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Title: NSA Surveillance Since 9/11 and the Human Right to Privacy
Authors: Sinha, Alex G.
Keywords: NSA
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
Citation: 59 Loy. L. Rev. 861
Abstract: Since shortly after 9/11, if not earlier, the National Security Agency (NSA) has been collecting massive amounts of data about American citizens and permanent residents, ostensibly with the aim of preempting future terrorist attacks. While the NSA's program has invited substantial scholarly attention, specifically concerning its compliance with the United States Constitution and various domestic statutes, the academic debate about its merits entirely omits one crucial fact: the United States is also legally obliged to protect a human right to privacy, as codified in Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). This Article seeks to eliminate the blind spot caused by that omission, illustrating the relevance of human rights for assessing the legality and propriety of NSA surveillance. It argues that even under conservative assumptions about the scope of the NSA program and the coverage of the ICCPR, there is good reason to think that the program violates the covenant. At the very least, as this detailed case study of the NSA program demonstrates, more clarity from the Human Rights Committee on the right to privacy is essential in a world characterized by increasing government surveillance.
ISSN: 0192-9720
Appears in Collections:Law Review

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