Bulgaria Parliament Passes Communications Act at 1st Reading

Politics » DOMESTIC | December 22, 2009, Tuesday // 15:41
Bulgaria Parliament Passes Communications Act Amendments at 1st Reading: Bulgaria Parliament Passes Communications Act at 1st Reading The controversial amendment of the Electronic Communications Act, passed by Bulgaria's Parliament at first reading, would give the Interior Ministry real time direct access to electronic communications' data. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Parliament passed Tuesday, at first reading, the controversial amendment of the Electronic Communications Act.

The amendment, giving Bulgaria's Interior Ministry direct and constant access to mobile communications' traffic data trough a permanent connection with internet and cell phone providers, was passed with 100 votes “for”, 74 “against”, and 5 “abstaining.”

The right-wing Blue Coalition, the left-wing Opposition, led by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), and the conservative Order, Law and Justice (RZS) party are opposing the amendment. They say the changes are in violation of the citizens' right of privacy of communications.

The supporters of the amendment – the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party and the far-right, nationalist “Ataka” counter that it would shorten the time frame of the probe and prevent certain crimes.

Starting Wednesday, Members of the Parliament from BSP will activate an electronic “azprotestiram.com” site where the public can voice their protest against the amendment.

“Our goal is to have 100 000 voices of citizens, who do not want to live in a real-life “Big Brother,” against 100 MP votes,” the BSP declaration, distributed to parliamentary reporters, reads.

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Tags: Electronic Communications Act, Martin Dimitrov, Yane Yanev, Tsvetan Tsvetanov
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