09:50 GMT +311 December 2019
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    Portugal Scraps Bill Allowing Spy Agencies Access to Private Communications

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    Portugal’s Constitutional Court shot down a parliamentary bill granting intelligence agencies invasive powers to sift through telecommunications metadata.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Judge Jose Teles Pereira said in a statement, published on the court’s webpage on Thursday, that access to private communications was regulated by special EU rules that had been put in place to safeguard the citizens’ right to privacy.

    He said further that the legislation violated Article 34 of the Portuguese Constitution that prohibits any interference by public authorities in private telecommunications except in criminal investigations.

    The court reviewed the bill at the request of President Anibal Silva after it was approved by a majority of Portuguese lawmakers in July as part of a national strategy to combat terrorism and emerging threats to national security.

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