Project Overview


Through the four work packages noted below, we will produce a deeper understanding of the legal provisions for the powers of intelligence and law enforcement agencies to monitor online communications data, and how surveillance, data collection and analysis is (or will be) regulated. The justifications and articulations used by major stakeholders in the debate  over surveillance powers will also be identified. Further,  citizens’ online behaviour and their perceptions of surveillance and privacy will be explored. We will investigate the accountability and legitimacy of the existing and planned legislation and expanded powers for internet surveillance. A gap between citizens’ and authorities’ expectations and understandings could have unfortunate consequences. This project and its findings will enhance the integrity of the services and authorities involved.

The digital age presents new challenges for theoretical understandings of borders, both in terms of the legislation and powers for law enforcement agencies, but also for citizens and how they perceive risks, limits and protection of their own online behaviour. Thus, the question of borders pertains to what is understood as legal and illegal behaviour, where the line is between public and private spheres, and the relationship between surveillance and security. These issues will be explored through a comparative analysis of Norway, Finland and the UK.

WP1: Comparative Legal Analysis

Detailed legal analysis of the developing legislative picture across the UK, Norway and Finland, including in-depth case studies to unpick the boundaries of legitimate use of the emergent powers.

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WP2: Stakeholders Articulating Surveillance and Privacy

Using mixed method research to establish common ground in stakeholders subjective views of the use of online surveillance

WP3: Perceptions of Surveillance and Online (Mis)behaviour

Exploring public perceptions of surveillance and how they may influence online privacy protecting behaviours, both in general and when doing something that could result in legal sanction (such as copyright infringement).

WP4: Geographical, Legal and Perceptual Borders - A comparative

Data from the previous three work packages will be compared to achieve a deeper understanding of various conceptual borders in a trans-national context.