Czech Big Brother Awards 2007

By EDRi · December 19, 2007

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

A panel of nine experts including journalists and civic associations’
members chose the awards for this year BBA winners at the ceremony on 13
November 2007 in Prague, from more than 70 nominations.

The Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic received the award in the
category Lifetime Menace for having ignored basic citizen privacy protection
rights in elaborating the National Action Plan of Fighting Terrorism (NAP).
During the elaboration process of NAP the Private Data Protection Office was
not invited for discussion in issues. The Convention for the Protection of
Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data No. 108 of
the Council of Europe, adopted by the Czech Republic is not mentioned
in the National Action Plans for particular periods. The NAP also
contains concepts with significant negative impact to privacy of persons –
e.g. the plan for making of national database of biometric data for
verification of travel documents (in NAP 2005-2007, item 10.3). The NAP for
2007-2009 period again contains concepts for further spreading of camera
systems, for wider access to bank data, for access to location and further
telecommunication data.

The award in the category Greatest Corporate Invader was granted
collectively to the clients misusing the services or products of T-Mobile
service “Where is .?”, Cuckoldry test from, Mobile Bug from
Goldsilver company and products of The mentioned
technologies or services allow intrusion to privacy unknown to the involved

The Board decided to give the Worst Public Agency or Official Award to Plzen
city, as the trustee of the municipal camera system operator (Plzen City
Municipal Property Administration) and as the trustee of Municipal Police,
for invading of citizen’s privacy with camera systems and the absurd plan to
fit municipal policemen with candid cameras for revealing of serving alcohol
to teenagers (especially when uselessness of such clips as evidence is
notorious) and for misuse of the municipal camera system on 2 August 2007,
when it was used for spying of private flat either deliberately or due to
operator’s failure. The Plzen city was called “the biggest administrative

USA Government, called “the biggest international snooper”, won the Award in
the category International Privacy Invader for running of a large network of
technical spying and monitoring devices called Echelon. The system monitors
electronic communication and infringes the privacy right. Moreover, the U.S.
Government refuses to publish any information that could rule out the
suspicion that the system is misused for industrial espionage and for
groundless monitoring of honest people communication.

In the category Dangerous New Technology, Martin Pegner, chief of the project was awarded for the so called Cuckoldry test.
Promotion of this service stimulates spying of relatives. Making of DNA
tests unknown to the persons whose biological samples are concerned, is
considered by the board to be unacceptable. Absence of Ethic Code in DNA
testing which should contain requirement for the consent of the tested
persons is criticised as well.

JUDr. Stanislav Gross of JUDr. Eduard Bruna Law Office was awarded in the
category Boot in the Mouth. The Price was given for the statements in the
article published on 13 December 2006 in Lidové Noviny, in the Horizont
section, under the title “Let us not to demonise wiretapping”. The
statements “Protection of the basic values of our society in the
contemporary turbulent world will unfortunately require enlarging of state
competences having features of exceptions from the rights guaranteed by the
Constitution” and “That is why I would intercede against demonising of the
official wiretapping and for acknowledgement of their necessity in the
contemporary turbulent world” express, according to the board, unilateral
effort for strengthening repressive and monitoring activities of the state ,
with no respect to basic rights, especially privacy.

In the category Big Brother’s Legal Rule the Award was given to Law No.
321/2006, which amends Law no.141/1961 about the criminal trial proceedings
(Code of Criminal Proceedings) as amended by the subsequent laws and Law no.
283/1991 about Police of the Czech Republic, so called “DNA Amendment of the
Code of Criminal Proceedings and of the Police Law”. According to the
Amendment, Police is allowed to take DNA sample not only from the accused
person but also from suspected persons but it goes even further on – they
can require the sample from the “concerned” person, i.e. de facto from
anybody according to own discretion. The Amendment also smuggled this
unprecedented measure into the Police Law – the possibility of broad DNA
sampling of almost the whole imprisoned population – from the persons
serving jail sentence for premeditated criminal offence to persons subjected
to protective therapy. Finally, the Amendment introduces the possibility to
forcefully collect DNA samples.

The Smith positive Award for privacy defenders was given to Josef Skvorecký
Private Grammar School student representatives for their active intervention
against monitoring of students and teachers in the classrooms of the Josef
Skvorecký Private Grammar School in 2006.

Interior Ministry, Gross win ‘Big Brother’ prizes (14.11.2007)

BBA 2007 press release (only in Czech, 13.11.2007)

Video reportage of the Czech BBA 2007 (13.11.2007)

(contribution by Filip Pospisil – EDRI-member Iure Remedium – Czech Republik)