Lower house increases powers of intelligence services
The lower house of the Czech Parliament on Wednesday approved a government draft legislation proposing to broaden the powers of the intelligence services. Under the draft legislation, intelligence services will have access to information on bank accounts, protected by bank secrecy. It will be available mainly in cases concerning terrorism or organised crime. So far, information could only be provided by the intelligence to the central financial bodies, but not vice versa. The draft bill also entitles intelligence services to data from telecommunication operators, which would enable them to identify the owner of a particular telephone number. The draft still needs to win approval in the Senate.