More and more unwarranted wiretapping?


According to data from the Supreme Court, in 2008 25 thousand applications were made by law enforcement agencies to receive information linked with the restriction of citizens’ constitutional rights. The number of criminal investigations undertaken by particular enforcement bodies is considerably less than the number of their applications to receive information.

In 2008 general appellate courts considered 25 thousand applications from enforcement bodies for warrants to intercept information from communication channels, seize correspondence or use other technical means of receiving information impinging upon people’s constitutional rights. In 2005 there were 15 thousand such applications; in 2006 – 19,649 and in 2007 – 19,989.

The largest number of applications came from operational units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs - 14,815; the SBU [Security Service] – 8,323 and the tax police – 1,655.

Worth noting that, for example, the SBU on average concludes no more than criminal investigations per year, with no more than 700 reaching the court.  This means that more than 7,5 thousand permits to intercept information are received without a clear aim.

According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, only 19% of material received as a result of investigative operations by the SBU are used later in initiating criminal investigations. For example, in Kyiv and the Kyiv region, out of 96 court sanctions for such interception, there were no cases where the material received had been used as evidence in a prosecution.

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