POLAND: Data retention and population surveillance. Poland is leading EU country in terms of access granted to its law enforcement agencies and secret services to retained telecommunication data


POLAND: Data retention and population surveillance. Poland is leading EU country in terms of access granted to its law enforcement agencies and secret services to retained telecommunication data:

Polish law enforcement agencies requested in 2009 access to traffic data as many as 1.06 million times. This gives 27.5 requests per 1,000 inhabitants, this is in comparison to other EU Member States like the UK (8.6 requests) or the Czech Republic (10 requests), not mentioning Germany (0.2 requests). The statistical data was collected by the Office for Electronic Communications for the purposes of Polish government's response to a questionnaire prepared by the Commission and recently made public by a Polish NGO, the Panoptykon Foundation, in collaboration with the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights. Evaluating directive 2006/24/EC on the retention of communications data both NGOs stressed that the directive 'was transposed in Poland in a semi-secret way, without adequate public debate'. They add that data retention regime as implemented in Poland 'amounts to invasive surveillance of the entire population, which cannot be accepted in a democratic society'. Finally, they concluded that the implementation of the directive has led to a systemic problem with ensuring safeguards for fundamental rights and the rule of law. See: Joint Statement by the Panoptykon Foundation and the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (pdf)

 

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