OPEN SOURCING EVIDENCE FROM THE INTERNET –
THE PROTECTION OF PRIVACY IN CIVILIAN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS USING OSINT (OPEN-SOURCE INTELLIGENCE)
Leonore ten Hulsen
Vrije Universiteit, NL
Master student Internet, intellectual property rights and ICT and International technology law at the Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam.
This paper explores the relationship between open-source intelligence and privacy in the context of civilian criminal investigations. The purpose of this paper is to reach a better understanding of the way in which privacy can be protected in a changing landscape of criminal investigations. The existing legal mechanisms that could apply to open-source intelligence (OSINT) and civilian criminal investigations are discussed but a lack of suitable regulations is identified. This leads to privacy concerns and a new type of vigilante justice, which yield potentially dangerous consequences for our society. This paper also discusses the legal, political and ethical implications of OSINT on the traditional privacy framework with the use of a case study. A paradoxical situation is identified, in which publicly available information is thought to be free from privacy concerns based on the fact that it is publicly available, although the information can be (sensitive) personal information and therefore inherently private. A theoretical solution is proposed to fill this lacuna in the law, consisting of a combination of Nissenbaum’s theory on privacy as contextual integrity and Koops’ theory on a new privacy proxy of a digital home right. This could provide legal privacy protection in civilian criminal investigations using OSINT, creating a just balance between investigation interests and privacy concerns. This research can serve as a guideline when drafting future privacy regulations regarding open-source intelligence and civilian criminal investigations.
How to Cite:
ten Hulsen, L., 2020. OPEN SOURCING EVIDENCE FROM THE INTERNET –
THE PROTECTION OF PRIVACY IN CIVILIAN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS USING OSINT (OPEN-SOURCE INTELLIGENCE). Amsterdam Law Forum, 12(2), pp.3–48. DOI: http://doi.org/10.37974/ALF.353
11 Jun 2020.