Alida Karakushi - The line between freedom of expression, and national interests & citizens’ safety


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Presentation at the conference Freedom and privacy on the Internet (FPI), 2012, Skopje, Macedonia

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Alida Karakushi - The line between freedom of expression, and national interests & citizens’ safety

  1. 1. The line between freedom of expression, and national interests & citizens’ safety (case study: Albania) Prepared Alida Karakushi Independent #fpi12
  2. 2. Freedom of Expression &Public interest• Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights• Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.• Public interest is being served if the efforts of the journalist detect or make known crime/serious misbehavior• Story would avert people at large from being disoriented, by some statements or action of an individual or organization.• Stories on important officials or people whose public image is in a high degree in conflict with their private lives.• The story serves to the protection of citizens safety #fpi12
  3. 3. National Interests• National interests regard:• Security• Intelligence• Defense• Official telephone tapping• Official opening of people’s email• Les obvious crimes for special investigation• Official , confidential exchanges between governments and and international agencies.• National interests:• Determined by the interests of government.• The national interest is as the government sees it. Government decides what should be protected, government decides through a controlled parliament the way it should be done so.• No autonomous mechanisms is provided by which the national interests can be tested.• No independent mechanism whether the motives of the government in any particular instance are genuine, really in the national interest, or self serving to save the government from humiliation #fpi12
  4. 4. Case study (Albania)• Albanian media is partly free due to the below reasons:• Visual media and print one are (de facto) extensions of party interests, business interests present in the strategic industries• There is a huge number of medias comparing the real need of, resulting in a lower quality.• No funds for special investigation• Journalists are specially exposed to editorial pressure due to a lack of employment contracts and irregular pay.• No government restrictions on the internet• Some of the visual medias that have gained financial independence thanks to the high performance and technological advancement are less dependent from the powerful interests.• Online medias ( social networks , blogs) are a clear air of #fpi12
  5. 5. Albania National Interests• SHIK (National Intelligence Service ) very likely does not respect someones privacy• If NATO or US asks for someones conversations and info we go overboard to prove we are willing to help a NATO member•+ Albanian constitutional court nullifies maritime boundary agreement with Greece(10 February 2010)•- Gerdec blast (15 March ,2008), Albanian authorities confirmed 26 deaths in the explosions. Officials report the number of injured people at over 300, 2,306 buildings were damaged or destroyed in the explosions. Of these, 318 houses were destroyed completely, 200 buildings were seriously damaged, and 188 buildings were less seriously #fpi12
  6. 6. The future of information belongs to almost full transparency and to a journalism vested with ethical professionalism. The line of freedom of expression and state interests will get from thin to thinner in free societies , as may get from line to a real wall in societies where there is rule by law instead of rule of law . “ A free press can , of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad” (Albert Camus) #fpi12