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Title: Identifying the limits of governmental interference with on-line privacy
Author: Mitliaga, Varvara
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2004
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Traditional privacy has been a legally recognized human right for many years. However, the exposure of privacy to the Internet has created new threats that mould the nature of ‘on-line privacy’: a user is less aware of the dangers faced in cyberspace, due to the instinctive feeling of being alone when in front of a computer; the distinction between private and public places is blurred. Taking this as a basis, the thesis explores the route to be followed in order for a well-balanced interference with on-line privacy to be designed. This begins with an analysis of computer-related crime, the major reason (or excuse) on which governments base the need to interfere and delimit privacy in the on-line environment. Second, the thesis analyses the legal reasons justifying governmental interference with on-line privacy. The European Convention of Human Rights, being one of the most complete and effective legal forums for human rights protection, is then used to show how the legally acceptable justifications for interference with privacy are being implemented. The thesis goes on to examine cryptography: being one of the most valuable tools for the protection of on-line privacy, regulating its use and dissemination is a way of governmental interference. An approach of the efforts made to limit the use and dissemination of strong encryption shows how on-line privacy has been affected. The effectiveness of these measures is, therefore, under question. Next the UK Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 is analysed, mainly those parts that affect on-line privacy. RIPA regulates the use of investigatory powers in the on-line environment such as interception of communications, acquisition of communications data and governmental access to keys. Last, the thesis explores the threat posed to on-line privacy by systems of covert governmental surveillance. The Echelon and other major international surveillance systems is probably the most real threat for privacy in the on-line environment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available