Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Russian Constitution - Articles 23 & 24 - Plus Some Other Countries

Article 23

  1. Everyone shall have the right to the inviolability of private life, personal and family secrets, the protection of honour and good name.
  2. Everyone shall have the right to privacy of correspondence, of telephone conversations, postal, telegraph and other messages. Limitations of this right shall be allowed only by court decision.

Article 24

  1. The collection, keeping, use and dissemination of information about the private life of a person shall not be allowed without his or her consent.
  2. The bodies of state authority and local self-government, their officials shall ensure for everyone the possibility of acquainting with the documents and materials directly affecting his or her rights and freedoms, unless otherwise provided for by law.
I think that beats the rights in the five eyes? The judicial processes and enforcement of such may be another issue. I don't know if the promises of the constitution are kept but the Russian Federation seems quite an unjust place for fair trials from afar. So, add a grain of salt.  Interesting nonetheless in the context of the current NSA affair.
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Source thanks to the pipes and tubes of the Internet [1] & [2]


Now for any colour as long as it is black: here are the pertinent articles from the Chinese Constitution which carve out juicy exceptions for State security and censorship that enshrine Orwellian (or NSA-like) capabilities:

Article 39 


The residences of citizens of the People’s Republic of China are inviolable. Unlawful search of, or intrusion into, a citizen’s residence is prohibited.

Article 40


Freedom and privacy of correspondence of citizens of the People’s Republic of China are protected by law. No organization or individual may, on any ground, infringe upon citizens’ freedom and privacy of correspondence, except in cases where, to meet the needs of State security or of criminal investigation, public security or procuratorial organs are permitted to censor correspondence in accordance with the procedures prescribed by law.
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In Australia there is no constitutional right to privacy nor improper search and just a limited form of freedom of political communication.  The privacy laws vary across the states and privacy law is complex as described by the Australian Law Reform Commission with particular considerations in place for intelligence gathering.  Gigamon, Endace, Splunk, etc are used by the Australian agencies to trawl.
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The Egyptian Constitution candidate currently being voted on is also interesting in the context of the Arab Spring:

Article 57 Private life

Private life is inviolable, safeguarded and may not be infringed upon.

Telegraph, postal, and electronic correspondence, telephone calls, and other forms of communication are inviolable, their confidentiality is guaranteed and they may only be confiscated, examined or monitored by causal judicial order, for a limited period of time, and in cases specified by the law. 


The state shall protect the rights of citizens to use all forms of public means of communication, which may not be arbitrarily disrupted, stopped or withheld from citizens, as regulated by the law.

Article 58 Inviolability of homes

Homes are inviolable. Except in cases of danger, or if a call for help is made, they may not be entered, searched, monitored or wiretapped except by causal judicial warrant specifying the place, time and purpose thereof. All of the above is to be conducted in cases specified by the law, and in the manner prescribed. Upon entering or searching homes, those inside shall be notified and informed of the warrant issued in this regard. 


Article 92 Limitations clause 

Rights and freedoms of individual citizens may not be suspended or reduced. No law that regulates the exercise of rights and freedoms may restrict them in such a way as infringes upon their essence and foundation.
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And Brazil?  I'm not sure I understand "anonymity is forbidden" in IV as it reads strangely. Nor is "the confidentiality of the source shall be safeguarded" in XIV below clear to me.  Brazil likes its paperwork and at 435 pages the English version of their Constitution is not short.

Title II - Chapter 1 - Article 5

IV – the expression of thought is free, and anonymity is forbidden;
...
X – the privacy, private life, honour and image of persons are inviolable, and the right to compensation for property or moral damages resulting from their violation is ensured;

XI – the home is the inviolable refuge of the individual, and no one may enter therein without the consent of the dweller, except in the event of flagrante delicto or disaster, or to give help, or, during the day, by court order;

XII – the secrecy of correspondence and of telegraphic, data and telephone communications is inviolable, except, in the latter case, by court order, in the cases and in the manner prescribed by law for the purposes of criminal investigation or criminal procedural finding of facts;
...
XIV – access to information is ensured to everyone and the confidentiality of the source shall be safeguarded, whenever necessary to the professional activity;

Perhaps the following could be interpreted to allow your private property (email?) to be used by the state to stop terrorism?  Seems a bit of a stretch though.

XXV – in case of imminent public danger, the competent authority may make use of private property, provided that, in case of damage, subsequent compensation is ensured to the owner;

If that was the case then perhaps you'd be justified in calling on this next right to prevent the "use" of your communications ;-)

XXVII – the exclusive right of use, publication or reproduction of works rests upon their authors and is transmissible to their heirs for the time the law shall establish;

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