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One Nation Under SurveillanceA New Social Contract to Defend Freedom Without Sacrificing Liberty$
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Simon Chesterman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199674954

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199674954.001.0001

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Secrets and Lies

Secrets and Lies

(p.67) 3 Secrets and Lies
One Nation Under Surveillance

Simon Chesterman

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the legitimate claims for — and the limits of — secrecy and the challenges it poses for effective accountability. It first considers the types of information relevant to intelligence services that can justify measures guarding against their release before discussing the ‘mosaic’ or compilation theory and the state secrets privilege. It then looks at the implications of leakage of sensitive information for secrecy and how secrecy can be used to avoid criticism or to facilitate cover-ups. It also analyses the concept of regulatory capture and the issue of electronic surveillance before concluding with an assessment of the role of the media and whether accountability is possible given the challenges of secrecy.

Keywords:   secrecy, accountability, intelligence services, compilation theory, state secrets, leakage, sensitive information, regulatory capture, media, electronic surveillance

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