CPDP Panel: Can Citizenship of the Target Ever Be a Justified Basis for Different Surveillance Rules?


This panel will examine the topic of whether the nationality of an individual under surveillance  (the “target”) is and should be relevant to the legal standards for surveillance. Legislation in effect today, in countries including the United States and Germany, apply stricter protections for national security surveillance of a nation’s own citizens than for foreigners.  To date, there has been no systematic discussion of whether and on what basis those stricter standards might be justified.  Some writers have asserted a “universalist” position, that national security surveillance must apply identically to both citizens and non-citizens.  This panel will provide a description of current law and practice.  It will then discuss and debate whether, and in what circumstances if any, it may be justified to apply different surveillance standards based on whether the individuals under surveillance have citizenship or other significant connections to the country undertaking the surveillance.


Chair: Wendy Grossman, journalist
Moderator: Amie Stepanovich, Access Now
Panelists: Joseph Cannataci, UN Special Rapporteur
Mario Oetheimer, director of the FRA
Peter Swire, Georgia Institute of Technology.
Thorsten Wetzling, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung

25.01.2018 - 08:45 bis 10:00
Dr. Thorsten Wetzling