Basescu: I can guarantee that no illegal telephone taping is done in Romania

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President Traian Basescu told a TV show on Monday (Jan 26) evening hosted by the Romanian public television channel that no illegal phone tapping is done in Romania, mentioning having discussed the matter with former head of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) Claudiu Saftoiu.
 
"There is only one observation I want to make in regard to the statements of Mr. Saftoiu. I have never had the discussion he alleged to with him. I do not know where he got the discussion idea from in the first place, because he later on denied it ever happened. I can guarantee that, as far as I know, there is no illegal phone tapping performed in Romania," said Basescu.
 
The head of state said he saw phone call transcripts when files on some ministers were submitted to him to ask for the approval of criminal prosecution in those cases.
"I talked about them back then. I talked about interceptions in the famous case that involved "spies" Seres and Nagy, where there were transcripts backing up the prosecution accusations, and I went public about it. The President does not receive phone call transcripts. The transcripts go directly to those requiring them – the prosecution, the Police," said Basescu.
 
Asked whether he can guarantee that no phone tapping will be made without a legal warrant, given the coming into force of a new law providing for a six-month storage of phone call recordings, Basescu said:
 
"I would like to assure you that law will be obeyed in Romania, and it is not the President to offer guarantees in this case, but the law itself. Article 1, paragraph 3 of the law clearly states that the data storage provisions do not cover the content of communications of information accessed during the use of an electronic communications network. So, the law means the content of communications is not to be tapped. I can only urge the law be obeyed, but the law is very clear."
 
Law 298/2009 concerning the retention of data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available electronic communications services or of public communications networks came into force on January 20, 2009.
Under the new law, which provides for the monitoring of the entire mobile phone traffic, short messages (SMS) and electronic communications, the recording of the contents thereof is forbidden. When allowed, the recordings should be kept for six months.
 
Providers of such communications services – mobile telephony, SMS or e-mail – are placed under the obligation to record the details needed for the identification of the destination of phone calls, SMS and e-mails, the date, time and place where the communications are made and the type of devices in use.
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