02 Mar Legality and ethics of intelligence gathering
Each EU member state and countries with responsible legislation that upholds Human Rights, will demand of their Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) compliance with national legislation and have ethical and robust internal processes for gathering and using data. This includes protecting individual privacy, proportionate use of information dependent on the type of investigation and the level of threat or harm posed by an individual or the organisation he/she is associated with. All information will have access control levels to ensure that only those with a ‘need to know’ can see it and all information will be assigned a retention (& disposal) time. LEAs will aim to have in place policies and standard operating procedures that not only uphold the law but ensure each individual officer is held accountable for their actions. Despite intelligence collection having to be covert and protective of its methods, it is also important that there is oversight from appropriate, independent inspection authorities. This aims to protect public and individual rights whilst maintaining and building public confidence in policing. The use of intelligence should be a central pillar of a functioning LEA that reduces harm, risk and threat to wider society and those most vulnerable to crime through sound investigative processes.
Author(s): Graham Kissock