Keeping up with world standards of oppressive surveillance – updated draft of Polish antiterrorist law
Few days ago Polish Government Center of Legislation has released updated draft of new act on antiterrorist measures introduced supposedly to aid Polish special services in preventing terrorist attacks and conducting efficient counter-terrorism operations in case an attack occurs. It is worth noting that original text of the act was initially released by NGO Panoptykon Foundation, who received it from an anonymous source – official document was published day later by the Ministry of Interior. Given that Poland has never been target of terrorist attack it was hard to justify introduction of such initiative based on threat level. However forthcoming World Youth Days, NATO summit and terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels were more than enough for the government to announce the need for widening authority of special services – mainly Internal Security Agency (ABW).
Given that everybody is already writing about Apple vs FBI case, I don’t think there is anything to be added at the moment. Especially that in European context (particularly in regard to civil law countries) it is quite hard to imagine court issuing a similar order. That is of course not even taking into account problems of jurisdiction and fact that almost every company of similar importance is located in the United States. But that might be a topic for another post.
What is however definitely worth writing about, and received relatively low media exposure, are the possible consequences of the case of Szabo and Vissy v Hungary. Case concerned two members of watchdog NGO (Eötvös Károly Közpolitikai Intézet) who claimed to be targeted by broad surveillance powers granted to Hungarian Anti-Terrorism Task Force (TEK). Case is especially interesting that ECHR implicitly granted possibility of actio popularis in the context of extensively broad legislation. Let’s head straight to the details than.