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02.01.2004

Global monitoring in telecommunication networks

   

Human rights protectors and politologists point out the inconsistency between the propositions of the USS about the introduction of the global system of monitoring in telecommunication networks and human rights, in particular, the right for privacy of correspondence. The draft of the law does not mention this right at all, it only reads that the rights and freedoms are guaranteed by the state. The document envisages neither the conditions, under which the monitoring may be realized, nor the maximal permissible term of such monitoring. This is, allegedly, envisaged by other laws. Indeed, the draft contains the norm that the permission for the collection of information from telecommunication channels must be issued by court. Yet, the experts reckon that this procedure is not regulated properly.

Now the court warrant for the collection of information from telecommunication channels is issued on the basis of the Letter of the Supreme Court of 1996, where only general principles of giving such permissions are stipulated. Besides, this letter may not be regarded as valid, since it was not registered in the Ministry of Justice.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian courts actively apply this doubtful, from the juridical point of view, document. More than 40 thousand warrants for the collection of information from telecommunication channels by law-enforcing organs were issued during 2002. According to human rights protectors, this is much more than the similar number in Western countries.

Politologists mention one more possible purpose of the USS initiatives: to control the political activities. Representatives of the opposition are partly right in their opinion that the interception of information from the Internet and telephone lines will be used in the interests of concrete political forces, and this is especially important on the eve of Presidential election.

 ("Pervaya Krymskaya", 5-11 December 2003)

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