Fariñas seeks gov’t power to spy on foreign entities
House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas has filed a bill that would allow the government to conduct electronic surveillance on foreign entities without court order or warrant.
House Bill No. 7111, or the proposed Foreign Electronic Surveillance Act, would cover foreign governments or
government-controlled entities, as well as groups engaged in international terrorism or involved in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The proposal would also cover foreign-based private groups a majority of whose members or stockholders were not Filipino citizens.
“Agents of a foreign entity” would pertain to any person who engaged in “clandestine intelligence gathering” for
a foreign entity, or engaged in international terrorism or
In emergency situations, the justice secretary would also be allowed to authorize electronic surveillance on “any target,” if there is factual basis. But an application for a court order would have to be made to the Court of Appeals within seven days afterward.
Telecommunications companies would be shielded from legal liability for cooperating with the government.
Warrantless electronic surveillance on “foreign entities” outside the Philippines would require the authorization of the secretary of justice and the director general of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency.
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