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News 07 Jul 14

Serbia Urged To Adopt New Security Agency Law

Recent changes to the law governing the Security Intelligence Agency are not enough to solve the many problems the agency is facing, experts say.

Marija Ristic
BIRN
Belgrade
Serbian parliament. Photo by BETA

“We believe that the current changes in the law are not enough to have a completely democratised oversight of the agency,” said the Centre for Euro Atlantic Studies, CEAS, a Belgrade-based think tank.

The Serbian parliament last month changed parts of the law to clarify when it is possible and under what specific conditions for the Security Intelligence Agency to eavesdrop and intercept emails or any other form of communication.

According to CEAS, a solution would be to form one national agency that would have the exclusive right to eavesdrop on communications.

The Belgrade Centre for Security Policy said the legal changes were an improvement, but added that the law has many other flaws that need to be tackled.

Predrag Petrovic from the Centre said that the Agency sometimes acts more as as arm of the police than as an independent institution.

He also said that internal control of the Agency needs to be properly established.

“There is a need to adopt, new modern law on the Security Agency… The problem is that [past and current] governments are acting only under political pressure,” he concluded.

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