• Koeck Franz Heribert Johannes Kepler University Linz


Abstract:The affair Edward Snowden and his disclosures of the practices of the US National Security Agency have triggered a discussion on the relationship between security and freedom. The formula “as much security as possible and as much freedom as possible” obscures the problem. If we have to choose:  Do we want to restrict security in favor of freedom or do we want to restrict freedom in favor of security? Fortunately, we do not have to choose. Reconciliation of security and freedom must be possible because both are part of the common good. If there seems to be a conflict, it can result only from a misunderstanding. Nobody can enjoy freedom if he is dead. Therefore, no claim to freedom can be regarded reasonable that conflicts with necessary measures for the protection of security. It is inherent to freedom that it is limited by the necessary protection of security. Objections against collecting and storing personal data are nourished by the fear that collected data could be abused. But it would be unreasonable to stop the collecting and storing of data for the protection of security because no absolute guarantee against the abuse of such data can be given. If society, organized in the state, may require everyone to make his just contribution to the common efforts of militarily defending it when suffering from an unjust aggression by another state, and if it is therefore – at least in principle – the duty of everyone to risk life and limb in the course of such defence, it would be illogic to allege that there does not exist, again for everyone, the duty to risk his privacy for the protection of security. The collection and retention of personal data even before any particular person has become a suspect can be a useful means for the prevention of terrorist acts and other crimes. If the traditional rules for data collection and retention are outdated, they have to be changed. If courts should fail to react to these developments, adaptation of the law would become a matter for the legislature. Keywords: personal data, particular person, data collection and retention.

Author Biography

Koeck Franz Heribert, Johannes Kepler University Linz
Dr. iur. (Vienna), M.C.L. (Ann Arbor), Dr. h.c. (Piteşti), Dr. h.c. (Alba Iulia), Emeritus Professor of Law; Special Representative of the Johannes Kepler University Linz for Eastern and South-Eastern Europe; Former Director of the Institute of International Law and International Relations and of the Institute of European Law; Former President of the Fédération Internationale pour le Droit Européen.
How to Cite
HERIBERT, Koeck Franz. SECURITY VERSUS FREEDOM. Anales Universitatis Apulensis Series Jurisprudentia, [S.l.], n. 17, dec. 2014. ISSN 1514-4075. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 27 nov. 2020.