The catalysing effect of serious crime on the use of surveillance technologies for prevention and investigation purposes
This article conducts a comparative critical study of the development in the use of surveillance technologies for the prevention and investigation of serious crime within three selected national jurisdictions – France, Italy and the United Kingdom. It tests the existence of a perilous double shift: (a) surveillance technologies introduced in relation to serious crime are increasingly used for the purpose of preventing and investigating ‘minor’ offences; at the same time, surveillance technologies originally used for public order purposes in relation to minor offences are now increasingly affected to the prevention and investigation of serious crime; (b) means at the disposal of each actor (intelligence and law enforcement agencies) for the prevention and investigation of serious crime are evolving so that the share of tasks and competences has become blurred. Two surveillance technologies are selected as case studies: the interception of telecommunications and video-surveillance. The human rights dimension – most importantly, the right to privacy and the principle of proportionality, which are at stake in this context – constitutes the normative background of the present work.
This project receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 722826.