Detecter - Detection Technologies, Counter-Terrorism Ethics, and Human Rights (completed)

The project aims to co-ordinate and contribute work on detection technologies, counter-terrorism, ethics and human rights.

About the project

After 9/11 and the terrorist bombings in Madrid (11 March 2004) and London (07 July 2005), policing and intelligence activity have increasingly focused on methods of preventing future attacks, and not just on identifying the perpetrators of offences already committed. Preventive police work includes the use of detection technologies. These range from CCTV camera-surveillance of suspicious behaviour in public places to secret Internet monitoring and data-mining.

Such technologies raise ethical and legal issues (notably issues of privacy) that must be confronted against the background of the legal and ethical issues raised by counter-terrorism in general. Legal questions arise about counter-terrorism in general, because recent informal co-operation agreements between European heads of government may conflict with pre-existing legal commitments on the part of the same governments to safeguard freedom of association, free expression and privacy. Are significant intrusions into privacy justified by the need to save life or to protect democracy? In particular, within what limits is a policy of preventive policing – policing before a crime is committed – justified?

Financing and Partners

Detecter is a three-year Collaborative Research Project under the European Union Framework 7 Security programme.

The partner institutions involved are:

  • Åbo Academy University
  • University of Birmingham
  • Danish Institute for Human Rights
  • European University Institute
  • Norwegian Centre for Human Rights
  • Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
  • University of Zurich

The Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo participates in Detecter with Professor Geir Ulfstein (co-ordinator of the University of Oslo research) and a PhD project conducted by Rozemarijn van der Hilst. 

Published Nov. 3, 2009 12:58 PM - Last modified July 8, 2016 3:39 PM