Interstitial data secrecy in Europe's security assemblage
Title: Interstitial data secrecy in Europe's security assemblage
Author: CURTIN, Deirdre
Citation: Anna-Sara LIND, Jane REICHEL and Inger ÖSTERDAHL (eds), Transparency in the future : Swedish openness 250 years, Tallinn : Ragulka Press, 2017, pp. 89-107
This chapter highlights a growing phenomenon rarely discussed in the literature – the accelerated spreading of a security ‘of the interstice’. This phenomenon includes security practices that do not operate top-down through supranational power structures or executive decisions but work to govern the gaps and fissures of European space. An important part of the challenge relates to the inter-operability of ever more European-level databases that are set up for different purposes with access being granted to an ever increasing range of (street-level) actors and bodies. The secrecy is interstitial and thus largely unassailable for outsiders. Security practices are taking shape not only as part of the future but also of an intensified present. They are crafted and inter-linked largely below the radar of law and, as actual and projected operational activity, often quite invisibly. This kind of information sharing and processing may be systemically beyond the law or political or administrative accountability in a manner that is arguably new and, if true, highly problematic in its generality. Moreover, it is extremely challenging to understand and tailor rules and practices of transparency or information control more generally to this novel context. This chapter aims to raise the issue and explain the complexity both in normative terms and in terms of institutional architecture.
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