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CC halts data-collecting measures

THE CONSTITUTIONAL Court (CC) has suspended parts of the telecommunications law that pertain to providing and archiving information. The measures were challenged by group of MPs in October 2012. The court halted the measures two weeks after the European Court of Justice deemed the monitoring of mobile phones unacceptable, the Sme daily reported in its April 25 issue.

THE CONSTITUTIONAL Court (CC) has suspended parts of the telecommunications law that pertain to providing and archiving information. The measures were challenged by group of MPs in October 2012. The court halted the measures two weeks after the European Court of Justice deemed the monitoring of mobile phones unacceptable, the Sme daily reported in its April 25 issue.

The opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party welcomed the CC decision, saying that such practices have been rejected in several countries of the European Union.

“After more than a year and half and a recent ruling of the European Court of Justice, it has been confirmed that the privacy of Slovak citizens has really been inappropriately interfered with,” said SaS MP Martin Poliačik, as quoted by the SITA newswire. He and his colleagues now hope that the CC will in the end decide over the unconstitutionality of the measures.

The disputed measures order telecommunications and internet providers to archive electronic communications data for 12 months and phone conversation data for six months. The rules do not apply to the content of conversations, only to who was making the call and when, from where and whom a person was calling. The providers, if requested and after receiving court approval, can give this information to the criminal authorities.

Poliačik said that the number of the requests by security bodies for such information increases sharply every year and in some cases they pertain only to offences, not crimes. The measures violate the constitution, especially the right to privacy and the protection of personal information, the MPs complained, as reported by SITA.

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