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NCJ Number: 63997 Find in a Library
Title: ELECTRONIC POLICE SURVEILLANCE IN THE UNITED STATES AND WEST GERMANY - LEGAL BACKGROUND AND PRACTICE
Journal: MONATSSCHRIFT FUER KRIMINOLOGIE UND STRAFRECHTSREFORM  Volume:62  Issue:2  Dated:(APRIL 1979)  Pages:65-75
Author(s): J G CARR
Corporate Author: Carl Heymanns Verlag
Germany (Unified)
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Carl Heymanns Verlag
5 Cologne 1, Germany United
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: THE PURPOSE, LEGAL BASIS, FREQUENCY, DURATION, AND COST OF ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE IN THE UNITED STATES ARE ANALYZED AND COMPARED TO CONDITIONS IN WEST GERMANY.
Abstract: ADVOCATES OF SURVEILLANCE LEGISLATION NAME TWO OBJECTIVES: TO SUPPLY THE POLICE WITH POTENT ELECTRONIC MEANS TO INVESTIGATE SERIOUS OFFENSES AND COMBAT ORGANIZED CRIME TO PROTECT CITIZENS AGAINST AN INVASION OF PRIVACY. CITIZEN RIGHTS CAN BE SAFEGUARDED BY EITHER A LEGAL LIMITATION OF ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE TO VERY FEW OFFENSES (E.G., MURDER, KIDNAPPING) OR THROUGH VERY STRICT RULES OF EVIDENCE IN COURT. NEITHER IN WEST GERMANY NOR IN THE UNITED STATES DO SUFFICIENT LIMITATIONS EXIST. LEGAL REGULATIONS ON SURVEILLANCE IN THE UNITED STATES --THOUGH SOMEWHAT STRICTER THAN IN WEST GERMANY--ONLY REQUIRE THAT 'PROBABLE CAUSE' FOR THE SUSPECTS' OFFENSE EXISTS AND THAT A JUDGE APPROVES THE APPLICATION. OF SOME 800 APPLICATIONS A YEAR (SINCE 1968), AN AVERAGE OF 5 APPLICATIONS IS REJECTED. ALTHOUGH NO STATISTICS EXIST FOR GERMANY, IT CAN BE ASSUMED THAT FEW POLICE APPLICATIONS ARE REJECTED. TO AGGRAVATE THE SITUATION, ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE IN BOTH COUNTRIES IS A LONG-TERM OPERATION (LASTING AN AVERAGE OF 20 DAYS IN THE UNITED STATES). THE ONLY LIMITATION ON ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE IN THE UNITED STATES IS THE HIGH COST: ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL STATISTICS, 1 DAY OF SURVEILLANCE COSTS APPROXIMATELY 1 THOUSAND; AGAIN NO OFFICIAL GERMAN STATISTICS EXIST. THE UNITED STATES POLICE HAS DEPLOYED ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE PRIMARILY AGAINST ILLEGAL GAMBLING AND DRUG TRAFFIC; ONLY WITH DRUG DEALERS HAS SOME MODEST SUCCESS BEEN ATTAINED. IN GERMANY, SUCCESS SEEMS EQUALLY TENUOUS: NONE OF THE TERRORISTS WHO HAVE BEEN THE MAIN FOCUS OF SUCH SURVEILLANCE HAVE BEEN APPREHENDED AS A RESULT OF ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE. INSTEAD INDICATIONS ARE THAT IN BOTH COUNTRIES, PROFESSIONAL CRIMINALS KNOW THAT THEY ARE SUBJECT TO SURVEILLANCE AND TAKE APPROPRIATE COUNTERMEASURES. THE ARTICLE CONTAINS FOOTNOTES. --IN GERMAN. (SAJ)
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Electronic surveillance; Germany; Laws and Statutes; Legal privacy protection; United States of America
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63997

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