Bulgaria Govt Backs Down over Internet Tracking Privacy FearsDomestic | January 12, 2010, Tuesday // 11:59| views
The original proposal would have allowed the Ministry of Interior access through a direct interface to the data for the calls and the mobile devices positioning of every single citizen without any legal reason, at all times. Photo by sxc.hu
Chair of the Parliamentary Internal Affairs Committee, Atanas Atanasov, has confirmed that the government has dispensed with the original interface proposal to monitor internet traffic and mobile phone calls.
Atanasov, speaking at the opening of a debate on the draft changes to the Electronic Communications Act, stated that instead of the interface plan the Interior Ministry will insist on records to be provided by all mobile and internet operators a maximum of 2 hours after a request is made in cases of serious crimes, as part of the amendments.
The three main mobile operators in Bulgaria however later made it clear that the 2 hour demand was not possible to meet as their systems do not allow such quick access.
The original proposal would have allowed the Ministry of Interior access through a direct interface to the data for the calls and the mobile devices positioning of every single citizen without any legal reason, at all times, but after a public outcry the idea was thrown out.
Atanasov also confirmed that the new proposal means internet and mobile operators will have to keep all their records for a period of 1 year.
The bill to allow the Interior Ministry access to all telephone and Internet communications was adopted in December on the first reading by the Parliamentary Committee on Internal Security and Public Order.
Meanwhile, It was announced Friday that a protest was being planned in Sofia for January 14 outside the Parliament building to voice concerns about the original interface proposal.
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