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Import of wire-tapping devices outlawed

Posted November. 22, 2000 15:40,   


The New Millennium Democratic Party's special committee on human rights, led by chairman Chung Dai-Chul, on Tuesday finalized revisions to the Law on Protection of the Privacy of Telecommunications designed to put a legal curb on the import of secret listening devices for use by the National Intelligence Service, the police and the prosecution.

The bill is expected to be presented for National Assembly consideration before its current regular session comes to an end. The proposed changes would call for sharply cutting down the number of crimes subject to official bugging from 123 to 82. The new law will allow tapping in the pursuit of crimes related to drugs, kidnapping and terrorism, but rule out eavesdropping on cases involving adultery with minors or on the pretext of marriage and delinquency of duty.

Under the proposed revisions the time allowed for emergency bugging will be shortened to 36 hours from 48 hours, the period for ordinary tapping on common criminal cases from three months to one month and that for crimes affecting national security from six months to three months. In the event of presenting the content of secret listening for trial proceedings the listener will be required to notify the defendant of the fact.