Turkey's president ratifies new intelligence bill

Photo: Turkey's president ratifies new intelligence bill / Turkey

Turkey's President Abdullah Gul signed into law on Friday a bill that grants broader powers to the country's top intelligence agency, MIT, Anadolu agency reported.

The measure, which was approved by the parliament last Thursday, gives MIT the mandate to maintain contact with any domestic or foreign institution and grants extended scope for eavesdropping.

Under the legislation, all public and private institutions would be required to open their data to MIT upon demand and the agency's permission would be necessary for prosecutors to launch an investigation into MIT's activities.

Intelligence officials would also be able to contact prisoners and convicts serving jail terms.

The bill also enables a parliament committee to audit the organization, together with the police intelligence bureau, gendarmerie intelligence unit and financial crime investigation board.

People who publish classified MIT documents would face prisons terms of up to nine years.

The new law needs to be published in the Official Gazette - a daily printed record of legislative acts and notices - before it enters into force.

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