This Affects You Too Campaign Responds to Covertly Recorded Telephone Conversations

14 Sep, 2016

Source: This Affects You Too” Website

This Affects You Too campaign responds to a secretly wiretapped phone call between the General Director of TV Company Rustavi 2 and the leader of one of the political parties that have been published through various media and social networks.

The fact of spreading another secretly wiretapped phone call depicting private life is alarming for non-governmental organizations involved in This Affects You Too campaign. The campaign calls on the government to take concrete steps to combat the illegal surveillance and eavesdropping.

Secret surveillance and eavesdropping represent a systematic problem for the years. So far, the government failed to provide an effective investigation into the committed crimes, as well as – a fundamental reform of legal system for secret surveillance, in order to protect each person’s right to privacy.

Once again, we would like to remind the government that on April 14, 2016, Constitutional Court of Georgia granted the appeal of the campaign and recognized the secret eavesdropping and surveillance system as unconstitutional. In particular, direct access of the security service to wiretapping through the so called “two-key” system was declared as unconstitutional; Direct access of State Security Service (SSS) to the internet communications of the citizens, data collection about the identity of subscribers, their location and used communication devices and 2-year term for the retention without court authorization was also declared as unconstitutional.

The legislative body has not yet implemented the necessary measures for the enforcement of this decision. Besides, a package of legislative changes has been prepared within the framework of this campaign, which fully reflects the spirit of the Constitutional Court’s decision, and is the only real alternative to the current unconstitutional model. Unfortunately, we were not even able to initiate this bill in the current Parliament.

Considering the above, we call on the government to:

·  Swiftly, properly and effectively investigate the issue of obtaining and publishing the secretly wiretapped phone call;

·  Adopt legislative changes in order to reform the unconstitutional system of surveillance and wiretapping and to develop adequate safeguards for the protection of private life of our citizens;

·  Set up an independent investigative mechanism to investigate crimes committed by law enforcement agencies and other government bodies.