GEO

Conference: Secret surveillance and personal data protection – moving forward

24 May, 2013

Government wiretapping has been a concern in Georgia for the past several years, as highlighted in our report on Freedom of Internet as well as the U.S. State Department’s Human Rights Report. Systematic, unchecked surveillance undermines media freedom and poses a threat to the civil liberties that a free and democratic state builds on. Recent developments demonstrate the need for more supervision and control by the state and for that purpose, creating legal guarantees is of foremost importance.

The new government has vowed to establish strong mechanisms to prevent illegal surveillance; however, in the seven months after taking over the cabinet, no steps have yet been made towards establishing institutional mechanisms for personal data protection. Unfortunately, there were cases when secretly recorded materials were used to discredit and blackmail certain persons.

At today’s conference Transparency International Georgia, the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association and the Innovations and Reforms Center provided an overview over the status quo, offered an assessment of the respective Georgian legislation as compared to international standards established by the European Court of Human Rights and proposed specific recommendations to improve the legal framework for surveillance.

Financial support for this event was provided by the IREX G-MEDIA program.

The GMEDIA program is made possible by support from the American people through USAID.

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