Romanian Secret Services uses European funding for mass surveillance project disguised as eGovernment services
The Romanian Secret Service (SRI) is granted European funding in order to acquire software and hardware for “increasing eGovernment system usage”. However, as the technical specifications of the project show, one of its declared purposes is to design a Big Brother system that will, among others, intercept Internet traffic from instant messaging apps or other similar electronic communications programmes.
Entitled SII Analytics, the project aims at aggregating data sets from all major public institutions and at allowing advanced search in order to permit inquiring any type of information about any citizen or resident. Moreover, the project includes a chapter on behaviour analysis, which will allow to correlate information from databases as well as other public information (such as Facebook account information) and create individual profiles. Additionally, the system will have facial recognition features and it will include a database of approximately 50-60 million images (passport or identity card photos) to which SRI will have unlimited access.
As the project flagrantly violates Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, namely the rights to privacy and to personal data protection, several NGOs sent a letter to Romanian and European officials urging for the public procurement to be annulled.