The Romanian Constitutional Court (CCR) ruled on 16 September 2014 that a law that required the mandatory registration of all prepaid SIM cards and free WiFi users, is unconstitutional, as a whole. The Court reviewed the law as a result of the Romanian Ombudsman’s objection concerning its possible unconstitutionality. Several human rights NGOs asked the Ombudsman in July 2014 to notify the CCR regarding the law which had been recently adopted, and to ask the Court to rule on the law’s constitutionality before its promulgation by the President.
As previously reported in the EDRi-gram, the Romanian Constitutional Court (CCR) ruled in its decision no. 440 on 8 July 2014 that the second Romanian data retention law (no. 82/2012) was not constitutional. The full reasoning for this was published in the Official Journal on 4 September 2014 in Romanian. EDRi-member ApTI is working on the translation of the text, and an English version will follow soon.
In the midst of steady and significant piracy rates in Romania, enforcement conditions have only deteriorated. High-level Romanian authorities support the private sector in promoting anti-piracy messages, but their efforts have not translated into concrete steps to bring copyright criminals to justice, and enforcement actions in the past year have dropped. As a result, piracy remains widespread in Romania for all forms of copyright works, especially in the online space, where international pirates seek safe haven from better-enforced terrain elsewhere in Europe. Making matters worse, in 2013 the Court of Appeal held that the making available right in Romania is subject to mandatory collective administration, contradicting Romania’s obligations under the WIPO Treaties to provide an exclusive making available right and the means to enforce it. We encourage the Romanian Government to address this troubling development, adapt the country’s laws to the modern environment, encourage a national policy of cooperation against online infringement, ensure police officials are competent and well-equipped to conduct raids and investigations efficiently, and give targeted prosecutors and courts the authority and training to bring piracy cases to speedy conclusion, with deterrent sentences and penalties. The support and assistance of the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest continues to be an invaluable part of the continued effort to address these crucial issues.
A draft legislative project wants to automatically collect all financial data from all opened bank accounts as a way to combat fraud. The Association for Technology and Internet (ApTI) together with 6 other Romanian NGOs argued against such measures of mass surveillance and commented that they are disproportionate and violate the right to privacy.
The ministry's draft law and ApTI's opinion are available only in Romanian.
A regional summit on cyber security organized by the Romanian Ministry for Information Society together with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest is taking place between May 11 and May 13. Representatives of 17 countries in Central and Eastern Europe will attend the summit and present their cyber security policies.
The main domain registrar in Romania, ROTLD, which is under the management of the country’s National Research and Development Institute in IT (ICI Bucharest), announced in the beginning of June it was updating its software, allowing diacritical marks in domain names.