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PM postpones debate on cyber defence bill until March

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Prague, Jan 31 (CTK) – The Chamber of Deputies will postpone its debate on the amendment to the law on the military intelligence until March so that the powers in cyber space can be clarified, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said after a meeting on the issue on Tuesday.

As the issue caused controversy, Sobotka talked about it with the representatives of all parties in parliament this evening.

“There are some doubts that need to be dispelled. Especially in the exact definition of the powers of the military intelligence. In what it can do in cyber space,” Sobotka said.

The postponement should provide space to prepare proposals that could improve the current version of the bill, he said.

Sobotka said he would like to win broader support for the bill in the Chamber of Deputies.

He said the bill seemed to include technical and expert problems which should be discussed more thoroughly.

“Nobody should have the feeling that the government is pushing something through at any cost,” Sobotka said.

He said the amendments to the law on secret services and the cyber security law should be completed before the autumn general election.

The present legislation does not set the rules for cyber security of the country. The 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. Both lawmakers and IT experts challenged the draft amendment.

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