Freedom of Expression

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A Dangerous Convergence: The Inevitability of Mass Surveillance in European Jurisprudence

Recent Grand Chamber judgments in Big Brother Watch and Others v. United Kingdom and Centrum för Rättvisa v. Sweden held that some aspects of the UK’s and Sweden’s domestic surveillance regimes violated Articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”). Despite the findings of violation due to insufficient safeguards, the Grand Chamber asserted that “bulk interception is of vital importance to Contracting States in identifying threats to their national security” and “no alternative or combination of alternatives would be sufficient to substitute for the bulk interception power” (BBW ¶ 166; CFR ¶ 365). As has already been discussed on EJIL: Talk!, the judgments normalize mass surveillance regimes for decades to come (see here). An Emerging Convergence: Procedural Fetishism In this post, I do not discuss the judgment in detail or repeat the same argument about the normalization of mass surveillance (although I strongly agree with it). Instead, I suggest that ECtHR’s approach in Big Brother Watch…

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The Oxford Statement on International Law Protections in Cyberspace: The Regulation of Information Operations and Activities

The Internet has allowed the dissemination of content across the globe in a matter of seconds. Recommendation algorithms, found in social media platforms and search engines, have also dangerously amplified the reach of false, misleading, and violent content (see here, here, and here). Because they are geared towards…

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The Grand Normalization of Mass Surveillance: ECtHR Grand Chamber Judgments in Big Brother Watch and Centrum för rättvisa

Yesterday the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights delivered its most important judgments on electronic mass surveillance (or bulk interception) post-Snowden: Big Brother Watch and Others v. the United Kingdom, nos. 58170/13 etc and Centrum för rättvisa v. Sweden, no.

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The Facebook Oversight Board Made the Right Call on the Trump Suspension

The Facebook Oversight Board’s decision on the ‘indefinite suspension’ of Trump’s account has provoked a storm of commentary, akin to a landmark judgment of a national or international court. Much of that commentary is understandably focused on the bottom line: that Facebook was justified, at the time it made its decision, to suspend Trump’s account…

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Should the ECtHR Invoke Article 17 for Disinformation Cases?

Increasingly, legal debates surrounding disinformation in Europe have questioned how this problem can be tackled while preserving fundamental rights to freedom of expression. Under Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), freedom of expression is protected. Throughout the extensive Article 10 jurisprudence in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), it has been well established…

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