Saturday, 24 June 2017

Czech cyber defence must not infringe on freedom, PM says

ČTK |
26 January 2017

Prague, Jan 25 (CTK) - The Czech government coalition must know for certain that the planned extension of the military intelligence's powers in cyber security will not interfere with the freedoms of the citizens, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said yesterday.
The present legislation does not set the rules for cyber security of the country. A government-sponsored amendment to the law on military intelligence gives the intelligence the power to put active means of cyber defence in Internet networks. In extreme cases, the intelligence could launch a cyber attack.
The amendment is now discussed in the Chamber of Deputies.
Sobotka said the Defence Ministry which submitted the draft amendment to the cabinet declared that the changes would not infringe on people's freedoms too much.
"But the number of critics, also from IT fields, who say the powers are defined too generally and no control mechanisms are set, has been growing in the Chamber," he said before a cabinet meeting.
Sobotka said the leaders of the three parties of the government coalition would deal with the issue yesterday and experts would negotiate about it as well.
He said new measures leading to increased control have recently been adopted. "It seems to me that we should not go too far. We need to be certain that the powers would not be abused by the military intelligence, he added.
Sobotka said the proposed permission to follow data on the Internet may be too broad.
The Czech Association for Internet Development (SPIR) criticised the planned right of army spies to add active cyber security instruments to Internet networks. This might threaten the country's security, SPIR said earlier this week.
Defence Ministry spokesman Jan Pejsek ruled this out. The security of the country would be threatened if hackers attacked key infrastructure, he told CTK.

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