E.T. Phoned Home…They Know: The Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights Treaties in the Context of Foreign Surveillance
The rationale behind the applicability of human rights treaties to foreign surveillance is the subject of debate. Presented with the opportunity to weigh in on this issue in the case of Big Brother Watch and Others v The United Kingdom, the European Court of Human Rights simply assumed (and rightly so) that the European Convention on Human Rights applies, providing no further reasoning. This article explores the challenges that arise with establishing jurisdiction over foreign surveillance under human rights treaties, and argues for an alternative base for extraterritorial jurisdiction grounded in the moral and theoretical principles underlying the human rights regime.