Jesse Woo

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The Important, Justifiable, And Constrained Role Of Nationality In Foreign Intelligence Surveillance

by Peter Swire, Jesse Woo, Deven R. Desaivia Aegis Paper Series
Tuesday, January 8, 2019

This article addresses whether governments ever have a justified basis for treating targets of surveillance differently, in any way, based on nationality. Topics include (1) three ways nationality can matter to surveillance; (2) reasons for stricter rules for law enforcement and domestic collection; (3) reasons for different rules based on the location of collection; (4) the universalist critique of surveillance laws based on nationality; and (5) reasons that can justify stricter surveillance rules based on nationality. Stricter protections are warranted because surveillance of nationals and others with a close connection to the domestic policy poses a special threat to the political opposition and free press of a country, both of which play crucial roles in limiting abuses of state power.