Bulgaria Civic Organization: MPs Will Secretly Approve Interface

Domestic | February 15, 2010, Monday // 13:37|  views

The member of the civic organization “Electronic Boundary”, Delyan Belchev (l), says the Parliament is getting ready to secretly pass text that will allow spying on private internet and cell phone communication. Photo by BGNES

The controversial so-called interface project that would allow the police access to internet communications has been proposed again and passed by the Parliamentary Committee for Electronic Communications.

The voting had been done last week and the interface, without been directly named, is moved to another article of the new Electronic Communications Act.

The alarm was raised by the member of the civic organization “Electronic Boundary”, Delyan Belchev during a special press conference organized by the opposition, left-wing “Coalition for Bulgaria.”

Belchev says the term “interface” has been replaced in the text of the amendments with the expression “system of a monitoring center and other program tools,” meaning the authorities can still access data from private internet and cell phone communications.

According to “Electronic Boundary,” this exceeds the requirement of the EU and if the Parliament passes it, it would mean the investigation can collect such information without sound reasons leading to human right violations and abuse of power.

“We are not against criminals being prosecuted, we are against citizens being treated like criminals,” Belchev says, adding his organization will notify the European Commission and will submit a claim with the Constitutional Court.

“Electronic Boundary” further declare their opposition is not political, but purely civic and they will lobby with the Members of the Parliament and the Ombudsman to make sure the text is rejected.

A month ago, amidst protest rallies, the Interior agreed to put off the interface under the condition that mobile and internet operators provide the requested data in 2 hours or less.

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Tags: interior ministry, Electronic Communications Act, Atanas Atanasov, Bulgaria Is Not Big Brother


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