21.05.2000 | Evhen Zakharov, Kharkiv

New legal acts on wiretapping


On 14 December 1998 the President issued the edict ‘On the measures directed at strengthening the control over the development, production and sale of technical facilities for secret obtaining of information’. This edict prohibits the development, production and sale of special technical facilities (including the sale of those of foreign make) for intercepting information from communication channels and other facilities for secret obtaining of information. Such activities are permitted only after getting licenses given according to the procedure stated in Article 4 of the Ukrainian law ‘On entrepreneurial activities’. In the middle of January 1999 the Supreme Rada adopted an appendix to this law stating that such licenses can be given only by the USS. In the interview General-Lieutenant Vladimir Pristayko, a deputy head of the USS, said that the USS suggested such a procedure as early as in 1991, but these suggestions were not accepted. In 1994 these suggestions were adopted, and the USS gave out such licenses up to December 1997. Later this licensing was abolished and adopted again only in January of the current year, because the scale of spying by non-state structures is growing fast and remains practically unpunished. In 1996 the USS prepared a draft of the law on administrative and criminal responsibility for the illegal use of technical facilities for the secret obtaining of information, but the Supreme Rada has not considered the draft yet. Such licensing also needs to be controlled by the USS because appliances can be developed which emerge waves harmful for man’s health or suppressing his will.

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