures in the name of countering terrorism should be countered  
through a global declaration on data protection and data privacy,? the  
UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism Martin  
Scheinin said Tuesday, as he released his latest report which focuses  
on the erosion of the right to privacy in the fight against terrorism.*

In his report, Scheinin critically assesses developments that have  
adversely affected the right to privacy in various parts of the world  
using the justification of combating terrorism. These include racial  
or ethnic profiling, creation of privacy-intrusive databases and  
resorting to new technology, such as body scanners, without proper  
human rights assessment.

Based on his evaluation, the UN independent expert dismisses the  
perception that, in an all-encompassing process of ?balancing?,  
counter-terrorism always outweighs privacy. Instead, he calls for a  
rigorous analytical framework for securing that any restrictions on  
privacy rights are necessary, proportionate and adequately regulated.

One of his main recommendations is that the inter-governmental Human  
Rights Council ?should launch a process aiming at a global declaration  
on data protection and data privacy.?

The Special Rapporteur also encourages the Human Rights Committee, the  
independent expert body supervising compliance with the Covenant on  
Civil and Political Rights, to consider drawing up a general comment  
on the right to privacy, including the proper scope of its  
limitations. Scheinin will present his report to the Human Rights  
Council in Geneva in the second week of March.

In his previous reports, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and  
counter-terrorism has addressed themes such as definitions of  
terrorism, racial and ethnic profiling, the right to a fair trial, and  
the gender impact of counter-terrorism measures.

Mr. Scheinin was appointed Special Rapporteur by the United Nations  
Commission on Human Rights in August 2005. The mandate was renewed by  
Human Rights Council Resolution 6/28.

As Special Rapporteur. He is independent from any Government and  
serves in his individual capacity. Mr. Scheinin is Professor of Public  
International Law at the European University Institute in Florence.

(*) See the full report: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/terrorism/rapporteur/docs/A_HRC_13_37_AEV.pdf 
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