10 Colum. J. Eur. L. 585 (2004)
Victoria V. Koroteyeva.
This book is the result of symposia on security services in nine European countries and Canada held in Gothenburg, Sweden. The chapters describe each country’s security apparatus, its budget and personnel, the mandate and powers conferred on it by legislation or executive orders, and consider the often uneasy relationship between the activities of national security services, and democratic control and human rights. The authors concentrate on internal security rather than military intelligence or foreign espionage, because it is in domestic policies that the tension between democracy and secret state activities is the most pronounced.
Each chapter is shaped by the legal position of the security apparatus in respective countries and, accordingly, the availability of information on their activities. The mist surrounding French security services gives rise to public conjecture and apprehensions supported by occasional leaks in the press. In contrast, elaborate provision for public oversight over intelligence agencies in Germany, or means to challenge their actions against individual Swedish citizens allows a more detailed account of how law actually regulates security services. Despite these differences, the authors discuss common concerns – the growing legalization of security activities, the possibility of democratic control over them, and the availability of legal venues to defend citizens’ right to privacy. We will review these problems across chapters on individual countries.