The legal protection of the right of privacy on the networks



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THE LEGAL PROTECTION OF THE RIGHT OF PRIVACY ON THE NETWORKS

Amr Zaki Abdel Motaal

Attorney at Law

Abdel Motaal, Moharram & Heiza Law Firm

Egypt


1. Introduction
1.1 It was said: “Privacy is at the heart of freedom in the modern state” 30, but, what is the meaning of the term privacy? The linguistic meanings of the term privacy according to Webster’s Dictionary are: “1 a- the quality or state of being apart from company or observation: seclusion b- freedom from unauthorized intrusion (one’s right to). 2 archaic: a place for seclusion. 3: secrecy ” 1 . In the classical legal terminology according to Black’s Law Dictionary, the right of privacy is: “The right to be let alone; the right of a person to be free from unwarranted publicity; and right to live without unwarranted interference by the public in matters with which the public is not necessarily concerned.

The term (right of privacy) is a generic term encompassing various rights recognized to be inherent in the concept of ordered liberty, and such right prevents governmental interference in intimate personal relationships or activities, freedoms of individual to make fundamental choices involving himself, his family, and his relationship with others. The right of an individual (or corporation) to withhold himself and his property from public scrutiny, if he so chooses. It is said to exist only so far as its assertion is consistent with law or public policy, and in a proper case equity will interfere, if there is no remedy at law, to prevent an injury threatened by the invasion of, or infringement upon, this right from motives of curiosity, gain of malice” 2 . According to the same source the invasion of privacy encompasses acts such as “the unwarranted appropriation or exploitation of one’s personality, publicizing one’s private affairs with which the public has no legitimate concern, or wrongful intrusion into one’s private activities, in such a manner to cause mental suffering, shame or humiliation to person of ordinary sensibilities. The violation of the right which one has to be left alone and unnoticed if he so chooses. Such invasion by an individual or the government may constitute an actionable tort 3 .The invasion of privacy is perpetrated by acts such as eavesdropping 4 or using pen register” 5



1.2 According to modern legal concepts the following aspects of an individual’s right of privacy in the context of rights in electronic information as stated by Thomas J. Smedingoff 6 are: “Privacy of a Person’s persona: Certain privacy rights attached to a person’s persona- that is, a person’s name, identity, photograph, voice and so forth. Any misuse of that persona can constitute an invasion of that right of privacy. Privacy of Data About a Person: Privacy rights can also attach to information about a person that is collected and used by others. This might include, for example, information about a person’s spending habits, medical history, religious or political affiliations, tax records, employment records, insurance records, criminal records, and the like. Misuse of this information by collecting organizations or their customers has often been a source of controversy. Privacy of a Person’s Communications: There is also, in certain situations, a right of privacy with respect to online communications sent to or from an individual. Thus, in certain circumstances, monitoring or disclosing the contents of an electronic communication by anyone other than the sender or the intended recipient can constitute an invasion of privacy. Anonymity: Finally, there is the ultimate form of privacy “anonymity.” Anonymity often plays an important role in online electronic communication. The extent to which anonymity is a right, and ought to be respected, is also the subject of much controversy6

1.3 According to modern jurisprudence the privacy of a person’s online communications may be violated by the unlawful interception of electronic communications, the unlawful accessing of stored electronic information and communications 7 and the unlawful divulgence of the anonymity of a person.

1.4 On the De Jure side, the right of privacy is regulated both internationally and nationally by many legal tools such as: International treaties and conventions, directives, national constitutions, national acts, legislations, regulations, etc. describing rights and prescribing penalties on the offenders (if caught). Contractual undertakings could be a protective element between contracting parties. Also, self-regulation measures are available to control the behaviour of the members of groups with special interests but with a lesser effect. The protection of privacy on the networks is provided on the De Facto side by technological devices and procedures in the realm of communication security comprising: physical security, encryption, TX security, emission security 8. Information and communication security is the first and most effective line of defense to protect privacy on the networks to safeguard communications from the (six Es: error, embezzlement, extortion, enmity, espionage and ego) 8. This is to be followed by the legal deterrent and ethics consecutively by order of effectiveness.



2. The Invasion of Privacy on the Networks
2.1 Before embarking on this short trip through the legal framework of the ways and means for the protection of the Right of Privacy on the networks, we should start by viewing some socio-economic factors, which are the roots of this issue, culminating in a behavioural problem. The impacts of Globalization, Relativism, the New World Order, Materialism, Egocentricism, Hyper Consumerism, invasive technologies (we should not forget the positive effects of scientific and technological achievements), the uncontrollable flood of information, the advent of genetic manipulation and perhaps genetic control, the corrosion of the notion of the sacred in modern post-industrial societies and many other factors have disturbed the ladder of values in each and every society. The insatiable greed for more instant pleasure (which is not in itself a sin) has added a spinning (or perhaps a cataclysmic) potential to the tempo of change. Due to this uncontrollable hyper acceleration in all the venues of life including cyber crime, some would state that a rational utilitarian scale of values could govern human behaviour. But let us remember that Auguste Comte (Catechisme Positive) did not solve the problem, ideologies also failed due to the gap between theory and practice. The human being cannot be ethically perfect; philosophers do not rule the world and the pure rational man does not exist. The paradox between stability and change remains and perhaps the tools of global behavioural control shall prevail in the future eliminating in their way what is known as free will (if any?).

2.2 We return to the privacy issue by examining some practices which are sometimes illegal and sometimes legal and which have an impact on the privacy on the networks:

As mentioned in Sautter's report “To prevent the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted man-hours and bandwidth more and more employers are using special software to monitor their employees’ Web browsing and e-mail traffic" 9

Marketers can spy on you by using cookies. A cookie is a unique text file that is placed on your hard drive the first time you access certain websites. It is like a personal serial number used to identify your computer on your next visit to the site but the cookie also enables the marketers to gather information about your browsing preferences. According to the Washington based privacy research group EPIC, 86 out of 100 tested online companies work with cookies. The gathered information about the customers could be sold to other persons or entities” 10 .
Hackers can spy on you by using Trojan horses coming in the guise of backdoor computer programs which once infiltrating into your computer allows hackers to access it and take control 11. Hackers can even spy on your E-mail as it passes through the several web servers. At any of these relay points your message is vulnerable to snooping. Skillful hackers can also hijack a router and then read or mess around with the text messages stored in it. Sniffer programs may scan traffic for specified terms, cyber snoops can capture Internet account login IDS & passwords and use them to surf the web at owner’s expense and web based E-mail services are particularly open to intruders” 12

Some sovereign states run electronic surveillance systems around the world and scan the web for signs of criminal activity, monitoring E-mail communications eavesdropping on chat room conversations and generally tracking the traffic on the net. Echelon, a massive cold war-era surveillance network run by the intelligence services of the U.S., U.K., Canada New Zealand and Australia, is the world’s most extensive spy system for nonmilitary targets and the one most likely to be watching as you roam the Web. Some 90% of Net traffic is said to be scanned by Echelon. Several countries also run their own national Web surveillance systems 13. According to Duncan Campbell “the Echelon system can access and process all of the world’s satellite communications automatically” 14. A large part of Echelon is devoted to the inteLsat network of Geo stationary communications satellites. Cable tapping is harder, however, as with cryptography itself Echelon is fighting a loosing battle. As more and more phones become low power digital devices, the range over which they can be monitored and the effort needed to decode them increases, a brand new wireless technology called pulse wireless – already used by the security services – promises to make many transmission virtually undetectable” 15 . By autumn of this year, the Echelon interception system will be subject to a legal battle that threatens to blow the lid on this covert surveillance network Echelon when the issue reaches the courts. David Nataf of the Jean Pierre Millet law firm in Paris is leading the assault on America’s National Security Agency (NSA). The plaintiffs, several French corporations and individuals who cannot be identified, allege that the (NSA) has spied on them illegally”. He says his team has enough evidence against the (NSA) to pursue damages for lost business and for illegal covert activity. At the center of the allegations is evidence implicating the (NSA’s) involvement in spying on European nations’ commercial dealings. Nataf’s team will try to convince the American courts that stolen information was passed onto US companies, giving them an unfair advantage over their French competitors. In March 2000, a former CIA director, James Woolsey, confirmed that the US monitors European communications to keep an eye on any economic bribery activities. “We have spied on that (bribery) in the past,” said Woolsey responding to the (Interception Capabilities 2000) report presented to the parliament’s Citizens Rights Committee. “I hope that the United States government continues to spy on bribery” 16. The controversial impact of Echelon was also apparent on a broader platform, in July 2000 the European Parliament voted to set up a Temporary Committee of inquiry on the Echelon interception system 17

“Governments may not be the only ones spying on citizens’ secrets.” It is suggested that multinational companies may have taken their cue from Echelon and are carrying out their own surveillance work. Some have suggested they may even cooperate with secret government snooping. Industrial espionage is not a new phenomenon, but as information becomes ever more vital to companies and integral to their practices it is easy to see that the incentives are greater than ever. A Scientific and Technical Options Assessment (STOA) report called Development of Surveillance Technology and Risk of Abuse of Economic Information presented to the European Union December 1999 concludes that: “Although it is very difficult to quantify the losses caused by industrial espionage, the losses incurred by European firms can reasonably be put at several billion Euros per year” 18

These are some of the issues affecting the Right of Privacy on the networks. The matrix of interceptors includes individuals, corporations, multinational companies and even sovereign states. Efforts are evolving to inquire into these interception activities and even to condone their acts pursuant to the right of privacy on the networks and global communication.




2.3 Fact or fiction. As with any issue involving communities at large, a multitude of interception techniques have been described and elaborated on. Some even sound extremely credible and others are generally discarded as unimaginable at the current state of technology. Duncan Campbell’s study (Interception Capabilities 2000) attempts to portray the current technological capabilities available. A summary of the key findings concerning the state of the art in (Comint) are: “Comprehensive systems exist to access, intercept, and process every important modern form of communications, with few exceptions; Contrary to reports in the press, effective (word spotting) search systems that have the capability to automatically select telephone calls of intelligence interest are not yet available, despite 30 years of research. However, speaker recognition systems – in effect, (voiceprints) – have been developed and are deployed to recognize the speech of targeted individuals making international telephone calls; Recent diplomatic initiatives by the United States government seeking European agreement to the (key escrow) system of cryptography masked intelligence collection requirements have formed part of a long-term program which has undermined and continues to undermine the communications privacy of non-US nationals, including European governments, companies and citizens; there is wide-ranging evidence indicating that major governments are routinely utilizing communications intelligence to provide commercial advantage to companies and trade” 19 .

3. The Legal Protection of the Right of Privacy

On the Networks in the Modern World
3.1 I shall tackle in this part the legal aspects of the protection of privacy on the networks by exposing the legal tools providing said protection. The law has a functional role by deterring any potential perpetrator from committing a criminal act and it also has a curative effect in devolving compensations for damages if an illicit act is committed. The legal texts covering this area are various as we have previously mentioned and they constitute two faces of one coin. One face is information protection laws and the other is telecommunications protection laws. Their symbiotic effect produces the legal deterrent and protection.

3.2 To be criminalized and penalized by the law, the acts of violation of the right of privacy should constitute crimes in conformity with the old Latin rule (Nullum Crimen, Nulla Poena Sine Lege). We should bear in mind that criminal law texts are interpreted very strictly (stricto sensu). In the modern world, we first find on the international level the international agreements and conventions such as: I-The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in which Article 12 states that: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy,…or correspondence,…Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference”. A key word in this Article is (arbitrary). Lawful interference is not excluded.

II- The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This UN Covenant builds on the Universal Declaration and is legally binding. By Art. 2.1, the Contracting Parties are obliged to respect and ensure all of the rights recognized by the Covenant, and by Art. 2.2 they are required to take steps to meet their obligations within their own legal systems. Art. 4 allows Contracting Parties to derogate from some of the specific Articles (i.e. Rights) in a Public Emergency. Article 17 states that: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy” and that: “Everyone has a right to the protection of the law against such interference”. This appears to address only natural, not legal persons and reinforces the idea that lawful interference is permitted” 20 .

The second layer of legal sources comprises the national legislations either enacted by parliament in the form of legislations and acts or in some countries by means of presidential decrees and in said context, we state the situation of the legislation in some developed countries. In the U.S.A., privacy on the networks is protected by “the Federal Electronic Communications Act (ECPA), which protects all forms of electronic communications – telephone voice communications as well as computer digital communication. ECPA applies to the government as well as private persons and entities. It prohibits any person from intentionally, intercepting an electronic communication, or from disclosing the contents of any intercepted electronic communication unlawfully. It applies not only to hackers but also to those who own and operate such systems such as an internet access provider, a private network operator, the sys-op of a computer bulletin board and the like. ECPA also prohibits any person or entity who provides an electronic communication service to the public from divulging the contents of any communication. The anonymity of communications emanates according to the U.S. Supreme Court from the right to speak anonymously and is protected by the first amendment to the US constitution 6. ECPA in the USA sets in place a procedure to authorize lawful interception. Network operators and service providers are required by CALEA (the Communication Assistance for Law Enforcement Act) to have the necessary technical facility and to render assistance to law enforcement agencies 20. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (fisa) authorized electronic surveillance of foreign powers and agents of foreign powers is regulated to protect the US national security. To target communications need not relate to any crime, fisa surveillance action are implemented operationally by FBI. Said surveillance is classified 20. In addition to said legal vehicles the Privacy Act of 1974 imposes limits on the collection and use of personal information by federal government agencies 6. The Privacy Protection Act of 1980 establishes safeguards relating to materials held by a person reasonably believed to have a purpose to publish a newspaper, book, broadcast, or similar public communication. The Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970 regulates information maintained by creditors. The Right to Financial Privacy Act restricts government access to the financial report of any financial institutional customer. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 protects the consumer from advertising via e-mail 21.

In addition to a plethora of state laws and regulations.


3.3 However, the situation in the European Union is thoroughly exposed as can be seen in the comprehensive study prepared by Dr. Chris Elliot for the scientific and technological option assessment program of the European Parliament 20. According to the executive summary of said precious study “the EU countries are committed by international treaties, EU decisions and directives and each national country by its national laws. Most countries have legal recognition of the right of privacy of personal data and many require telecommunications network operators to protect the privacy of their users. All EU countries permit the use of encryption for data transmitted via public telecommunications networks (except France where this will shortly be permitted). Electronic commerce requires secure and trusted communications and may not be able to benefit from privacy law designed only to protect natural persons. The legal regimes reflect a balance between three interests: privacy; law enforcement; electronic commerce. Legal processes are emerging to satisfy the second and third interests by granting more power to governments to authorize interception (under legal controls) and allowing strong encryption with secret keys. There do not appear to be adequate legal processes to protect privacy against unlawful interception, either by foreign governments or by non-governmental bodies. A course of action open to the EU is to require telecommunications operators to take greater precautions to protect their users against unlawful interception. This would appear to be possible without compromising law enforcement or electronic commerce” 20

4. The right of privacy on the networks

in a developing country (Egypt as a case study)

4.1 The right of privacy is governed in Egypt as in several other countries by consecutive layers of legal texts both on the supranational and the national levels. On the international level, Article 12 of The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights together with The International Covenants On The Civil And Political Rights are enforced according to Article 151 Para 1 of the Egyptian Constitution which stipulates the following: “The President of the republic shall conclude treaties and communicate them to the People’s Assembly, accompanied with a suitable clarification. They shall have the force of law after their conclusion, ratification, and publication according to the established procedure” 22.

4.2 On the constitutional level, article 45 of the Egyptian Constitution stipulates the following: “The law shall protect the inviolability of the private life of citizens. Correspondence, wires, telephone calls and other means of communication shall have their own sanctity and secrecy and may not be confiscated, divulged or monitored, except by a causal judicial warrant and for a definite period according to the provisions of the law” 22. And in the same context Article 57 of the Constitution stipulates: “Any assault on individual freedom or on the inviolability of private life of citizens and any other public rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and the law shall be considered a crime, whose criminal and civil lawsuit is not liable to prescription. The State shall grant a fair compensation to the victim of such an assault” 22. We would like to state also that before the prevailing Constitution of 1971 the previous Constitutions including the Constitution of 1923 safeguarded the right of privacy by stipulating in Article 11 “It is prohibited to divulge the secrets contained in letters, telegrams, phone communication except in the cases provided for in the law”.

4.3 On the legislative level, secrecy and privacy are maintained in several legislations such as Tax Laws, Banking Secrecy Law, The Laws pertaining to Correspondence and mail the laws pertaining to the Civil Status, the laws governing Statistics and Census, the Code of Criminal Procedures, the Penal Code and the Civil Code. (See addendum 1 to this study)

4.4 From the analysis of the texts of the constitution and the several legislations previously mentioned, we can conclude the following:

a) The right of privacy pertaining to personal data and information is protected both by constitutional texts and by legislative texts. 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29

b) Eavesdropping, hacking, and unlawful surveillance by using phone lines as a medium of communication are penalized by the texts of the penal code. In the opinion of the majority of the Egyptian jurisprudence.

c) In my opinion, privacy on the networks is in general protected by the texts of the prevailing laws.

d) To ensure maximum protection, amendments should be made to the text of Article 309 of the Egyptian Penal Code. To penalize eavesdropping, unlawful intrusion, or penetration or unlawful surveillance of telecommunications since the prevailing law protects phone conversations and the penal law is interpreted in the strict sense (stricto sensu)

e) A new law governing telecommunications is on its way to being discussed by the new parliament to be elected, this law organizes telecommunication. In said draft of law an article governing the secrecy of telecommunication is appearing. We shall see the final product after its enactment by the competent constitutional authorities.

f) Contractual undertakings to safeguard privacy may be added to any contracts.

4.5 Further elaboration leads me to display that the current Egyptian Civil Law distinctly provides for the right to demand for compensation sustained independently from the right of the state to impose penalties. Egyptian Civil Law stipulates in Article 50 the following: “A person whose rights inherent in his personality have been unlawfully infringed, shall have the right to demand the cessation of the infringement and compensation for any damage sustained thereby”. And it stipulates in Article 163 the following: “Every fault which causes injury to another, imposes an obligation to make reparation upon the person by whom it is committed” 31. Accordingly, the sanctity of the right of privacy is protected by the civil law. If the right of privacy has been unlawfully infringed, the victim of said infringement shall have the right to demand before a court of law the cessation of infringement and compensation for any damage sustained thereby 23. The right to receive the compensation for damages according to the civil law is an independent right from the right of the state to impose corporal or financial penalties on the perpetrator of a crime committed in violation to the Right of Privacy and as mentioned previously. The perpetrator is penalized if proven guilty by imprisonment and/or fine.


5. The Impact of the Conflict of Laws

And the Conflict of Jurisdictions on Law Enforcement

5.1 Our modern world is composed of independent sovereign states. Each sovereign state has its own constitution, laws, and competent courts. As a result of said situation, each law in each sovereign state determines the material acts that constitute a crime. As state laws differ in general from country to country, we are sometimes faced with the quandary of conflicting laws. Some examples can be as follows:

Networks intrusion could be considered as a criminal act in a state and not considered as such in another state.

A sovereign state may have a law penalizing the hacking and interception of messages on the networks and another state may not have in its legislations any text penalizing said act.

In the same context, a sovereign state may penalize the breaking of its laws by an individual who commits a criminal act on the networks from the territory of a country in which the act is not penalized and prosecute said person and try him in absentia and from said trial a verdict of guilt and a sentence of imprisonment could emanate, how could said state execute the sentence on the perpetrator who is the citizen of another sovereign state whose laws do not penalize said act?



An individual may act innocently on the networks with a party in another sovereign state without real knowledge of the laws of the country with whom he is accessing through the networks and most probably said country would have a criminal text penalizing his behaviour and most probably another legal text stating that (ignorance of the law is no defense). Furthermore, some procedural laws in several sovereign states would give to the public prosecution the right to prosecute specific crimes such as attempts to disrupt the national security of a state even if the act is perpetrated outside of the borders of said sovereign country. Accordingly, the conflict of laws is a crucial topic pertaining to the governance of the legal conduct on the networks.

5.2 The conflict of jurisdictions is another issue triggered by the fact that different Courts in different countries may be considered by each and every sovereign state as the competent courts to see into a case. The law of one country may indicate that a criminal court is competent to try an eavesdropping crime on the networks perpetrated by a citizen of a foreign country against an individual or an entity in the first country. On the other hand, the foreign country and according to its procedural laws may consider its courts competent since its citizen committed the crime on the soil of said country. A third country may consider its courts competent to view the same case before a state security court and not before a traditional criminal court since the act is considered according to said third country laws a state security crime (i.e. espionage). In one federal state, you may find conflict of laws and conflict of jurisdictions between state laws and federal laws, state courts and federal courts.

5.3 International treaties and conventions are the tools used in international law to homogenize the legal principles in the different sovereign states and to harmonize the stipulations of the different national laws & to solve the conflicts. Due to the international aspect of most of the crimes perpetrated via the Internet or the other networks, the reasonable and ideal solution according to some lawyers would be the governance of the international networks by an international treaty containing positive clauses governing the behaviour of the individuals and entities on the networks and penalizing any infringement of the clauses of said treaty through international prosecution, courts and law enforcement agencies. Said idealistic approach should give rise to an international judiciary able and capable to issue orders and verdicts enforceable against the perpetrators of any criminal act on the net in the various jurisdictions. Said solution is a farfetched solution.

5.4 A compromise could be reached by having an international treaty stating minimum requirements in the different national laws to safeguard the right of privacy and other rights on the net. In many countries including Egypt treaties and conventions when signed, approved, promulgated, and enacted by the parliament have the force of the national laws. Also, the European model in this context is one of the successful models (through the regional conventions, European Directives etc.) the model of the United States of America pertaining to the relation between the different states of the union and the supremacy of the federal laws. The elaboration by jurists and professionals of a model law to be used as an example by sovereign states to legislate internal laws, is also another solution.

5.5 However, enforcement of the Law is a crucial issue facing several problems. In an attempt to display the current inherent difficulties faced in enforcement of the law, I shall enumerate some of the more prominent aspects of this issue:

-The anonymity of the perpetrator;

-The quasi immateriality of the criminal act that should be proven before a court of law according to procedural laws which are not always modeled to tackle cyber crime issues and especially the immateriality of the conduct on the networks and the immateriality of the evidence;

-The technical incapability of most police forces to track and apprehend the perpetrator on line;

-The geographical and territorial barriers (the world is communication wise a global village but law enforcement wise it is composed of geographically separated continents countries); and

-The preoccupation of the police force with other types of conventional crimes which are called natural crimes or with other life threatening crimes or national security issues and not with cyber crimes against natural persons… and many more aspects.

This enumeration is not a complete list but a count of the more relevant aspects that should be taken into consideration regarding enforcement of the law against perpetrators.




6. Conclusion

Remarks and Suggestions

At the end of this paper, I would like to state the following remarks and suggested solutions bearing in mind the aforementioned facts:



6.1 Remarks

6.1.1. The struggle between the individuals or the entities seeking the protection of their right of privacy and the intruders shall remain.

6.1.2. The technological race between privacy protection techniques and surveillance techniques shall continue at least for the foreseen future.

6.1.3. Technical protection remains the most effective line of defense for the privacy on the networks.

6.1.4. The different modes and degrees of legal protection in different countries together with the international aspect of the acts, the conflict of laws and the conflict of jurisdictions remain a setback for the criminalization and penalization of acts constituting violations of privacy on the network.

6.1.5. The anonymity of the perpetrator remains an obstacle and the quasi immateriality of the cyber crime is a problem pertaining to the acceptable evidence to be produced before a court of law.

6.1.6. The preoccupation of law enforcement agencies with other crimes which are in their opinion more important than the crimes against the right of privacy is another negative aspect in this context.

6.1.7. The unavailability of funds to provide for the technical backing of the law enforcement agencies in their war against intruders is a detrimental factor.

6.1.8. The technical aspect of cyber crimes in itself poses a problem to the law enforcement agencies due to the technical sophistication of the acts and the inaptitude of most legal practitioners to add the required legal qualification to said acts of violation of the right of privacy to qualify them as illicit acts.

6.1.9. The attitude of some sovereign states towards the issue of the Right of Privacy on the networks and its effect on national security drives some sovereign states to have a reserved position pertaining to the right of privacy on the networks fearing its negative impact in matters of national security (comprising political security, economic security and social security). The issue of national security is a relative matter differing from one state to the other. The declared position of a country may be contradictory to its undeclared position.

6.1.10. Hyper materialism and conventional ethics are incompatible.

6.2 Suggestions

6.2.1. A multi disciplinary approach for the protection of the right of privacy is the available approach up till now mixing the propagation of applicable and practical ethical values for the conduct on the networks together with an applicable legal deterrent penalizing the perpetrators for any violation of the right of privacy, this is in addition to the first line of defense which is the use of technically available devices and procedures to protect the privacy on the networks.

6.2.2. The perpetual updating and upgrading of techniques for the protection of privacy on the networks techniques to counter the innovations in surveillance and intrusion techniques.

6.2.3. To cure the effect of the immateriality and internationalization of the acts against the right of privacy, the criminalization and penalization of said acts should be tackled by describing the components of each crime in detail in an international model law or treaty describing each and every criminal act against the right of privacy and setting minimum requirements to be implemented in national legislations.

6.2.4. The adoption of a model law pertaining to the protection of the right of privacy to be used as a model by sovereign states in their internal legislations in the quest for harmonizing the laws of different countries.

6.2.5. The conflict of laws and the conflict of jurisdictions should be settled by adopting enforceable international treaties.

6.2.6. Extradition treaties should be entered into between sovereign states to facilitate the task of law enforcement and if they do exist they should be amended to cover cyber crimes.

6.2.7. The penalization of the invasion of privacy with harsh physical penalties, financial fines, the judicial confiscation of the financial proceeds deriving from the act, the dissolution of the involved entity, in addition to administrative penalties and if the act is committed by a civil servant or one entrusted with the functioning and or operation of the network the sentence should be tougher, this also should be the case if the act is committed for financial gains. In addition to the penalty the aggressed party should have the right to receive full compensation for the damages.

6.2.8. To state specifically in national legislations the nonprescription of the crimes and of the sentences penalizing the crimes against the Right of Privacy.

6.2.9. The perpetual education of the legal practitioners involved in cyber crime including the legislators, the police officer, the prosecutor, the judge, and the lawyer with at least the minimum technical knowledge to understand the basic technical aspects of cyber crimes.

6.2.10. To procure and provide law enforcement agencies with the technical capabilities to handle said crimes in the phases of investigation, enquiry, accusation, trial, and sentencing.

6.2.11. The modification of the criminal procedural laws to adapt with the facts of cyber crime especially in the phases pertaining to the legal inspection of the networks, the apprehension and accusation of the perpetrator.

6.2.12. The perpetual amendment of the laws protecting privacy on the networks to include any new material or immaterial evolution in the field of crimes against privacy.

6.2.13. To finance law enforcement on the networks by levying a minimal tax on E. commerce and the use of confiscated financial proceeds deriving from cyber crimes.

6.2.14. The propagation of utilitarian values arising the awareness of the importance of fair conduct and fair competition in the increase of the material gain and welfare for all the players.

      1. Last but not least, the practice of real democracy and transparency.


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24. Hassan, Said Abdel Latif – Evidence in Computer Crimes & Cyber Crimes, 1999 (in Arabic) Publisher Dar Al Nahda Al Arabia, 32 Abdel Khalek Sarwat Street - Cairo – Egypt. I.S.B.N. 977-04-2812-4

25. Ahmed, Hilaly Abdellah – The Value of Computer Outputs as Evidence in Criminal Cases, 1997 (in Arabic) Publisher Dar Al Nahda Al Arabia, 32 Abdel Khalek Sarwat Street - Cairo – Egypt. I.S.B.N. 977-04-2024-7

26. Ramadan, Medhat – Crimes Against Persons Via the Internet, 2000, (in Arabic) Publisher Dar Al Nahda Al Arabia, 32 Abdel Khalek Sarwat Street - Cairo – Egypt. I.S.B.N. 977-04-2202-9

27. Hassabo, Amr Ahmed – The Protection of Liberties Versus Information Systems, (in Arabic), 2000, Publisher Dar Al Nahda Al Arabia, 32 Abdel Khalek Sarwat Street - Cairo – Egypt. I.S.B.N. 977-04-3001-3

28. Tammam, Ahmed Hosam Taha – Computer Crimes, 2000, (in Arabic), Publisher Dar Al Nahda Al Arabia, 32 Abdel Khalek Sarwat Street - Cairo – Egypt. I.S.B.N. 977-04-3018-8

29. Ahmed, Hilaly Abdellah – The Legal Serach & Inspection of Computers & the Guarantees of the Accused, 2000, (in Arabic), Publisher Dar Al Nahda Al Arabia, 32 Abdel Khalek Sarwat Street - Cairo – Egypt. I.S.B.N. 977-04-1995-8

30. Westin F. Aalan, Privacy & Freedom, New York, Athenian 1967 Page 350., Rosenberg, Death of Privacy, New York Random House, 1969 - Mentioned in Mohamed, Mahmoud Abdel Rahman, The Scope of The Right of Privacy page 5 (Opt – Cit) 1994, Publisher Dar Al Nahda Al Arabia, 32 Abdel Khalek Sarwat Street - Cairo – Egypt. I.S.B.N. 977-04-1285-6

31. Perrott, Fanner & Sims Marshall – The English Translation of The Egyptian Civil Code. 1948 – The New World Publisher, Cairo





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