Such as conceived by the DIICOT and issued in secret during the last winter holidays, the Emergency Ordinance 131/ 2006 provides Romania with a new juridical institution allowed to watch citizens, just like in the times of the ex Securitate (Communist Secret Service in Romania).
The contents of this document, which ZIUA uncovered last Saturday, and the way it was passed has got powerful critique from civil society, as the latter has been pointing to breaks of the fundamental human rights.
The Romanian General Attorney Laura Kovesi together with Codrut Olaru, recently appointed a DIICOT chief, have lately been uttering unconvincing and confuse explanations, in their attempt to promise that prosecutors won't proceed to intercepting of phone calls in case of no warrant from judges, although the above-mentioned ordinance allows them to do it.
Given the new DIICOT structure, prosecutors may intercept any electronic mail and SMSs, just as they may get data from any computer or server at someone's home, simply on grounds of reaching "thorough clues" pointing to crimes. There is no longer any need to open criminal inquiry.
Since the scandal burst out five days ago the Justice minister has been almost invisible, although she authors the ordinance project and she should have given public explanations. But minister Macovei has got more surprises for Romanians. (...)
Juridical Resource Center is against the ordinance
Giorgiana Iorgulescu, head of the Juridical Resource Center, comments on it: "I don't think it is normal for such a normative document to pass as emergency ordinance, because it actually restricts the right to a private life. According to the Constitution, when the state has got reasons to touch upon fundamental rights, it may not be done by means of emergency ordinance. I think there should have been public debate on it. (...) I can't understand why we are going back to the time before 1989 instead of heading the right way."
Weber wants the ordinance annulled
In her interview to the BBC Renate Weber, a president of the Foundation for an Open Society, formerly President Traian Basescu's adviser, argues against all the explanations provided by the initiators of the ordinance: "It is extremely harmful to people's right to privacy. According to this ordinance, prosecutors may access IT systems with no warrant from judges. If someone accesses my computer hard, it means my house is searched. If someone reaches my home and searches my bookshelves, it is also house searching. But article 27 in the Constitution has it that only a judge may approve of house searching. This ordinance does away with the latter constitutional norm. (...)"