Concerns about criminal code reform and electronic surveillance

first_img to go further News News RSF and 60 other organisations call for an EU anti-SLAPP directive BulgariaEurope – Central Asia Bulgaria: RSF condemns refusal to investigate reporter’s violent arrest November 2, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Concerns about criminal code reform and electronic surveillance March 10, 2021 Find out more RSF_en Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders is worried by a bill adopted by the Bulgarian cabinet on 20 October that would amend the criminal code section dealing with “crimes against the national and racial equality” of the country’s citizens. Prompted by Council of Europe recommendations, it would increase the penalties for discriminatory statements in the media to four years in prison and a fine of 5,000 to 19,000 levas (2,000 to 5,000 euros).Instead of applying just to incitement of racial, national or ethnic hatred (article 162-1), the penalties would henceforth cover “all forms of discrimination established by the law and agreements between states.” According to jurists, a total of 23 forms of discrimination are to be found in article 6-2 of the constitution and article 4-2 of the Law against Discrimination. They include not only sexual orientation, religion, ethnic origin and physical handicaps but also age, political affiliation, social and material status, and family situationIn statements to journalists, deputy justice minister Daniela Macheva has denied any intention to restrict free speech and says these sanctions will be applied only when the courts find a “continual and affirmed desire” to wage a discriminatory campaign against an individual or group.”“We are very concerned about this bill, which goes far beyond the Council of Europe’s prescriptions and contains too much imprecision as regards its scope,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Subjective interpretation of the new discriminatory elements and criteria could result in the courts punishing the expression of critical views or even investigative reports targeting, for example, the ‘material status’ of government officials, a very sensitive subject in Bulgaria.“Experience shows that attempts are often made in political, business and judicial circles to limit media investigation. The danger of this proposed law turning into legalized censorship is only too real and must not be neglected. There is also a danger that it would reinforce self-censorship, which is already widespread in Bulgaria.“We call on parliamentarians to treat this bill with the utmost caution when it is submitted to them. Amendments must be made to define with much more precision what racial hatred and the various forms of discrimination cover. We also urge them to conduct a dialogue on this subject with the relevant NGOs. They should be in no rush to deal with such a sensitive matter.”In another worrying development, the Bulgarian press has reported an “explosion” in recent weeks in interior ministry requests for detailed mobile phone bills and for access to information exchanges between Internet users. According to the daily Sega, the Sofia regional court has received 3,640 requests of this kind since 10 May, when amendments to the electronic information law were finally adopted after a long wrangle between the interior ministry and civil society. Sega says an average of 24 requests for phone-taps and dozens of requests for surveillance of computer IP addresses are made every day, of which the court rejects about a quarter.According to the law, these requests can only be made in cases involving serious crimes (punishable by at least five years in prison) and must always be the subject of a court decision. The heads of the various police departments can nonetheless obtain detailed mobile phone bills on “emergency” basis without going to court, as long as grounds are submitted to a court afterwards.“We fear an increase in these intercept requests and the possibility that, if applied to journalists, as they have been in the past, they could restrict the right to confidentiality of telephone and Internet communications,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The phone-tapping practised by the intelligence agency DANS in 2008 showed that it was easy for the authorities to sidestep the legal restrictions. We will follow developments in these issues closely.”Bulgaria is ranked 70th in the 2010 Reporters Without Borders world press freedom index.center_img Organisation Bulgaria’s general election: RSF publishes 10 proposals to rescue press freedom News News Receive email alerts BulgariaEurope – Central Asia February 11, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Bulgaria December 2, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

BBB: Tips for purchasing trustworthy ticketsHeather Massey is the regional director of the Permian…

first_img WhatsApp Facebook Pinterest Previous articleLacoy Oshay HawkinsNext articleOdessa Police Department Uniform Crime Reports from 2014 to 2018 Digital AIM Web Support Twitter Whether you want to take in a baseball game, concert, or festival, be careful of ticket scams when you purchase online. Thanks to the internet, there are countless ways for consumers to find tickets through online marketplaces, ticket sellers, and resellers. Unfortunately, some may be rip-offs and it’s not always clear how to tell if a ticket is fake. Last year, BBB received nearly 400 reports on Scam Tracker related to ticket scams. One Texas victim lost $700 in 2018 trying to buy Cotton Bowl tickets through electronic transfer, and another lost $500 trying to get tickets to ACL from an individual online. This issue has also caught the attention of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is holding a workshop next month to examine online event ticket sales. BBB offers the following tips for safely purchasing tickets: >> Purchase from the venue. Purchase tickets from the official venue, or their secondary sales options, whenever possible. >> Consider the source. It helps to know the difference between a professional ticket broker (who is a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket scalper (an unregulated, unlicensed ticket seller), and a scammer selling fake tickets. >> Use trusted websites. The lock symbol next to a web address when buying tickets online indicates the site is more than likely secure. Also using sites with ‘https’ where ‘s’ stands for secure. Online ads or emails may be unsafe sources. You can also look up ticket sellers and brokers on bbb.org to review their complaint history, customer reviews and any potential advertising concerns. You can also check if they’re a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers. >> Know the refund policy. Terms of the transaction, as well as when the tickets will be available and where the locations of the seats are, should be clearly disclosed prior to purchase. >> Use safe payment options. Payment options like credit cards allow you to potentially get your money back in a certain time frame if something goes wrong. >> Beware of ads. Advertisement popups might appear if you search for tickets online. They may advertise low prices, but you should use your judgement and know these could be scams. >> Verify your tickets. If you’re worried about your tickets, visit the event venue and talk to customer service. They’ll know if your ticket is legitimate and show you how you can tell if a ticket is fake. For more information on avoiding ticket scams, visit bbb.org/tickets. By Digital AIM Web Support – February 24, 2021 Local Newscenter_img TAGS  BBB: Tips for purchasing trustworthy ticketsHeather Massey is the regional director of the Permian Basin Better Business Bureau. Twitter Pinterest WhatsApp Facebooklast_img read more