The President of UKE speaks for telecommunications secrecy - UKE

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The President of UKE speaks for telecommunications secrecy

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2014-06-23
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The President of UKE Magdalena Gaj has taken her position on the provision of personal data covered by telecommunications secrecy in civil cases. The President of UKE has stressed the citizens' right to privacy and lack of legal grounds for civil courts of law and law enforcement officers to require data covered by telecommunications secrecy.

 

The President of UKE has taken her position in response to enquiries from telecommunications operators who receive requests for user telecommunications data (the so-called retention data) from different kinds of entities - law enforcement authorities, special services and courts. The whole area of collecting data about the Polish citizens and related operational activities is governed by several legal acts, including the acts on the powers of special services, the act on the prosecutor's office or the Penal Code. There were however concerns about the possibility to provide such data by operators based on the provisions of the Code of Civil Proceedings (Article 248 paragraph 1 and Article 761 paragraph 1), which was requested by civil courts and law enforcement officers.

It is obvious for me that the protection of telecommunications secrecy is one of the human rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Polish Constitution, therefore it may be limited only based on clear provisions of law and with the consent of relevant agents - Magdalena Gaj, the President of UKE, stresses.

The legal experts, whose opinions were taken into account, also stress that except for the cases listed in the laws, the possibility to require from operators the data covered by telecommunications secrecy, in particular the so-called retention data, refers only to criminal courts. The need to apply the provisions on data retention only to the heaviest crimes is also stressed by the European Commission in its report of 18 April 2011.

In summary, the President of UKE took the position that the provisions of the Code of Civil Proceedings are not sufficient to intervene in human rights and freedoms and that such data should not be provided by the operators based on those provisions.

The full text of the position is attached below.

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    INTRODUCTION
    The President of the Office of Electronic Communications (President of UKE) is the national regulatory authority for the market of telecommunications and postal services. The President of UKE is also the specialised authority in the area of equipment conformity assessment, including telecommunications terminal equipment and radio equipment.

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    INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITY
    Here you can find information about the most import ant international events, significant for the development of telecommunications and postal markets In Poland and for the statutory activity of the Office of Electronic Communications.
    International activity of the President of UKE consists of, inter alia, cooperation with the European Commission, other EU institutions and Regulatory Authorities of EU Member State. It includes also the cooperation within organizations of which UKE is a member, i.e. the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the Body for European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the European Committee for Postal Regulation (CERP).


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