Political Scandals and Judiciary Corruption in Macedonia

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  • Phoenix
    replied
    Originally posted by Pelagonija View Post
    Only in farking fyrom can one corrupt party replace another corrupt party on the basis of corruption, and then the same corrupt government officials send homos to collect cash for extortion purposes from corrupt business officials. The installation of the zz government was always about fyrom changing its name and denying its history for the sake of joining NATO and not about corruption and democracy. You cant make this stuff up, this is insane.

    Where are those fag fyromers critisizing the diaspora when we went out on the streets to protest selling our name and soul? Making derogatory comments towards us.. ffs Janeva was appointed by the EU.

    Mameto da mu ebam..

    https://faktor.mk/sluchaj-reket-sega...drugata-strana
    It is pathetic on so many levels...where once I sympathised with our people for being fucked in the arse, I have now lost all respect and empathy for them...from the blatant hypocrisy of the condom revolutionaries and the nothing that those cunts actually represented, to the embarrassing silence of the EU and USA in addressing the incompetence and daily scandals generated by the Zaev government, it is true that the Northies got the government they so richly deserved...

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  • Carlin
    replied
    Breaking news: Katica Janeva taken to prison

    URL:
    After several hours of questioning, the Criminal Court has ordered a 30-day detention for Katica Janeva as a third suspect...


    Katica Janeva goes to Sutka prison

    After several hours of questioning, the Criminal Court has ordered a 30-day detention for Katica Janeva as a third suspect in the “Racket” case.

    She has the right to appeal through her lawyers to the criminal council.

    The Prosecutor’s Office for prosecution of organized crime and corruption requested her detention.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pelagonija
    replied
    Only in farking fyrom can one corrupt party replace another corrupt party on the basis of corruption, and then the same corrupt government officials send homos to collect cash for extortion purposes from corrupt business officials. The installation of the zz government was always about fyrom changing its name and denying its history for the sake of joining NATO and not about corruption and democracy. You cant make this stuff up, this is insane.

    Where are those fag fyromers critisizing the diaspora when we went out on the streets to protest selling our name and soul? Making derogatory comments towards us.. ffs Janeva was appointed by the EU.

    Mameto da mu ebam..

    Last edited by Pelagonija; 08-18-2019, 12:35 AM.

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  • Carlin
    replied
    Boki 13’s television ends its live broadcasts

    URL:
    1TV, the television which Bojan Jovanovski – Boki 13 opened in April 2018, held what the anchors said could be...


    1TV, the television which Bojan Jovanovski – Boki 13 opened in April 2018, held what the anchors said could be the last evening news today, as its owner remains in detention and is the focus of racketeering charges.

    The TV station was allegedly used by Boki 13 as one of the means to extort money from businessmen who were targeted by criminal charges brought by his close friend, Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva. Shortly after opening its doors, 1TV began drawing in high profile journalists openly supportive of the ruling SDSM party, who were reportedly drawn by the offer of large salaries. The station strongly supporter Katica Janeva and Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, but was also known for blending a lot of LGBT elements in its entertainment program, which was expected given Boki 13’s flamboyant public persona.

    The staff was told to take an open-ended vacation, while taped programming will likely continue, until it is determined whether some other owner can take it from Boki 13.

    After Boki was arrested last Monday, everybody in the first editorial line-up quickly announced they are leaving 1TV, and some even turned on Janeva.

    This prompted a comical exchange between lawyer Aleksandar Tortevski and 1TV editor Aleksandar Comovski, who was famously present during the 2011 closure of A1TV, the much better established Velija Ramkovski owned television which collapsed under similar allegations of fraud and tax evasion and also caused a political crisis. Tortevski asked Comovski how was it that nobody in 1TV thought to ask Boki 13 where he got all that money needed to start a TV station and meet the demands of top journalist talent.

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  • Risto the Great
    replied
    Originally posted by Gocka View Post
    This shit has to hit the fan at some point, doesn't it?
    If the shit hits the fan and the shit spreads, then it will only hit other pre-existing shit. So basically, the shit is already there and nobody sees anything different. Which is pretty shit.

    Leave a comment:


  • Phoenix
    replied
    Originally posted by Gocka View Post
    That country is a gold mine of irony. Seriously Boki f'ing 13? You can't make this stuff up.

    Are people in Macedonia that numb to their surroundings that they don't see that every single person who has ever came to hold any measurable amount of power has screwed them? I still find it unfathomable that there is no popular movement to overthrow the political establishments of both parties. You can't make it through a week without out some kind of scandal and this goes back decades now. How does this not bother anyone there?

    This is the clearest proof yet that both parties are a complete scam. Yet everyone will still go back into their respective corners and point fingers at each other and debate who was the bigger criminal. The governments in Macedonia look more like rival mafia's trying to take over a racketeering ring, rather than democratically elected representatives of the people.

    This shit has to hit the fan at some point, doesn't it?
    You know you've made it as a soulless, extreme far left dystopia when a Frankenstein Transvestite can rise to the very top in the organised crime rankings...the shit will never hit the fan...the fan was dismantled to avoid this very outcome...since identity and everything that contributes to identity was systematically erased, hope was also extinguished...once hope is gone, there's no meaningful purpose left.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gocka
    replied
    That country is a gold mine of irony. Seriously Boki f'ing 13? You can't make this stuff up.

    Are people in Macedonia that numb to their surroundings that they don't see that every single person who has ever came to hold any measurable amount of power has screwed them? I still find it unfathomable that there is no popular movement to overthrow the political establishments of both parties. You can't make it through a week without out some kind of scandal and this goes back decades now. How does this not bother anyone there?

    This is the clearest proof yet that both parties are a complete scam. Yet everyone will still go back into their respective corners and point fingers at each other and debate who was the bigger criminal. The governments in Macedonia look more like rival mafia's trying to take over a racketeering ring, rather than democratically elected representatives of the people.

    This shit has to hit the fan at some point, doesn't it?

    Leave a comment:


  • Carlin
    replied
    Cars and yachts seized in Ohrid, reportedly in connection with the Katica Janeva scandal

    URL:


    21.07.2019

    Several media outlets are reporting that the police seized a number of luxury vehicles and yachts in Ohrid. The seizures are reportedly related to the major corruption scandal that brought down Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva.

    Janeva allegedly used her prosecuting powers and proximity to the Zaev Government to blackmail businessmen into paying her millions of euros, using Bojan Jovanovski – Boki 13 as an intermediary.

    The opposition VMRO-DPMNE party asked Prime Minister Zoran Zaev if it is true that some of the luxury vehicles which were taken from the blackmailed businessmen ended up with his family members.






    Last edited by Carlin; 07-22-2019, 02:03 PM.

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  • Solun
    replied
    Originally posted by maco2envy View Post
    fat bitch needs to go to prison
    The fat bitch has always done exactly as she has been told by the government. They'll do everything they can for her not to be locked up together with all those she has sent to prison

    Leave a comment:


  • maco2envy
    replied
    fat bitch needs to go to prison

    Leave a comment:


  • Carlin
    replied
    Political and Judiciary Corruption in Macedonia

    Extortion Affair Rocks North Macedonia’s Special Prosecution

    URL:
    Speculation that the outgoing head of the Special Prosecution may have been involved in an extortion scheme has dealt a huge blow to this once respected body – although some insist the affair at least shows no one is above the law.


    Speculation that the outgoing head of the Special Prosecution may have been involved in an extortion scheme has dealt a huge blow to this once respected body – although some insist the affair at least shows no one is above the law.

    North Macedonia’s outgoing chief Special Prosecutor, Katica Janeva, has remained silent since Monday, when she unexpectedly tendered her resignation and the regular prosecution seized her phone to check possible connections to a high-profile extortion case.

    But Janeva’s silence has only fuelled theories about the reasons for her departure and the seizure of her phone.

    They range from her being the alleged mastermind behind a scheme to extort millions of euros from businessman who had problems with the law to being the innocent victim of her acquaintance with two businessmen detained in connection with the case on Monday.

    In her absence, her colleagues at the Special Prosecution office, SJO, a crime-busting body that was seen as a beacon of hope for restoring the rule of law in North Macedonia, have indirectly distanced themselves from the woman who is still their boss.


    Kamcev recorded Boki 13 calling Janeva on the speakerphone as he was being blackmailed

    URL:


    Prosecutor Vilma Ruskoska, who is leading the charge against showman Bojan Jovanovski – Boki 13 which prompted the resignation of Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva, confirmed that the recorded evidence contains a conversation “with one prosecutor”.

    Ruskoska said that Boki 13 was meeting with a businessman, widely believed to be Jordan Orce Kamcev, and was extorting money from him, promising that he will get the unnamed prosecutor to go easy on Kamcev in a major money laundering case. Kamcev recorded these meetings and the recordings include speakerphone conversations with the prosecutor.

    Ruskoska, who was already proposed by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev to take Janeva’s place, was asked by a journalist whether the evidence includes calls to Katica Janeva.

    Yes, it can be seen and heard on the recordings. I can’t speak in detail about the evidence, but yes, you can hear a conversation with a public prosecutor, Ruskoska said.

    She added that Boki 13 met at least twice with Katica Janeva in her SPO office. Boki 13 reportedly asked for eight million EUR from Kamcev to get Janeva to drop her charges against him, and the sum was later negotiated down to six million, 1.5 million of which were paid. While this was on-going, Kamcev had his passport returned to him, and the case was also struck down, but at the Supreme Court, not through actions of the Special Prosecutor.

    According to the Expres news site, the negotiations between Kamcev and Boki 13 at one point hit a snag when the businessman was not sure that Boki 13 will deliver on his promise to get Katica Janeva to drop her charges against him, and wanted assurances before paying such a huge sum of money. At this point, Janeva was called up and she personally gave her guarantee, the site reports.

    Janeva is still not charged in this case, but she resigned shortly after Boki 13 was arrested on Monday. Police seized one of her phones, while she insisted that she lost the other phone she was using. Her son Lazar Janev, who was working in 1TV, the TV station owned by Boki 13 and allegedly accompanied him on his racketeering runs, defended his mother saying that she lost he phone while on a trip in Belgrade. Lazar Janev also had his personal computer seized by the police.

    Janeva was using the large cache of wiretaps that were given to her in 2015 by SDSM party leader Zoran Zaev to initiate a series of politically driven criminal charges against top officials of the VMRO-DPMNE party, clearing the way for Zaev to grab power in Macedonia. In the process she was declared a hero by both SDSM supporters and many in the international community, while VMRO insisted all along that she is running a rogue operation and is deeply involved in crime and extortion herself.

    In another in the series of interviews she gave, Ruskoska also revealed that Kamcev was asking to meet her while he was still in house arrest, claiming that he is being blackmailed. She agreed that giving the bribe is a crime in itself, but that Kamcev reported the act, which frees him from responsibility.

    Ruskoska again called on other businessmen who were extorted by Boki 13, for the benefit of the “unnamed prosecutor”, to step forward, adding that it is believed people paid significant sums, above half a million EUR, to get the prosecutor to drop her charges against them.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bill77
    replied
    Albo....... What the hell is going on in ethnically Albanian majority places in Macedonia?

    (Tweet by Cvetin Chilimanov)
    Meanwhile in #Zaevistan, two police were run over, injured in Albanian mafia base Aracinovo near Skopje; two migrants killed, 17 injured when their van overturned near Radovis and DUI thug had his car blown up

    Leave a comment:


  • Tomche Makedonche
    replied
    UK sale of surveillance equipment to Macedonia raises questions over export licence

    The UK government approved the export of controversial surveillance equipment to the Republic of Macedonia, despite concerns over the country’s human rights record, documents obtained by Computer Weekly show.


    UK sale of surveillance equipment to Macedonia raises questions over export licence policy

    The UK approved an export licence for the sale of surveillance equipment to Macedonia – while the country was engaged in an illegal surveillance programme against its citizens. A senior minister was consulted on the decision

    The UK government approved the export of controversial surveillance equipment to the Republic of Macedonia, despite concerns over the country’s human rights record, documents obtained by Computer Weekly show.

    The Macedonian government that acquired the equipment subsequently collapsed after an outcry that followed revelations of widespread illegal surveillance of citizens.

    Gamma International (UK) Limited, a company that specialises in exporting surveillance equipment, won approval to sell six surveillance devices, known as International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) catchers, in October 2012, while Macedonia was engaged in an illegal mass surveillance programme.

    Macedonia’s former coalition government, led by Nikola Gruevski’s right-wing VMRO-DPMNE party, was ousted in December 2016 after leaked audio tapes showed the Macedonian secret services had illegally spied on the country’s citizens, including politicians, civil society activists and journalists, since at least 2011.

    Between 2008 and early 2015, the Administration for Security and Counterintelligence illegally intercepted conversations from nearly 6,000 phone numbers affecting more than 20,000 individuals.

    The public discontent that followed the revelations contributed to a change in leadership, when the VMRO-DPMNE lost public support and found itself unable to form a new government after more than a decade in power.

    How the British sold surveillance equipment to Macedonia

    Senior officers of the Macedonian UBK made a trip to London in 2010 and reportedly agreed the purchase of surveillance equipment from the British company Gamma International, part of the Gamma Group.

    Emails from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), obtained by Computer Weekly, confirm that Macedonia bought “interception equipment from Gamma” the following year.

    And in May 2012, the UK government approved an export licence to Gamma International to supply six sophisticated devices, called 3G-N 2F IMSI catchers, with a 3G Blind Call function.

    David Lidington, the then minister for state for Europe and current secretary of state for justice, was consulted on the decision. He did not wish to comment when approached by Computer Weekly.

    Gamma International

    In 2015, the Canadian research group Citizen Lab found that another Gamma-marketed product, FinFisher, was used in Macedonia.

    No export licence appears to have been issued for this specific software. One of the email conversations released by the FCO – dated 17 March 2016 – which refers to the UK's approval of an export licence for Gamma's IMSI catchers to Macedonia - states: “there were no other licences issued apart from one, which appears to be to enable export of goods under warranty/for repair”.

    In 2011, The Guardian reported on Gamma offering spying equipment to Egypt’s regime. Media and privacy campaigners’ attention has been high ever since. More recently, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has found Gamma to be in breach of human rights guidelines – the first time in history this has occurred for a surveillance software company.

    According to Gamma International’s UK filings, the company is currently 100% owned by Louthean John Alexander Nelson, born 1961, a British national who lives in Lebanon and works there as a security consultant. It is managed by two directors, Nelson himself and William Louthean Nelson, born 1932. The company is at present in poor financial health, having negative equity of £242,662. However, Offshore Leaks has shown Louthean John Alexander Nelson to be a shareholder in two British Virgin Islands companies.

    Gamma International (UK) Limited did not respond to requests for comment for this article.
    The IMSI catchers were capable of capturing and recording mobile phone voice calls, SMS messages and covertly recording details of mobile phone calls made within the range of their antennas – on a huge scale.

    The customer was the Ministry of Interior (MOI) in Skopje, the government department responsible for the policing of organised crime, and the Security and Counterintelligence Administration (UBK), Macedonia’s equivalent to MI5. The UBK was later implicated in the surveillance scandal that shook the country from early 2015.

    The Foreign Office’s Arms Export Policy Department (AEPD) and Human Rights and Democracy Department (HRRD), together with the British Embassy in Skopje, considered the human rights record of the Macedonia government before recommending approval for Gamma International’s export licence.

    Surveillance equipment needed to tackle organised gangs

    According to an internal report obtained by Computer Weekly, the Ministry of Interior intended to buy Gamma’s surveillance equipment for “geo-locating and tracking” the 3G mobile telephone traffic belonging to organised criminal gangs. “Organised crime remains a significant problem in Macedonia, and there is an operational need for the MOI to have the best equipment to combat it,” the FCO memo states.

    The document shows that if the Foreign Office team did have concerns over illegal surveillance by the Macedonian government, they were allayed by the Macedonian Parliament’s introduction of legislative controls to limit telephone intercepts to organised crime cases, and discussions in the Macedonian Parliament to improve Parliamentary oversight of surveillance.

    The report quoted heavily from the latest 2011 EU progress report on Macedonia, which noted that the Macedonian government had stepped up its supervision of the police, and that the Ministry of Interior had been willing “in several cases” to bring criminal cases against police officers involved in alleged criminal offences.

    However, it failed to mention that the same 2011 EU progress report on Macedonia had raised doubts about the ability of the Macedonian government to carry out effective oversight of the country’s police and intelligence services.

    The report states that the Macedonian Ministry of Interior unit “is yet to be transformed into an authority that is fully independent from the police with the ability to implement effective investigations”.

    “Parliamentary oversight of intelligence and counter-intelligence services remains weak. In 2010, only one session of the Parliamentary Committee was convened. There is insufficient cooperation between the Parliamentary Committee and the Bureau for Security and Counterintelligence,” it said.

    Covert mobile phone monitoring favoured by police forces

    IMSI catchers are a favoured form of surveillance for police forces around the world because they do not require cooperation from mobile operators to monitor large numbers of mobile phones. They can be used to send automated messages to crowds during protests.

    They gather data by conducting man-in-the-middle attacks against mobile phone users. The device pretends to be a cell tower and acts as a malicious relay for mobile phones in the area, which gives the IMSI operator the opportunity to eavesdrop on the network traffic.

    They can be worn on the body or in a backpack to allow police to mix with crowds or protests, and can also be used in cars or mounted in fixed locations. The fixed devices have access to better power supplies, giving them greater range and capabilities

    Gamma International’s IMSI catchers are capable of capturing and recording mobile phone voice calls, SMS messages and covertly recording details of mobile phone calls made within the range of their antennas – on a huge scale

    The range of IMSI catchers depends on the power available and the terrain of the area being monitored, but typically they can intercept calls anywhere from tens of metres to 1-2km. In “catch and release” mode, IMSI devices from some manufacturers can acquire metadata and location at a rate of “1,500 handsets per minute across five networks”.

    Gamma’s 3G IMSI catchers, whose specifications have been leaked online, allow the interception all voice calls and SMS messages either made or received. They can spoof the identity of a target phone to send SMS messages or make voice calls that appear to come from the person under surveillance.

    They can block calls so they are not received by the target, and divert or edit SMS messages before they are received. The company’s 3G Blind Call capability ensures that the phone can transmit information to the catcher without the target being aware.

    Gamma International’s catalogue shows the features of its IMSI catchers
    According to its sales brochure, Gamma’s IMSI catchers are capable of hoovering up metadata, location and SMS data, and phone conversations at a rate of up to 20 simultaneous calls recorded per device.

    UK government accused of short-sightedness

    Privacy campaigners have accused the UK government of short-sightedness in approving the export licence.

    “The UK government has consistently claimed that the current system of assessing licences is robust, but it’s clear here that it has failed to properly scrutinise the legal framework governing surveillance in Macedonia,” says Privacy International researcher Edin Omanovic.

    “The use of IMSI catchers is considered so sensitive in the UK that the police refuse to comment on them. Yet the government has been licensing their export to dozens of destinations, including to countries with horrific human rights records where surveillance is routinely used to target activists, journalists and opposition members,” says Omanovic.

    That the UK approved this licence to a department which appears to have been engaging in illegal wiretapping on a mass scale illustrates the huge risks involved and just how short-sighted and counter-productive this is.

    The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s assessment that Macedonia’s attempts to bring greater scrutiny to the UBK and stronger parliamentary scrutiny were to prove, at best, optimistic.

    A legal expert told Computer Weekly: “Where there are more red flags, one would generally expect enhanced due diligence to be conducted in respect of licence applications. In the case of Gamma International, this may extend to factors such as Gamma’s track record and Macedonia’s questionable human rights record.”

    Uranija Pirovska, who was the director of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights when the export licence was issued, says that in 2011 – the year before the UK government approved the export licence – there were already clear indications that Macedonians were living in a non-democratic regime.

    She cites the brutal murder of a young man at the hands of former prime minister Gruevski’s bodyguards on the night of the 2011 elections, and the arrest of opposition politician Ljube Boskovski the day after. It also emerged that the Ministry of Interior had tried to cover up the involvement of Gruevski’s bodyguards in the 2011 murder.

    When the leaked tapes came to surface in February 2015, Pirovska found she had been wiretapped since 2011. “We [activists and journalists] had the strong suspicion that we were being wiretapped back then, as you could hear that the phone conversation was not clean,” she says.

    The tapes also exposed several high-profile corruption scandals that are being investigated by the Special Prosecution (SJO). Accusations include money laundering, irregularities in public procurement, the illegal demolition of buildings belonging to political opponents, electoral fraud and more. Five cases involve the former prime minister Gruevski himself.

    Macedonia promises surveillance reforms

    Macedonia’s new government, led by the Social Democrats, was formed in May 2017. A particular challenge for the new administration is to prevent illegal surveillance in the future.

    The EU sponsored two investigations, led by former European Commission director Reinhard Priebe, to tackle systemic failures with the rule of law and widespread corruption in Macedonia. The two inquiries, known as the Priebe reports, were compiled in June 2015 and in September 2017 by a Senior Experts’ Group.

    They place particular focus on ensuring proper oversight over the Bureau of Security and Counterintelligence (UBK) and strongly recommend that the direct access to technical equipment by UBK should be removed.

    Responding to Computer Weekly, the Macedonian government affirmed its commitment to ensure this by following the recommendations set out in the Priebe reports. “Negative political influences have been removed, and the government is undertaking measures to strengthen the surveillance over the system for communication monitoring,” it says.

    Pressure groups have argued that it should be a key priority for the current Macedonian government to ensure that the country’s intelligence agencies never again get direct access to telecommunications networks, to prevent such abuses from happening in the future. That work, says the Macedonian government, has yet to be completed

    Why the FCO recommended the export of phone surveillance equipment to Macedonia

    Why did Macedonia need mobile phone surveillance equipment?

    There was “an operational need” for the Ministry of Interior to have the best equipment to help combat organised crime, which remained a significant problem in Macedonia, according to a Foreign Office memo obtained by Computer Weekly.

    “There have been recent high-profile killings in Macedonia, and an extensive effort was conducted to track perpetrators involving telephone intercepts of analysing the motives of the attack,” the memo says.

    Police operations against toll booth operators and the arrests of large numbers of police officers in eastern Macedonia in early 2012 illustrate the challenges facing police in combating organised crime.

    Did Macedonia have proper controls and oversight of state surveillance?

    According to the UK government memo, in 2007/8 the Macedonian Parliament adopted legislative controls that would enable telephone intercepts only in cases of organised crime. Legislative proposals being discussed in Parliament aimed to remove the Minister of Interior’s role in making decisions on interception and to improve oversight.

    What concerns were there about human rights in Macedonia?

    The EU and the US have been placing pressure on Macedonia over human rights since the country’s independence in 1991, the Foreign Office memo reveals. The US had raised concerns in its latest human rights report about the high level of complaints over the excessive use of force by police and the potential for “police impunity”.

    Non-governmental organisations and opposition parties had reported potential cases of arbitrary arrest or detention, and at least one instance of murder of a protester at the hands of the prime minister’s bodyguards. According to the EU’s annual progress report, corruption [in the police force] remained a serious problem and the oversight of the work of the police and intelligence services was too weak.

    Where were the mitigating factors for the Foreign Office?

    Despite complaints about excessive use of force by police in Macedonia, the FCO memo states that there had been no acts of unlawful or arbitrary killing. The Macedonian criminal code requires all warrants to be authorised by the investigative judge or a public prosecutor. “Of particular relevance to this licence request, the US report states that the government generally respects the prohibitions on arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home or correspondence.”

    What about police corruption?

    According to the EU’s annual progress report, cooperation between the Ministry of Justice and law enforcement needs to be strengthened, and the collection and processing of information on the extent and nature of corruption remains deficient. Corruption remains a serious problem, it says.

    What were the mitigating factors for the Foreign Office?

    According to the EU progress report, quoted by the FCO, the Ministry of Interior was “willing in several cases to bring criminal cases against police officers alleged to have been involved in criminal offences”. This was said to show that the Ministry of Interior had intensified its monitoring of police work.

    The verdict

    The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Arms Export Policy Department and the British Embassy in Skopje recommended that Gamma International (UK) Limited should receive a licence to export its “3G-N 2F IMSi catcher with 3G blind call” equipment to the Macedonian Ministry of Interior.

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  • Tomche Makedonche
    replied
    Macedonia to Trim Secret Police's Eavesdropping Powers

    Macedonia’s secret police, UBK, will no longer have unchecked powers to place people under surveillance, under a set of bills that form part of EU-recommended reforms of the security sector.


    Macedonia to Trim Secret Police's Eavesdropping Powers

    Macedonia’s secret police, UBK, will no longer have unchecked powers to place people under surveillance, under a set of bills that form part of EU-recommended reforms of the security sector

    A set of government proposed bills in Macedonia, aimed at improving civilian control over the security services, which Brussels has noted in the past as a serious issue, will enter parliamentary procedure this week.

    One of the main novelties contained in the bill on communications surveillance, prepared by the Interior Ministry, is that the secret police will no longer be in charge of the technical process of surveillance.

    Instead, the country will form a new Operational Technical Agency, OTA, which will be independent from the secret police and under much firmer civil control.

    Its work will be monitored closely by the Prosecutor’s Office, the bills envisage.

    Additionally, five institutions will monitor surveillance activities to prevent any repeat of past abuses and breaches of people’s privacy and other human rights, the government has proposed.

    Parliament, the directorate for classified information, the personal data protection agency, the Ombudsman’s Office and a newly formed civic council will all be engaged in the OTA’s monitoring work.

    As part of the system of checks and balances, OTA will only be in charge of collecting surveillance data, and will not be able to listen to and analyze them. Its chief will be appointed by parliament and will have to possess at least ten year's work experience in the police.

    The UBK will only be able to analyze the collected data but will no longer have the ability to eavesdrop itself.

    The current law allows the UBK to eavesdrop without seeking a court’s permission and without notifying the telecom operators.

    As part of the reforms, mobile operators will no longer be obliged to provide technical equipment to the UBK, with which it could easily penetrate their systems for surveillance purposes.

    The reforms in the security sector come as part of the new government’s drive to curb misuses of surveillance, after a mass illegal surveillance scandal rocked Macedonia in 2015, causing a long political crisis.

    Former Prime Minister and VMRO DPMNE chief Nikola Gruevski and his cousin, former secret police chief Saso Mijalkov, were accused of masterminding the illegal surveillance of some 20,000 people, including government ministers.

    They denied the charges. The crisis only ended this May with the election of a new Social Democrat-led government.

    In November 2016, the Special Prosecution, SJO, which was formed as part of an EU mediated agreement between Macedonia's parties and tasked with investigating allegations of high-level corruption, confirmed that the secret police ran the illegal wiretapping operation.

    As a result, Mijalkov and other former senior police officials are currently on trial for the illegal surveillance operation and for trying to destroy evidence of it.

    In October, Greek police arrested two runaway former Macedonian secret police employees whose testimonies in court, after their extradition to Macedonia, may shed additional light on the mass illegal wiretapping.

    If it carries out all the most urgent reforms, Macedonia's new government hopes to open acession talks with the EU next year.

    Leave a comment:


  • DirtyCodingHabitz
    replied
    Originally posted by Coleman View Post
    that is nonsense. the us does it all the time.
    Every country does it to its citizens and to foreign countries Cyberwarefare <---> Five Eyes.

    Leave a comment:

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