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Poland’s Internal Security Services Spied on 48 Journalists - Coordinator

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Surveillance - Sputnik International
Special services coordinator Mariusz Kaminski announced that Poland’s Internal Security Agency spied on 48 journalists under the previous government.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Poland’s Internal Security Agency (ABW) spied on 48 journalists under the previous government, special services coordinator Mariusz Kaminski announced at a parliamentary committee meeting.

"At this point there is a list of 48 journalists who during the reign of Civic Platform [Platforma Obywatelska or PO political party] and PSL [Polish People’s Party] were kept under surveillance by the Internal Security Agency," Kaminski said on Wednesday, as quoted by the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper.

He added that the special services will be audited through the end of February in order to examine the issue of the surveillance of journalists further.

"Maybe this list will expand," Kaminski said, explaining that since the audit has not been completed it is not clear yet whether the surveillance was legal or not.

Earlier this month, a new law expanding government surveillance powers came into force in Poland. Under the law, Poland's Interior Ministry gains the ability to access citizens' personal data, communication and internet records without requiring a court's decision.

The move has been widely criticized by the opposition, the European Union and human rights groups. Amnesty International called the legislation "a major blow to human rights."

Poland remains the subject of an EU inquiry into a possible breach of EU legal standards that began in January after President Andrzej Duda approved laws restricting media freedom and enabling the government to appoint heads of public television and radio services.

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