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BREAKING Romanian Ministry of Defense wants to turn military intelligence into a…

Foto: MApN

BREAKING Romanian Ministry of Defense wants to turn military intelligence into a secret service with legal personality. The Directorate of Army Intelligence will be able to set up companies and have the right to carry out surveillance, interception and searches

Romania will have a new intelligence service with legal personality in addition to the existing ones. The Ministry of National Defense (MApN) has published a draft law aimed at transforming the General Directorate of Army Intelligence (DGIA, military intelligence) into a secret service with legal personality. The draft stipulates that the DGIA will remain under the Ministry of Defense, but in addition to funding from the budget it will be able to attract funds from „other legally constituted sources”, which means it will be able to set up companies in which it will be a shareholder, given that it will have legal personality.

The draft law provides that the General Directorate of Army Intelligence will be able to carry out surveillance, interception of communications and searches with a warrant from a judge. The current law governing the DGIA’s work (Law 346/2006) does not explicitly give the institution the right to carry out these actions, but it states that the directorate „coordinates the application of counter-intelligence measures”.

Another novelty in the draft law is that the Directorate General of Army Intelligence will be able to employ civilian staff. According to G4Media information, this provision is aimed at attracting civilian personnel specialized in IT, given that the new law provides for clear responsibilities of the DGIA in the areas of cyber security and defense.

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In addition, the draft provides for the creation of three new management posts: a first deputy and two deputies to the director-general.

Another novelty is the way in which the Director-General of DGIA will be dismissed. While the current law only stipulates that the Director-General is appointed by the Minister of Defence, the draft stipulates that the Minister of Defense appoints and dismisses the Director of Military Intelligence. As in the current law, the appointment requires the opinion of the Supreme Council of National Defense.

The draft initiated by the MApN establishes protection for DGIA personnel and guarantees that covert employees who have been exposed. This is particularly important for DGIA staff in theatres of operations, who can thus be extracted and protected by the institution in the event of exposure.

The bill shows that parliament will have control over the specific work of the Directorate-General of Defense Intelligence. Annually or at the request of Parliament, the Minister of National Defense shall submit reports on the work of the General Directorate of Defense Intelligence.

What is the reason for the reorganisation? The Ministry of Defense states in its explanatory memorandum that it „ensures a clear demarcation of tasks from those of the Defense Staff”, citing „the turbulent and unpredictable geopolitical context” and „the demands of Euro-Atlantic partners”.

The project is being undertaken by defense minister Angel Tîlvăr (PSD), whose father was head of counter-intelligence in Vrancea (a directorate of the communist secret police) before December 1989.

Main provisions of the draft:

Art. I. – (1) The General Directorate of Defense Intelligence is the central structure of the Ministry of National Defense, directly subordinated to the Minister of National Defense, with powers in the field of national security, with legal personality, which carries out missions and activities to identify, know, prevent, combat and counter internal and external, military and non-military risks and threats and to limit vulnerabilities to national security in the field of defense.

Art. 4 – (1) The activity of the General Directorate of Defense Intelligence shall be subject to parliamentary control exercised in accordance with Art. 9 para. (2) of the Law no. 51/1991 on the national security of Romania, republished, with subsequent amendments and additions.

Art. 5 – The Directorate General of Defence Intelligence is responsible for the defence intelligence domain, to which the following sub-areas of activity are circumscribed:
a) military intelligence;
b) military counterintelligence;
c) military security;
(d) defence representation and diplomacy;
e) protection and security of the main categories of human and material factors under the responsibility of the Ministry of National Defense;
f) Prevention of and fight against terrorism, according to Law No 535/2004 on the prevention of and fight against terrorism, as amended and supplemented;
g) management of official cipher activity and cryptographic systems under the responsibility of the Ministry of National Defense;
h) management of the public key infrastructure of the Ministry of National Defense;
i) cyber intelligence and cyber counter-intelligence, as defined by law.

Art. 11 – (1) The General Directorate of Defense Intelligence is authorized to use, create, acquire, own and use means, i.e. to use specific forms, methods and sources for collecting, processing, verifying, storing and exploiting information and data related to national security in the field of defense, under the terms of the law.
(2) In order to identify, prevent or counteract threats that may affect national security in the field of defense, the Directorate General of Defense Intelligence shall carry out the activities provided for in Article 13 a) – d) of Act No. 51/1991, republished, as subsequently amended and supplemented.

(3) In situations constituting threats to national security in the field of defense, the General Directorate of Defense Intelligence shall carry out the activities referred to in Article 13 (e) and (f) and Article 14 para. (2) of Act No 51/1991, republished, as amended and supplemented, in compliance with Article 14 (2) of the Act. (1) and Art. 15-21 of the same law.

(4) The use of the means of obtaining, verifying and exploiting data and information must not in any way infringe the fundamental rights or freedoms of citizens, their privacy, honor or reputation or subject them to unlawful restrictions.

Article 13:
(8) The Directorate General of Defense Intelligence shall ensure the protection and employment of covered personnel who have been exposed in circumstances that exclude their guilt.
(9) The personnel and their family members may benefit from protection of their person and property against threats or dangers to which they are exposed as a result of or in connection with the performance of their duties, under conditions established by order of the Minister of National Defense.

Art. 21.

(1) The financing of the General Directorate of Defense Intelligence shall be carried out from budgetary funds approved for this purpose, as well as from other legally constituted sources.

 

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