Bulgaria's New Surveillance Unit to Be Launched within Month
Bulgaria's new agency for special surveillance is expected to start working within one month, according to sources from the Bulgarian Parliament.
The unit, called Technical Operations State Agency (DATO), will be under the aupices of the Council of Ministers, meaning its director will report to Bulgaria's PM.
It is a successor to a similar agency that up to now was part of the Ministry of Interior, with its director and vice-chairs to be appointed by Parliament.
The restructuring was passed by Parliament in July, with additional legilsative amendments to the regime for using special surveillance planned to be adopted.
The new regulations aim at stronger and more transparent judicial control over special surveillance methods.
The former Bulgarian cabinet of ex-PM Boyko Borisov (2009-13), which included vice-PM and Minister of Interior Tsvetan Tsvetanov, became notorious for a perceived excessive use of special surveillance devices.
Tsvetanov is to face trial for overstepping his powers in police surveillance, which has in the past led to a number of so-called "wiretapping scandals" in Bulgaria.
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