In the text titled Surveillance in times of the pandemic, digital communication and physical isolation Paško Bilić writes about the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on the social role of communication technologies. From a historical perspective, he questions the development of western democratic systems and problematizes a sensitive socio-political issue of balancing health protection on the one hand and preservation of freedom of expression and privacy on the other hand. These democratic values are built into the European and Croatian legal framework. A proper balance between contradictory goals was recently emphasised by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres who warned of the danger of turning the fight against the pandemic into a human rights’ crisis. The Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova also called the EU member states to preserve media freedom in times of the pandemic.
Image (Source: Kozak Collection, NISEE, University of California, Berkeley, available at earthmagazine.org)