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On 22 June, Polish president signed a new anti-terrorism law. The law contains measures that are inconsistent with the Polish Constitution and with the European Convention on Human Rights. The list of controversies is long: foreigners' phone calls might be wire-tapped without a court order, and police might collect their fingerprints, biometric photos and DNA if their identity is “doubtful”. Online content might be blocked, citizens' freedom of assembly limited, and secret services are given free access to all public databases.


The draft of the Polish Anti-terrorism Law was published by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration on April 21st, 2016. Panoptykon Foundation believes that the proposed law contains certain measures that are inconsistent with the Polish Constitution and with the European Convention on Human Rights. In fact, discriminatory treatment of foreigners (including other EU nationals) is at the very essence of the proposal. Regardless of the criticism coming from inside and outside of the country, the government wants the new law to enter into force on June 1, 2016.


With almost two million requests for telecommunication data and more than two thousand requests for Internet data concerning Polish citizens in 2015, it is clear that the access to metadata in Poland by the country’s secret services is still out of control.


Polish Constitutional Tribunal decided yesterday that the Act of 22 December 2015 amending the Constitutional Tribunal Act was enacted in breach of the Constitution. E.g. the Sejm violated the rule that bills are considered in the course of three readings.


Civic Democracy Watch, a joint initiative by a group of Polish NGOs dedicated to protecting human rights, the rule of law and transparency in Poland has been officially launched.


European Digital Rights (EDRi), Foundation for Information Policy Research (fipr) and Panoptykon Foundation provided comments on selected key elements to the Law Enforcement Data Protection Directive. In the analysis, we focus on the most problematic points of the Directive regarding: transferring data to third countries, sharing data for law enforcement purposes and the risk of violating human rights.


Panoptykon Foundation have received the Open Society Foundations, the Ford Foundation, and the Media Democracy Fund’s grant for investigation of the implications of algorithmically driven categorization and resource distribution to Poland’s 1.8 million unemployed citizens.


Glenn Carle (Former Deputy National Intelligence Officerfor Transnational Threats at the CIA), Katarzyna Szymielewicz (President of the Panoptykon Foundation) and Robert Pritchard (Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and Founder of The Cyber Security Expert) comment on US debates on private and state internet surveillance.

Watch video (Al Jazeera)

  • privacy
  • personal data
  • special services
  • Internet

Sharing information is less and less our free choice. The society requires high visibility: those, who don't expose themselves become suspicious or excluded. But sharing is just the beginning. The real purpose behind it is profiling. Be that our insurance or health care scheme, unemployment benefit or school curriculum – more and more services depend not so much on who we are in reality, but on the quality of our digital profile. Who designs these algorithms? What business and political stakes are behind? Katarzyna Szymielewicz comments on contents of our digital profiles and its implications.

  • Internet
  • personal data
  • privacy