Friday, September 11, 2009

Polish government to increase surveillance

The Ministry of Interior and Administration is working on a draft bill to allow police to wire tap all sorts of criminals, including those suspected of minor offences.

According to the new draft bill, police will be authorized to tap the line, search computers, read personal letters, e-mails and SMS’ of rapists, pimps, pedophiles and people who produce, sell, share and store child and animal pornography, environment polluters, stock exchange cheats, people who reveal state secrets and hooligans.

So far such surveillance methods were used only with reference to the most serious offences, including murder, terrorism, corruption, drug dealing and criminal activity, if there was a substantial reason to suspect that a crime had been committed.

It is estimated that every year 20,000 bugs are planted in Poland. However, these are unofficial numbers.

If the government accepts the draft bill, police may receive extended powers in several months.