Constitutional Court quashes the government’s decision on the registration of mobile phones’ IMEI numbers

Constitutional Court quashes the government’s decision on the registration of mobile phones’ IMEI numbers

IBNA Special Report

Tirana, September 17, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

Constitutional Court has quashed today the decision of the government of Albania for the registration of the IMEI numbers of mobile phone devices and the data base that the government said that it would be established in the framework of this decision. The court also quashed the measure to fine mobile phone operators that do not comply with the decision.

The Democratic Party had deposited a request for the suspension of this decision taken by the Council of Ministers on June 4. This court decided on Wednesday to order the suspension of the decision of the Council of Ministers “For the establishment of the IMEI data base for the registration of IMEI numbers of mobile phone devices, used in the mobile networks of communication” until the final decision of the Constitutional Court takes effect”.

The decision of the Constitutional Court was unanimously approved.

DP: Constitutional Court prevents Rama from intervening in the private life of the citizens

Democrat MP, Eduard Halimi reacted today in relation to the ruling that quashed the registration of IMEI numbers. Halimi praised the engagement of civil society in this battle.

“Today’s court ruling stopped Edi Rama from brutally intruding in the life and private communications of Albanian citizens. The ruling suspended the creation of a register of confidential data of Albanian citizens, an act which would kill their privacy as a human, legal and constitutional right”, said Mr. Halimi.

Former minister of Justice said that “today’s ruling of the Constitutional Court stopped Edi Rama from controlling the facebook, whatsapp, viber and bbm accounts of everyone, applications and programs that are used by the majority of Albanians in their communication”.

The Democratic Party says that it demands to the prime minister to immediately comply with the ruling of the Constitutional Court, as its decisions are obligatory and non negotiable. “Compliance with court decisions is the basis of democracy and this is a battle that the Democratic Party is doing every day, in the name of the interests of the country”, said Halimi.

The government assures that its aim is not to eavesdrop

Minister of State for Innovation and Public Administration, Milena Haliti says that eavesdropping is not in the government’s plans. “The claim for control of the citizens’ data through mobile phones, is part of the old propaganda, by launching accusations in order to smear the opponent. The government has no business with the personal data of the citizens, but its aim is to fight the smuggling of mobile phones and the government must also make sure that taxes are paid on every mobile phone device entering Albania”.

Harito says that IMEI code has no connection whatsoever with the content of communication. “It’s only a code, the same as with the chassis code or a computer serial number. It would be the same to say that through the chassis number, the government knows who the driver is”, says Harito in an ironic tone.

Some experts were against the government decision

Some experts said that the decision was an instrument to eavesdrop electronic communications and personal correspondence of the citizens. In this sense, this decision, according to them, is anti constitutional and anti European as it openly threatens the constitutional right for the preservation of the private life and personal data. Lawyers say that the decision violated the Constitution of Albania, Convention of the European Court of Human Rights and the consolidated legal practice of the Constitutional Court, European Court of Human Rights and European Court of Justice ruling dating April 8, 2014. /ibna/

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