The discussion on the limits of scope of permissible surveillance in democratic states, which has been ongoing for twenty years, has not yet developed a single, universally acceptable position. This problem occupies researchers from various fields of science — both law and sociologists or philosophers. In fact, the question about the limits of surveillance is a question about the definition of the state, its system and form of exercised power. In recent years, the discussion on mass electronic surveillance, i.e. the form of supervision, in which the bulk of data is collected for further analysis, has become particularly important. In the opinion of the Venice Commission, mass surveillance must have reasonable associations with the undemocratic form of government. At the same time, however, supporters of this measure point to the inevitability of its use taking into account the new challenges associated with ensuring public security in the digital world. The aim of the article is to take up the above subject from a different research perspective — in articular an attempt to answer the question whether, regardless of the legal safeguards implemented, the very concept of using mass electronic surveillance can be reconciled with the functioning of a democratic state. The reason for these considerations is the observation that this type of surveillance can naturally be used as a mechanism of social control, limiting freedom of speech or influencing electoral preferences — that is, for purposes that, although close to authoritarian states, are alien to democracy.
Apr 21, 2021
Jan 26, 2021
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