Romanian MPs propose wiretapping without court order

By EDRi · August 10, 2005

In Romania, 4 parliamentarians from the (opposition) Social Democrat Party (PSD) have initiated a draft law to drastically extend wiretapping powers in cases of defending national security. According to the draft law the interception of communications would be possible without a warrant from a judge in some cases.

In special cases that involve the national security, the interception could start right away. Authorisation for the interception for communications should be requested from a judge in maximum 48 hours after the interception started. The draft law explicitly refuses the right to appeal to any communications interception authorisation. The MPs also wish to drop the demand for a warrant if someone is testing new interception equipment or just making improvements to the interception equipment.

The draft law foresees the creation of a Technical Centre for National Security – a special body that would collect and manage all the information gathered in these interceptions.

The draft law was heavily criticised in the press, by civil society and by a minister of the reigning Liberal Party. Transparency International, the Pro Democracy Association and former dissident Mircea Dinescu have accused the former communist Security Forces of falling back into old habits.

Draft law submitted to the Parliament on 25.07.2005 (in Romanian)

Razvan Ghoerghe, Intercepting without warrant in: Ziua (22.07.2005)

Mircea Dinescu, The loneliness of the microphone in: Gandul (26.07.2005)

(Contribution by Bogdan Manolea, Romanian legal expert)