The role of surveillance in law enforcement is to gather evidence required for a conviction. Enforcement of law requires the state to either know of or suspect a violation of the law has occurred. State intelligence has no such requirement; instead, it operates in the territory of unknown unknowns, attempting to parse the world in whatever ways the decisions of the state require.
Intelligence is a fundamental requirement for the modern state. Without it, the state is blind, unable to understand its place in an inherently adversarial structure. The state, which must attempt to preserve its territorial integrity, territorial monopoly on (some) force, and sovereignty of action, requires information about the actions of those adversaries known and unknown who may attempt to infringe on any of these structures. [...] In a more perfect world, international law and treaty would guarantee this space of action, but the dream of rule of law at the geopolitical level died with Oppenheimer. [...]
This need for intelligence is implicit but unstated in the Westphalian compromise. The Peace of Westphalia, brought about in 1648, defined the agency of the state and a theory of non-interference. In practice, however, the Westphalian state set the rules around the power monopolies that the state must attempt to maintain. If a state cannot fulfill its Westphalian duties, it ceases to perform statedom; we call it a failed state if it is still independent and see it annexed into another state if it is not. [...]
In asking all states to confine themselves to only surveil as a law enforcement tactic, and to in effect do no international intelligence work (for intelligence can clearly not operate within these bound), the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communication Surveillance ask for nothing less than the end of the Westphalian compromise and the creation of a new fundamental theory of geopolitical power and the monopoly on violence. [...] However, we dismantle the state without understanding the structures we propose to replace it at our extreme peril, and the principles do not speak to this topic at all.
If we wish to have a debate as to the basic structure of power we'd see replace the Westphalian state (and, necessarily also the structure that replaces the capitalist entity, for the two cannot be replaced separately), by all means, let's do so. However, if we pretend to the utopian notion that we can decline this debate while still proposing the end to surveillance and thus intelligence, we reveal ourselves to not understand the first thing about the world in which we're playing. As civil society, we do ourselves no favors by demonstrating our irrelevance.
Law enforcement surveillance is inseparable from state intelligence, and civil society has misunderstood both the dual nature of surveillance and the size of the demand they're making.