Countering Hybrid Threats Through Signals Intelligence and Big Data Analysis?
Hybrid threats refers to activities that exploit the blurred area between peace and war, designed to stay below the threshold for response, hence not giving the recipient of the action an obvious venue to respond or retaliate. As hybrid operations potentially can target all spheres of society, not only the security sector of a state, bulk collection and analysis of “all” digital signals may appear to be a promising method for countering and detecting such threats. Yet, bulk collection of communication data is also very intrusive. and difficult to reconcile with fundamental human rights and civil liberties such as the right to privacy, the right to free speech and the right to informational self-determination.
The chapter Countering Hybrid Threats Through Signals Intelligence and Big Data Analysis? written by Dr. Thorsten Wetzling and published in Intelligence Relations in the 21st Century argues that democracies should not only examine carefully whether the use of bulk collection can lawfully be extended to counter hybrid threats, they must also ensure that effective accountability mechanisms and rigorous safeguards exist against undue rights infringements.