Macedonia introduces universal, deep telco/Internet wiretapping; hardly any MPs bother to vote

A reader writes, "Today the Law of Electronic Communications was amended in the Macedonian parliament with 55 for and 9 votes against (of 120 total, 91 were present, the remainder abstained). In a very Orwellian manner, the law grants the government constant and direct access to electronic communication networks (mainly telcos and internet providers) and obliges the providers of these services to enable the government (Ministry of Interior) to download of traffic data without oversight, through equipment which provides an interface to logs for phone-calls, TCP/UDP/IP traffic and every other means of transferring data to and from machines. The provided link is from an NGO that started to raise awareness for the law, but sadly as the government here doesn't pay much attention to independent thinking, they ignored the whole initiative. You can find more information on why the law is bad."

Call for protection of citizens' privacy in the Republic of Macedonia


  1. Happened in Sweden a year ago as well. There are some “checks and balances” in place, but the difference to the Macedonian situation is mainly cosmetic.

    We are all going down the slippery slope to fascism.

  2. What is this — like Yugoslavia/former Yugoslavia day at boing boing?

    Incidentally, I knew of this guy who was not too long ago (late last year?), heading into Macedonia for a rally, and was detained at the border over night. I believe he was finally allowed to travel on, but most likely only because he was lucky enough to be high profile in the region to cause an outcry over his detainment…

    1. Oh tosh!
      Think of what you’d be missing.
      The music seems nice, and the native dress quaint and curious.

      And the best local booze is probably not too shabby, either. If, that is, you can find any.

      1. The local booze rocks. Have a Skopsko Beer or some home made Rakija and you will never want anything else.

  3. Interestingly, Macedonia has been trying hard to position itself as a good place to open IT companies, with things like lower taxes, ease of opening a company, high speed communications infrastructure, privacy, skilled labour force and so on.

    I guess this move really kicks the ass of all those plans. No sane IT company is going to make an effort to open offices there now.

  4. This is not good ,everybody will be monitored 24/7 ,this has some background intentions ,this will bring the worlds trend against piracy in Macedonia and the citizens will pay the price.One of the most beautiful countries in the world will break down ,the economy will go deep in the mad like some one said no one from the IT companies will invest now in Macedonia

  5. Wow. I was just coming along to mail in a link about a very similar law that was due to be passed in Lebanon on Tuesday.

    Voting on that bill has now been postponed for a month, but I don’t have high hopes of it being dropped all together, maybe some boingboing publicity could help.

    – here’s a link to a blog summary with some of the highlighted offensive articles:
    – obligatory facebook page:

  6. Macedonia, Lebanon, sounds like a trend.

    Perhaps, as an organisinf tool a map of the planet with dates that bills are being introduced with a colour code, red for Macedonian type law, yellow for Canadian type law and green for what India is doing – and links to documentation and rights groups working in the nation concerned.

    I don’t have the expertise, do you know someone who does?

  7. You can’t have much of the local booze, they are sanctioning that as well.

    Macedonia lives in what one person called retrocommunism. All the totalitarian things from communism and none of the good stuff (like job security and low crime rates)

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