Report: Intelligence Bureau Rejects Settlement between Charbel, Sehnaoui over Telecom Dataإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Internal Security Forces Intelligence Branch rejected on Thursday a settlement made between Interior Minister Marwan Charbel and Telecommunications Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui concerning providing it with the text messages (SMS) circulated among the Lebanese, As Safir newspaper reported.
“The settlement would compromise the secrecy of the investigation and expose to others the identity of the suspects,” a security source told the newspaper.
Charbel agreed with Sehnaoui to provide the Intelligence Bureau with the text messages between citizens two months prior the assassination of Intelligence Bureau head Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan on October 19 without violating their privacy.
According to the agreement the Intelligence Bureau will be handed over at a first stage the movement of the text messages in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, but will not be able to view the texts.
In the second stage, the security agency will be able to view the content of the text messages between “suspicious” numbers.
“We have completely withdrawn from the debate over the telecom data... We have our own safe techniques to carry on our investigation in the assassination of al-Hasan,” the security source said.
The source lashed out at Sehnaoui, saying he isn't not acting out of his concern for the security situation in the country as much as he is seeking to acquire a stronger popular support.
The minister reportedly voiced his concern over threats he received threats by a security agency during a cabinet session.
Media reports said that the security agency also extended its request to acquire Facebook and several internet passwords that the Lebanese people use, under the pretext of “national security.”
However, the security source told As Safir newspaper that these demands has nothing to do with the investigation of al-Hasan assassination, saying they were old and several other security agencies including the army intelligence had requested these passwords.
The judicial authority, which is tasked with assessing the possibility of providing the security forces with the data, rejected the request submitted by the Intelligence Bureau.
The three-member authority stressed that the request clearly violates the constitution and law 140, which specifies the protection of communications data.
Sehnaoui previously said that he referred the request to the cabinet's general secretariat along with his recommendation to “reject” it.