The leaders of parliamentary parties agreed to the draft prepared by the Presidential Administration on a new Big Brother law and signed a project according to which no one may have access to anyone’s personal data without the approval of a judge. President Klaus Iohannis invited the leaders of parliamentary political parties over for consultations from 10:00, at Cotroceni, to discuss the legal framework in the area of the processing of personal data and protection of privacy in the sector of electronic communications.
The Presidential Administration informed, after the consultations that lasted for approximately one hour that, based on his constitutional mediation prerogative, President Klaus Iohannis facilitated the dialogue between the civil society, institutions operating in the field of data processing, defence and national security and political parties.
‘The debates started from the assumption of improving the normative framework for bringing in agreement the need for security and the defence of individual rights and liberties. On this occasion, the leaders of political parties signed a parliamentary legislative initiative to amend and complete Law 506/2004 on the processing of personal data and protection of privacy in the sector of electronic communications’, the Presidential Administration notes in the press release issued after the meeting.
According to the press release quoted by Mediafax, ‘the initiative does not target the cybersecurity law or Law 82/2012 on the retention of data generated or processed by suppliers of public electronic communications networks and suppliers of public electronic communications networks meant for the general public, which was ruled unconstitutional’.
‘The project agreed upon today seeks to offer additional safeguards for the protection of personal data and privacy and bring a series of clarifications in order to remove risks of abuse. In this way, the access to personal data may be granted only in a strictly specified framework by the court of law or only with the prior authorisation of a judge. This principle was asked for by the representatives of the civil society and has been embraced by all the stakeholders’, Cotroceni further notes.
‘The president of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, has expressed hope that the project, which was the result of a joint effort, would be approved by the Parliament, and stressed again the fact that, in a democratic society, security, the observance of the laws and freedom must be brought in agreement’, the release states.
The Presidential Administration issued a press release on Tuesday informing that President Iohannis’ invitation was going to the leaders of parliamentary political parties, the theme of the talks being the legal framework of the processing of personal data and protection of privacy.
‘The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, is inviting on Wednesday, from 10:00, to Cotroceni, the leaders of parliamentary parties and entities to hold talks on the legal framework on the processing of personal data and protection of privacy in the sector of electronic communications’, the Presidential Administration informs.
The Constitutional Court decided in January that the cybersecurity law was unconstitutional as a whole. As a matter of fact, the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) rejected all three ‘Big Brother’ laws as unconstitutional.
In their argumentation, the CCR judges note that the law is flawed with regard to the observance of technical legislative norms, consistency, predictability and legislative procedure, due to the lack of CSAT’s opinion.
Following the CCR decision, the president has asked for a rediscussion of the normative acts by the Parliament.
PNL: ‘We can draft legislation to equip authorities with tools in the fight against terrorism’
On Tuesday, after the consultations on the law on the processing of personal data, at Cotroceni Palace, PNL said that, mediated by President Klaus Iohannis, legislation could be drafted, by public consensus, to equip the authorities with tools to fight terrorism.
‘PNL believes that, mediated by the president of Romania and observing all civil rights and liberties, we can draft legislation to equip the authorities with tools for fighting organised crime, terrorism and other potential national security risks. It is important for such legislation to be adopted by political consensus, trough a transparent and fair law-making process’, PNL said after the talks with the president, according to Mediafax.
According to the press release, PNL decided to sign the draft law regulating the access of authorities to data held by electronic communications service providers.
‘It is the draft law amending and completing Law 506 of 7 November 2004 on the processing of personal data and protection of privacy in the sector of electronic communications. The document will be tabled in legislative procedure signed by all the leaders of the political parties in Parliament’, PNL says.
The Liberals note that the draft accommodates the observations of the Constitutional Court of Romania and the requirements of the European Human Rights Convention.
‘An important change made to the law is the provision that the access to traffic data will be only permitted in a framework specified by the court of law, or with the authorisation of a judge. It is a provision that limits potential abuses and gives safeguards for respecting people’s privacy’, PNL says.
‘We have said that the drafting of important projects should not happen in emotional contexts that foster abuse and superficial approaches. In our opinion, equipping the authorities with a set of tools to be able to fight criminal groups that have extremely sophisticated means which they use in harming others is a necessity and proof of political responsibility’, the pres statement further says.
The Liberals also find that ‘we need to take account of the changed security context in the geographic region of Romania’.
‘Threats to national security have multiplied and it is important that we improve the state’s capacity to react to such threats. Those who consider harming Romania or harming others in the Romanian territory should not have a legislation fostering their actions’, PNL also says.