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주제어: 경찰의 일반정보활동, 치안정보, 정책정보, 개인정보보호, 분리원칙
A Study on the General Information-gathering of the Police
― And its Emphasis on the Information
on National Policy ―
Professor, Youngsan Univ.
This article discusses the problems on the general -in the sense of “unrestricted and all-round on the civil life”- information-gathering activities by the Korean police. As recently as 2003, the Korean National Police Agency expressed its intention that the role of the police should be shifted from “Information on Criminal Policy” into “Information on National Policy”. This approach focuses on strengthening information abilities, which has long been anticipated by the National Police Agency.
The Korean Police Act has provided the term of “Information on Criminal Policy,” that the information-gathering activities are restricted to the matters of criminality. But the Korean police has interpreted this term as widely as it encompasses “Information on National Policy,” that couldn't be restricted in its scope and quality and embrace all the matters on the national security.
Why does the Korean Police play an important role on the national policy? It is involved with two things. One thing is engaged with the changing circumstances on the intelligence communities in Korea. The intelligence branch of the Korean police has undergone the social pressure of reducing its organization. The Korean police would preserve its present organization with its personnel uncurtailed and some crew supplemented.
But the more crucial thing is that the Police intends to make the more opportunities of participating in the national policy-making process, which could increase its power of influence in political area. This inevitably accompanies the expansion of its power and organization.
Could this emphasis on the national policy be legally justified? In the area of private civil life, this kind of police activities can be impermissible by privacy protection's rule. In non-private area, the police information-gathering on National Policy could be controversial. This problem is involved with the effectiveness and reasonableness of the police information-gathering. But the police is not the only organization for the national security in a country. There is no cause for the police to gather general information of the civil life in the name of “Information on National Policy”.
What would be the best way to reorganize -and improve - the police organization? The amalgamation of intelligence and executive authority could be harmful to the democratic system and civil liberties. Thus, the principle of separation between Intelligence Agency and Police (in German “Trennungsgebot”) must be introduced to regulate this unduly excessive power.
The present police branch in charge of “Information on National Policy” ought to be reduced or abolished. The police authority must be restricted to the original and literal sense of “Information on Criminal Policy” and, of course, even this kind of police activities should be under legislative control with more articulate provisions.
All the police activities should be open, clear, and transparent. But the general information-gathering of the police couldn't meet this imperatives. It must be kept in mind that the apprehension of “police state” starts from the unrestricted police power.
Key words: General Information-Gathering of the Police, Information on Criminal Policy, Information on National Policy, Privacy Protection, The Principle of Separation between Intelligence Agency and Police(“Trennungsgebot”)
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