New Powers and Software for Polish Police Alarm Experts

A draft law on electronic communications, awaiting approval in the parliament, will give police and other special services access to any content sent or received by email or other online communication tools such as Whatsup, Messenger or other similar apps.

Gazeta Wyborcza, which interviewed several cyber-security experts and lawyers, said if the law is approved, if they receive court approval, the police and special services will also be able to access the content of citizens' online communication without needing the approval of the private companies managing those services.

The newspaper reports that the content accessible to the police would include all documents sent or received, and any photos or videos transmitted, including those of an intimate nature.

The draft law grants police and other services access to "electronic messages", a vague phrase that the authorities have so far refused to define further.

According to Panoptykon, an NGO which deals with cyber security, Polish courts currently approve 99 per cent of requests made by police and special services to access data of citizens.

The draft law is still awaiting approval by the two chambers of parliament and by the President.

Last week, media reported that police had purchased software from the Israeli firm Cellebrite, which potentially gives them  access to any content on a target's phone or computer, including passwords and deleted items.

Wyborcza matched the information it had about the programmes purchased by the Polish police with their functionalities, as leaked in January this year to the webpage Enlace Hacktivista, to discern what the authorities will be able to do with the new tools.

Among other things, Wyborcza

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