Controversy in Bulgaria over changes in communications law

Controversy in Bulgaria over changes in communications law

The voices against the approval by the Bulgarian Parliament, in first reading, of a bill that will allow the mass monitoring of messages – emails, SMS, MMS – and telephone calls are already being heard.

Reuters reports that about 300 protesters protested outside Parliament in Sofia on Thursday, shouting «Bulgaria is not Big Brother» and claiming that changes in the proposed legislation violate human rights.

Through the changes that are intended to be introduced, Internet access providers and mobile phone operators are obliged to provide authorities with access to electronic communications for the entire population.

The measures are justified by the need for rapid access by the police to traffic data on suspected criminals, alongside the difficulties experienced by the new center-right government of the Balkan country, elected in July, in controlling organized crime and the corruption, which has already led to sanctions at European level.

Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said in the meantime that the government is likely to change the proposal before Parliament discusses the new rules in the final reading of the text, scheduled for the end of the month.