Poland’s president has approved a new law increasing the government’s surveillance powers in the latest controversial move by the ruling Law and Justice party, the BBC reported Friday. The law has raised concerns that it will encroach on privacy rights.
President Andrzej Duda approved the new legislation Thursday that reduces restrictions on police for spying and increases the government’s access to digital data. The government has argued that the threat posed by terrorism necessitated the law, which allows for surveillance to be expanded to 18 months. The law will come into force Saturday, Reuters reported.
The country’s ombudsman said parts of the surveillance legislation could be unconstitutional and that the law will be challenged in court. Human rights group Amnesty International described the new law as one that would “seriously undermine the right to privacy in the country.” The group called for a protest in front of the president’s office Friday.
The surveillance law comes after the government signed a media law in December that gave the government control over public television and radio. Press freedom groups allege the government is heading down an “anti-democratic route.” Polish citizens have protested against all of the new laws.