MP Marian Cucsa, Vice-President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), is requesting that the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) provide clarifications on the amounts spent for wiretappings.
In a statement released on Sunday, Marian Cucsa says that the data appearing in the public space regarding the wiretappings conducted by the SRI over the last 14 years show that our country has become “a real promise land for intelligence services”.
The ALDE MP argues that the impressive number of wiretapping mandates and the cost of the relevant equipment confirm the magnitude of phone wiretapping phenomenon.
In the MP’s opinion, there are data indicating that the Romanians have paid from their money hundreds of millions, if not billions of euros to be wiretapped.
“I, as vice-chair of the SRI Oversee Committee, I request clarifications from the management of the Service. I consider that Romanians have the right to know how their money was used and whether their rights were violated using their money,” says the ALDE’s MP.
On May 31, the SRI announced that the total number of national security mandates (initial, extensions and additions) requested by SRI between 2004 and 2016 was 28,784.
On the other hand, the chair of the Parliament’s SRI Oversee Committee, Claudiu Manda stated that over six million people were wiretapped between 2005 and 2016.
SRI’s Marincea: Distorting figures does not have desired effect on SRI determination to fulfil missions
On the other hand, SRI Spokesperson Ovidiu Marincea said in a press statement on Friday that distorting some figures does not have the desired effect on the determination of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) to fulfil its missions, but on the state of mind of citizens.
“The SRI believes that the taking over and distortion of some information, figures, erroneous facts does not have the desired effect on the determination of the Service to fulfil its legal missions, but one that is more profound on the state of mind of citizens, which can have graver effects on the state of national security. SRI Director Eduard Hellvig wishes to assure our internal and external partners that the SRI remains committed in its missions to preserve national security in a fair relation to all partners and the civil society and in the service of Romanian citizens. We state our determination to continue correct and institutional cooperation with Parliament’s Intelligence Committee,” Marincea said.
He mentioned that on Thursday the mass media was rife with three unofficial figures. “We have received several requests from you, from the media, to explain those numbers, but I believe it’s the role of those issuing them to explain them, as on behalf of the SRI nobody has sent those numbers through any address to any institution. The first figure: 311,000 mandates and authorizations in total. I mention that the SRI has not sent any address to the Parliamentary Committee in which this figure is mentioned. I, as spokesperson, have heard of this figure, I saw it in a study online on a blog in Cluj. The second figure: an average of 20 persons wiretapped per mandate. The Chairman of Parliament’s Intelligence Committee stated that, in his belief and that of the commission, of the total mandates for national security interspersed with those for normal crimes there were, I quote, on average, 20 persons wiretapped per mandate. It is an inaccurate average, if we take into account that in most SRI mandates, for example, we have one or two persons per mandate. The third figure is 6 million Romanians listened to. This figure is the result of multiplying an inexact coefficient with an unofficial figure from a blog,” Marincea stated.
He said that the data that the SRI has made available to the Intelligence Committee since November 2017 were also publicly relayed in the press release of the SRI remitted on Thursday, namely that from 11.12.2004 to 16.02.2016 the total number of national security mandates (initial, extensions, completions) requested by the SRI stood at 28,784, and of those, initial mandates were 9,292.
He mentioned that he made this statement not as a reply to someone, but because it involves the SRI’s responsibility towards the citizens, towards its internal and external partners.