Bulgaria's Corporate Blackout?
To say that the restriction of public access to Bulgaria's Trade Registry, as of 2013, elicited mixed reactions would be an understatement.
The move is highly controversial because the changes seriously curtail investigative reporting on the process of privatization and company takeover.
Yet, businesses and entrepreneurs have been rightly worried by the open access to their data. No doubt they would not buy the argument that restricting it violates the Constitution where it is written that all Bulgarians have the right to seek, receive and distribute information.
But it is an open question whether the amendment will be effective as a safeguard against fraud and personal data abuse.
On the contrary. The way it is done now the move may trigger rampant corruption and information trading. It is also disturbing why the ruling majority adopted these changes now, near the end of their term.
The justice ministry moved to parliament the changes, arguing they will ensure traceability and control of the registry's users, making anonymous checks totally impossible. Nobody bothered to explain however who and how will use the collected information.
Hardly the most balanced way to make access to the registry accountable, right?
" No doubt they would not buy the argument that restricting it violates the Constitution where it is written that all Bulgarians have the right to seek, receive and distribute information". If this is so then the President has the power to veto the ruling - he is the protector of the constitution for the people.