Latest Journals

20 May 2014

From Oversight to Undersight: the Internationalization of Intelligence

Due to the globalization and nodalisation of intelligence - resulting in hybrid intelligence assemblages - well-known problems related to overseeing intelligence are deteriorating. Not only does the international cooperation between intelligence services contribute to this problem, but especially the internationalization of intelligence collection meaning that as a consequence of technological and market transformations intelligence collection has become footloose and can be conducted remotely. In that way it leaves any idea of national sovereignty or the national protection of civil rights increasingly obsolete. Instead of oversight by institutions the real counter-power in post-democratic constellations seems to be practised by whistleblowers and investigative journalists. Sousveillance or undersight therefore seems to be the most important current oversight mechanism.

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20 May 2014

Between ‘sousveillance’ and applied ethics: practical approaches to oversight

The issue of the oversight of intelligence and security services is playing an increasing role in the debate on global security issues both among specialists and the broader public. Beyond theoretical debates on intelligence and surveillance ten practical approaches to advance oversight are being developed. Core ideas address the implications of the political supremacy of oversight, the need for revisiting the focus of oversight as well as the possibilities of the proliferation of best oversight practices. Furthermore, suggestions are made regarding the integration of ethics in security research and the creation of space for applied ethics for intelligence practitioners.

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Debate & Blogs

11 July 2014

French hypocrisy with sanctions against Russia

It is no surprise that the Western and, in particular, the EU countries have great difficulties in finding a common position relating to imposing sanctions upon Russia after its appalling behavior in the Crimea and the eastern part of Ukraine. Even though the Russian President Putin has turned the world back into some kind of 19th-century imperialism and violated the most basic principles of international law, the Western response so far has been so weak, that the sanctions imposed are generally seen as a laughing-stock. In particular the EU seems more inclined to protect its vast business interests in Russia than to consider real sanctions.  The United States has been more assertive, but it also didn't succeed in convincing the EU member states to take serious action against the Russian aggression and to take a firm stand against the undermining of the bases of our international security system.

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30 June 2014

The Ukraine crisis and the issue of national minorities

National minorities are a political and social fact in Europe and many other parts of the world. In Europe, the issue of national minorities became particularly acute after the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918 as well as more recently after the breakup of the former Yugoslavia and the collapse of the Soviet Union at the beginning of the 1990s. The newly created independent states became hosts to national minorities: for example, the Baltic States and Ukraine to a Russian minority, Romania to a Hungarian minority, Croatia to a Serb minority and vice versa, just to name a few.

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