We are delighted to announce the beta release of GUARDINT’s Surveillance Oversight Database. So far, there is no digital hub for documents related to intelligence surveillance and oversight. The publicly accessible database compiles legal documents, oversight reports, court decisions and regulatory frameworks from France, Germany and the United Kingdom. These documents have been catalogued by a transnational team of GUARDINT researchers. As an open-source archive, the database aims to support comparative research and to facilitate easy public access to these quintessential documents in one place.
The database is work in progress. It will expand over time by including data from more countries and a larger variety of document types. Currently, our database includes more than 300 documents in three languages such as French legislative frameworks from 1958 up to a recent ruling in the case of Privacy International vs. the UK from the European Court of Human Rights. Official English versions of documents are provided when available.
A quick user’s guide
The documents are accessible both as fully searchable plain texts and in PDF. A range of metadata for each uploaded document allows to filter the entries. Documents can be filtered by document type, such as laws and regulations, case law or reports; by bodies that published or adopted a document, such as legislative or executive bodies, courts or oversight bodies; by countries, which are currently France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States; by keywords, such as bulk or targeted surveillance and by time, either by searching for a specific date of adoption or a time range. The database additionally provides background information on the bodies that authored or adopted documents.
A guide on how to perform advanced search queries is available, too.
The GUARDINT database runs on Uwazi, an open source software that enables registered users to create rich collections of documents. You can reach out to us via our contact form. We welcome any feedback you might have.