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September 20, 2020

SRI head warns: Rejection of Big Brother laws, major element of vulnerability for Romania. Those who oppose, responsible in case of catastrophe

The director of Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) has launched warnings to the opponents of the national security laws. George Maior said on B1TV that confusion was being kept by using the ‘Big Brother’ name, although there were actually three distinct laws. The SRI head added that the rejection of the laws was a major event of vulnerability for Romania and called those who ‘speak against the interest of the public’ ‘pathetic commentators’


Major legislative void


George Maior said the rejection of the Big Brother laws might represent a major element of vulnerability for Romania. The director of the Romanian Intelligence Service noted in an interview offered to the journalist Dan Andronic on B1 TV, Saturday night, that there currently was a legislative void and warned that the opponents of the laws would be to blame should a catastrophe occur.

‘There are three laws – the data retention law, the prepaid cards law and the cyber security law. The first one offers an absolutely crucial analytic capability for investigating certain national security situations. The fact that we do not have this law slows us down considerably’, George Maior said.


Laws, compliant with civil rights


The SRI chief noted that, from his point of view, all those laws were compliant with the civil freedoms. Maior explained that the intention of the Service was to provide the security of Romanians, even if SRI currently has numerous obstacles.


When a catastrophe happens, I will know who to point to


I hope SRI is not opposing the Constitutional Court, but just thought there were certain elements of non-constitutionality in this law. Unfortunately, the law was rejected in its entirety, which created a legislative void which is now unique in the 25 year history of Romania after the Revolution. We are now simply operating with the other tools that we have. Our position is that these laws are consistent with the requirements of the human rights convention’, the SRI chief also said.

George Maior also launched a tough warning to the opponents of the laws. Maior thinks they will be responsible in case of a catastrophe. The director of SRI also said the Service would adjust to an unfavourable decision.

‘I want to very seriously warn that there is a moral responsibility for the security of the citizens of Romania, not of the state’s. When a catastrophe happens, I will know who to point to. It is my duty to say that someone is playing with things they don’t understand or are addressing in this way with ill intention. I do not comment on decisions, we will adjust to them, even if we were to use Sherlock Holmes’ means’, Maior added.


Islamic State fighters monitored in Romania


A significant security issue at EU level is generated by European citizens that volunteer to fight in Syria and then return to Europe. Dozens of such persons were identified by the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) in cooperation with other partner services at the end of this week.

SRI Director George Maior stated on B1TV that there are hundreds of European citizens of Islamic origin who are involved in the war in Syria. The volunteers are leaving France and Germany and when they return they can take part in attacks such as the ones in Paris.

“The significant problem connected to the events in Paris and discussed in European context has to do with these fighters, European citizens of Islamic, often Muslim origin, that go to the front in Syria and take part in the fighting there and then return to the European space. This is a big European security problem and it will continue to be a problem over the short term. There are hundreds from France, from Germany. Unfortunately precisely yesterday we too were transited by 10 such persons and we had to work together with our colleagues from other services and institutions in order to seriously monitor the situation,” SRI Director George Maior said, being quoted by Agerpres. Maior added that SRI, but also the partners with whom the service worked, has the “necessary knowledge” in order to know what is going on with these persons. “It will be a sensitive issue, important in the future, the need to see Romania as being also exposed to such risks,” the SRI Director pointed out.


Maior indirectly confirms he will stay in office


SRI Director George Maior has confirmed what President Klaus Iohannis publicly hinted. Maior explained that he met Iohannis at the Presidential Palace and the latter indirectly reconfirmed him at the helm of the Intelligence Service.

Asked by the TV anchor whether President Iohannis reconfirmed him in office, Maior enigmatically answered: “I cannot say this, you can say it,” Maior answered.

“Mr. President has stated that this is an artificial theme, that SRI is working well. I had several meetings with Mr. Iohannis since he started his term,” he added.


I did not favor Basescu, I did my duty


Asked whether he ever favored former President Traian Basescu, the SRI Director answered: “It’s not about favoring, of course. It’s about doing your duty and I believe I did mine. A good communication with the President is vital for the state’s functioning. Trust is also a fundamental aspect in this line of work.”

Asked whether he enjoyed the President’s trust, he replied: “I believe I did.” Moreover, asked whether there were also difficult moments, Maior stated: “There were.”





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