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Saturday, November 22 2014 @ 04:00 PM EST

New Wire Tapping Law To Be Reformed

Law & Lawyers By Jossmar Castillo for El Siglo - Faced with many arguments complaining about their intentions to implement a new security law governing communications, Panama's Minister of Government and Justice, José Raúl Mulino, said the document being discussed on the street is not the same as the one presented before the Cabinet Council on 4 August. He announced this on the Sunday Open Debate television show, where the proposal was defended by some and buried by others. "We have made several changes to this document and it will be submitted again to the Cabinet Council," said Mulino, without providing any details on what was changed. The Minister expects the bill to go to the National Assembly. "That is where they will really discuss and enrich the project," he said, while clarifying that within the Presidency there will not be any kind of a telephone monitoring device which he said "are controlled by judicial regulations." This point was rejected by Miguel Antonio Bernal. "We should not be discussing a document that has not even been presented to the National Assembly," he said. Bernal believes that one of the bill's controversial articles, is article number two, which permits the Public Ministry and not the Supreme Court of Justice, to authorize wire taps. This bill allows, through a court order, for telephone conversations to be intercepted in cases where it is necessary to guarantee the safety of a person, and it also requires cell phone companies to register their prepaid customers. It is expected the bill will be presented this week to the full session of the National Assembly by Minister Mulino. (See Comments)

Editor's Comment: The slang term being used most frequently surrounding this bill is "pinchazo" or a "big pinch." This goes back to the days when a wire tap actually involved some 007 type breaking into the telephone panel of a home or office and actually placing a physical recording device that was connected to the telephone wires using small little alligator clips that would "pinch" the wires. And, Martinelli's people are trying to control the language being used in this discussion. Security Secretary José Abel Almengor pointed out that "pinchazos" are illegal, while the "interventions" allowed and authorized under this new law would be legal. Any time a government agency starts to get closer to the communucations people naturally get concerned over their rights to privacy. Personally I'm not concerned at all because I'm not doing anything wrong. My cell phone conversations usually have to do such blazingly interesting topics such as the pressing need for more diapers, what's for dinner, and other routine and similarly boring domestic chatter and the like. Law enforcement officials tasked with actually performing these kinds of duties are faced with the daunting task of first isolating the target, then finding the right call in the mass of all calls in Panama being conducted at any one time, and then catching that one particular guy in the act of doing something bad, and then capturing that data in such a way for it to be used as evidence. Even if they did stumble onto my phone as soon as they hear the word "diapers..." they would move on to something much more interesting. Anyway, the word of the day is "pinchazo".

Reformaron “los pinchazos”

Jossmar Castillo jacastillo@elsiglo.com

Presentarán modificaciones en Consejo de Gabinete mañana

Ante tantas críticas surgidas por las intenciones de aplicar una ley de seguridad en las comunicaciones, el ministro de Gobierno y Justicia, José Raúl Mulino, manifestó que el documento que se comenta en la calle, no es el mismo presentado ante el Consejo de Gabinete el pasado 4 de agosto.

Así lo dio a conocer durante el programa Debate Abierto dominical, donde el proyecto era defendido por unos y sepultado por otros.

“A este documento se le han hecho cambios y será presentado nuevamente al Consejo de Gabinete”, manifestó Mulino, sin dar detalles de cuáles serán las modificaciones.

El Ministro espera que el proyecto llegue a la Asamblea Nacional de Diputados. “Ahí es donde verdaderamente se va a discutir y enriquecer el proyecto”, siguió comentando el funcionario, mientras aclaraba que dentro de la Presidencia no habrá un aparato “pinchador” de llamadas y “el que se conoce tiene reglamentación judicial”, siguió.

Este punto es rechazado por el abogado constitucionalista, Miguel Antonio Bernal. “No deberíamos estar discutiendo un documento que ni siquiera es el que va a ser presentado en la Asamblea”, dijo.

Considera que uno de los artículos polémicos, es el número dos, el cual le permite al Ministerio Público y no a la Corte Suprema de Justicia, la autorización de hacer las intervenciones.

Este proyecto de ley permite que, a través de una autorización judicial, las conversaciones telefónicas puedan ser intervenidas en casos donde se requiera procurar la seguridad de una persona y buscará que las empresas de telefonía celular registren a sus clientes prepago.

Se espera que el proyecto de ley sea presentado esta semana en el pleno de la Asamblea, por el mismo Mulino.

EN LA ASAMBLEA

Intervenciones no “pinchazos”José Abel Almengor considera que intervención y pinchazo no es lo mismo. “El pinchazo es ilegal, la intervención no”.

Cambios Autoridades aseguran que las modificaciones son para mejorar.

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