Public Defender Challenges Controversial Clause on Surveillance in Constitutional Court
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 30 May.'14 / 18:20

Georgian Public Defender, Ucha Nanuashvili, has filed a lawsuit in the Constitutional Court seeking to have security agencies’ capability of unrestricted direct access to telecom operators’ networks ruled unconstitutional.

In the lawsuit the Public Defender argues that legislative clause, introduced in 2010, allowing law enforcement agencies to have “permanent access” to the telecommunications companies’ servers and which also allows them to install hardware and software in telecom providers’ networks, so called ‘black box’ spy devices, giving them capability to monitor citizens' communications without any oversight, violates constitutional clause on inviolability of private life.

Parliament passed with its first reading on May 29 package of legislative amendments, increasing oversight mechanisms over government surveillance practices, but the proposal leaves security agencies’ unrestricted capabilities of direct access to telecommunications service providers’ networks unaddressed. Discussions will continue on how to address this issue and the Parliament plans to adopt legislative regulations in this respect before November 1, 2014.

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