Surveillance measures restricting human rights

Democratic control of ANB’s measures necessary

Secret surveillance in any form represent a restriction of human rights and MPs must act on amending the Law on National Security Agency (ANB), which refers to the process of their approval, stated Stevo Muk, from the Institute Alternative.

He said that certain amendments to the Law on ANB allow for greater efficiency of the Agency in carrying out activities within its jurisdiction. “However, a number of legal solutions remain blurred, and as such can produce problems in practice”, said Muk to agency MINA.

Institute alternative believes that the MPS have missed the opportunity for precisely regulating the type of information contained by the ANB’s annual reports in the Law on Parliamentary Oversight of the Security and Defence Sector.

ANB’s internal control is weak and disorganized

Muk says it is especially important to note that the ANB must report on its activities in the fight against organized crime and corruption, in a way that would not compromise its work.

“ANB’s Internal control is weak and inadequately regulated. We believe that amendments to the Law must necessary prescribe the duty of preparing and submitting annual reports of the Inspector General of the Agency. The possibility of suspending the work of the Inspector General should be abolished”, said Muk.

Commenting on the changes to the law relating to the possibility of secret surveillance, Muk said that these measures are always and in any form a restriction of human rights.

“However, their application is a necessary evil in modern democratic societies, because of the need to protect the higher good of national security, and combating corruption, organized crime and a range of security issues,” said Muk.

Expanding ANB’s jurisdiction requires a serious discussion

Institute Alternative believes that expanding the jurisdiction of ANB and extending types of surveillance measures at its disposal requires a more detailed explanation of the proposer and serious discussion in the Committee.

“MPs must act on the part of the Law on ANB relating to the process of approval of secret surveillance measures and reporting to the Committee about them”, stated Muk.

He said that legislative initiatives such as this one should motivate MPs to fully utilize competencies from the Rules of Procedure and the new law on parliamentary oversight in their future work. “In order exercises democratic control over these and other measures that the ANB uses in its work,” Muk said.

Institute supports the proposal of the Committee for Security and Defense member Predrag Bulatović, who sought the withdrawal of changes in Law on ANB and opening a wider debate on proposed solutions.

“We think that would be a good opportunity to organize a consultative hearing, at which the protector of human rights and freedoms, the Agency for the Protection of Personal Data, NGOs and other interested stakeholders could give their opinion on expansion of the scope of secret surveillance measures and other issues related to amendments to the Law on ANB”, said Muk.

Portal Vijesti, 25. 02. 2011.

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