ANB has an obligation towards the public

Law on National Security Agency (ANB) provides that the session of the Parliamentary Committee that will discuss its annual report for 2009 is completely closed for public.

However, there is no valid reason that most of the aforementioned report on the work of ANB is made available to the public. This includes disclosure of information in principle, evaluations and opinions. No information on specific individuals, actions or details of operational nature is needed to be disclosed, since this data must remain secret so it does not hamper the work of ANB.

The public should, however, be informed about the key threats to national security, which is the practice of relevant security services.

Also, the public should be familiar with the number of prosecuted cases in which the data collected by the ANB helped in investigating criminal offenses related to organized crime and corruption. In this regard, it is especially important to reveal information about the secret surveillance measures implemented and their results. It is in the public interest to have information about the work of the ANB Inspector General available. This is particularly important in the context of earlier allegations about political and economic activities of individual officers of ANB, and their connections with individuals marked as ‘interesting’ in terms of security affaires.

Since ANB has earlier made parts of its annual reports available through requests for free access to information, there is no reason to make them publicly available immediately after the session of the Parliamentary Committee when the full report will be presented in secret.

A significant step forward in public relations and building confidence in the work of ANB would be a press conference at which the Head of ANB would present those parts of ANB’s annual report for which there cannot be justification for keeping them secret.

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