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Palko: They used Bulldog inappropriately

The Slovak Spectator (TSS): You have said that employees of the Office of Special Police Activities (ÚZPČ) found 75 phone numbers saved on Bulldog, a mobile phone positioning device, and that these numbers were acquired through police actions that were not officially approved.

The Slovak Spectator (TSS): You have said that employees of the Office of Special Police Activities (ÚZPČ) found 75 phone numbers saved on Bulldog, a mobile phone positioning device, and that these numbers were acquired through police actions that were not officially approved.

Vladimír Palko (VP): After the section employees reported the numbers, they were asked by their superiors to delete the data gained through unauthorised activities from the device.

TSS: Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák said that Bulldog was checked and the system was not able to eavesdrop on listeners. He labelled your statements “a dangerous and unprecedented attack on a public official”.
VP: I did not say that there was any eavesdropping. I just said that Bulldog, which traces the position of mobile phones, was used for three days – April 5, 6, and 8 – in operations not approved by the Office of Special Police Activities. This information was confirmed.

TSS: You further accused First Police Vice-President Michal Kopčík of using Bulldog inappropriately. But Kaliňák said that he approved Kopčík’s access to the system.
VP: The minister essentially gave the First Police Vice-President permission to take Bulldog at any time without authorisation from the employees who operate it.

He can switch it on, off, walk with it across Bratislava, and all that it is basically all right. Kaliňák authorised him to do so. But the minister’s claim is nonsense, as the Interior Ministry has its internal regulations. Only employees of the Office for Special Police Operations can operate Bulldog, not the First Vice-President.

It is like the minister saying that because he is the head of all police investigators, he can investigate himself.

TSS: Minister Kaliňák denied that any information about the numbers is recorded on a CD.
VP: I quoted from a recording made by ÚZPČ technicians, which said that before the data was deleted from Bulldog, it was recorded onto a CD. It is the same data from April 5, 6, and 8.

TSS: Kaliňák has said that Bulldog is not the kind of device that is subject to strict control under Slovak law.
VP: That is besides the point. It was used by unauthorised personnel. And just look at what it does: it traces the position of mobile phones.

TSS: You have accused the ministry’s personnel of incompetence.
VP: There are people there who see the ministry as a toy. This is absurd – that people who are in charge of Bulldog do not know that it has been used elsewhere for several days. And when they learned about it from the database, they wrote up their concerns and sent it to management, only to get annoyed answers questioning how they had learned about it. Bulldog should stay where it belongs and the section overseeing it must know who has it at all times.

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