The act consolidates sweeping powers, including enhanced surveillance capacity, in the hands of the Internal Security Agency (ISA), with no independent oversight mechanism to prevent abuse and ensure proper accountability.
Under the law, the ISA will be able to access data from virtually every government agency (e.g. other law enforcement agencies, social security agency, financial institutions, and local authorities, among many others) and from private companies. The ISA would also have access to closed-circuit television (CCTV) recordings from public facilities, roadways and other public locations. Decisions regarding security and intelligence operations, including surveillance and other monitoring of alleged terrorism suspects, would be left solely to the ISA in consultation only with the Prosecutor General who, under another new law, is also the Minister of Justice.
Draft Anti-terrorism Act
Polish government claims that the draft Anti-terrorism Law is necessary in order to increase coordination of the intelligence agencies and prepare for potential security threats related to the upcoming NATO summit (July 2016) and World Youth Day (June 2016). While the need to enhance management of information flows among the existing agencies and introduce better coordination mechanisms seems evident, the proposed law is going much further in terms of limiting fundamental rights, especially when it comes to foreigners living in or visiting the country.
AppealAppeal and comment of Panoptykon FoundationPanoptykon Foundation believes that the proposed law contains certain measures that are inconsistent with the Polish Constitution and with the European Convention on Human Rights. In fact, discriminatory treatment of foreigners (including other EU nationals) is at the very essence of the proposal. Regardless of the criticism coming from inside and outside of the country, the government wants the new law to enter into force on June 1, 2016.
OpinionOpinion of the Helsinki Foundation for Human RightsThis analysis of the draft Anti-terrorist Act presents the key concerns, including broad definition of “an event of a terrorist nature", the scope of operational control towards foreigners and the possibility of blocking of access to Internet websites/online content.
StatementStatement of the Amnesty InternationalA bill consolidates sweeping powers, including enhanced surveillance capacity, in the hands of the Internal Security Agency (ISA), with no independent oversight mechanism to prevent abuse and ensure proper accountability. The bill risks violating the rights to liberty, privacy, expression, association, peaceful assembly, and non-discrimination.