Bulgarian Security Agency will have Access to Student Data to Monitor Radicalization

Domestic | August 25, 2019, Sunday // 09:24|  views

The State Agency for National Security (SANS) will gain continuous access to the automated information funds of the Ministry of Education and Science (MES) in order to monitor radicalization among students. This was understood by the words of the Deputy Minister of Education Denitsa Sacheva before the BNR.

A week ago, an instruction was issued for public comment that the agency would be able to continuously check data from pre-school children, students, and university students. The reasons did not specify the purpose of the Office's access to this information and security experts commented to Dnevnik that they could not explain why such information was needed.

And now SANS has the right to request data for students. This is done on a case-by-case basis, on paper and sometimes directly by the educational institutions, the education ministry explained to Dnevnik. According to the agency, the process would now be centralized, controls more robust, and only a few specific individuals would have access to the information.


Security experts explained to Dnevnik that so far, for every access to information held by the ministry, SANS representatives had submitted a reasoned request in writing. They suggested that when the regime was changed, access would be continuous and there would be no written request.

According to Deputy Minister Denitsa Sacheva, the meaning of the new instruction is to have greater interaction between institutions in the prevention of radicalization, whose age, according to experts, has fallen from 15 to 12 years. She recalled the case of a Plovdiv student who was arrested on suspicion of being recruited by an Islamic State and preparing a bomb. She said that there were other cases of preventing the involvement of minors in terrorist organizations.

Asked by Dnevnik how exactly the ministry's data would indicate that someone is risky and radicalized, the ministry explained that this was within the authority of SANS.

On August 12, Dnevnik asked the agency for the purposes of accessing information funds and whether it already had access to the masses of other agencies, but received no response.

According to unofficial information, one of the purposes of access is immediate verification. A possible cause would be to check immediately at night or at the weekend whether a foreigner detained at an international airport claiming to be a student in Bulgaria is indeed one.