New Polish surveillance bill will give Tusk government incredible access to citizens’ private data

Poland’s right-wing Confederation party has rung alarm bells over the scope of surveillance envisaged in the government’s telecommunications legislation

Confederation party MPs, Michał Urbaniak (L) and Roman Fritz in the Polish Sejm (Source: X/Konfederacja).
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

The Polish parliament is in the process of debating a government telecommunications bill, which, according to the Confederation party, will endanger people’s right to privacy. The party has been warning since April that the proposed legislation is a reworking of a bill that the former Law and Justice (PiS) government proposed but recoiled from introducing. 

Confederation MP Roman Fritz said that the proposed legislation is ”introducing surveillance through the backdoor,” as it forces providers of services to maintain the capacity to store data to which 10 different state intelligence and law enforcement services have direct access.

The state services that would have such access include the police, border guards, the prison service, the Internal Security Agency (ABW), counterintelligence, the military police, and the Anti-Corruption Agency (CBA). 

“Thousands of officials will have the ability to conduct extensive surveillance of Poles and this is to be funded by telecoms service providers, which will mean a rise in the price of these services for the public,” said Fritz. 

Michał Urbaniak, another Confederation MP, pointed to the provision in the legislation, which would force the service providers to block people’s access to their email and social media messaging accounts and would oblige service providers to keep billing and geolocation data. This, argued the MP, would mean “blanket surveillance.”

Confederation has consistently argued for limiting powers of surveillance and data protection for private individuals. The party has submitted its legislative proposals, which only give state services access to personal data after obtaining a court order. 

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