Law Amending the Police Act and several other Acts Concerning Secret Services (Journal of Laws of 2016, section 154)

The amendment poses a serious threat to human rights protection, including the right to privacy. The measures envisaged in this law expand access to telecommunication and other digital data and allow for greater surveillance by police and other agencies. The law does not contain a requirement of obtaining prior approval from a judge o rother independent authority for obtaining telecommunication and online data. The law lacks guarantees for protection of information covered by professional confidentiality obligations such as attorney-client privilege or privilege for journalistic sources. It will be very difficult, if not impossible, for people to find out whether they are being unlawfully spied on, or to expose abuse of surveillance powers, as the law does not contain an obligation to notify targeted persons following the conclusion of surveillance

  • Statement
    Statement of the Amnesty International
    A new law governing surveillance powers by police and other agencies in Poland will seriously undermine the right to privacy in the country.
  • Opinion
    Opinion of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) on the Act of 15 January 2016 Amending the Police Act and Certain Other Acts
    Under the ECHR, states have a margin of appreciation in deciding how to draw the balance between security and liberty. However, procedural safeguards and material conditions set in the Police Act for implementing secret surveillance are still insufficient to prevent its excessive use and unjustified interference with the privacy of individuals. The opinion contains recommendations of important amendments that should be adopted.

Draft Law Amending the Police Act and several other Acts Concerning Secret Services (Sejm Paper No. 154)

  • Opinion
    Opinion of the Panoptykon Foundation
    The draft is not compliant with the Polish Constitution and EU legislation.