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Romanian Intelligence Service [SRI]

Romanian intelligence agency for domestic matters. Provides press reports, articles, and other information. Founded in March 1990, the Romanian Intelligence Service [SRI] is Romania's main domestic intelligence service, and the only Romanian secret service under parliamentary scrutiny. But many opposition politicians, intellectuals and journalists consider that the successor organizations of the communist political police continue to use at least some of their predecessor's dubious methods to try to exert extensive control over the population.

From the outset SRI was depicted as President Ion Iliescu's "personal security service". The un-published Decree no 181 of 26 March 1990 which established the SRI stipulated that the new service was to be directly subordinated to the president, while Romania's parliament would have some control over it. The history of SRI, plagued by dissent and purges, appears to be rooted in the continuation under a new name of the communist-era secret service. In March 1994 is was reported that only one-third of approximately 15,000 Securitate officers had been offered employment in the new organisation.

The internal organization of the SRI remains obscure, but Division C is responsible for the protection of the national wealth, and Division A is responsible for the protection of the constitutional order.

The 1992 National Security Law defines national security very broadly and lists as threats not only crimes such as terrorism, treason, espionage, assassination, and armed insurrection, but also totalitarian, racist, and anti-Semitic actions, or attempts to change the existing national borders. Security officials may enter residences without proper authorization from a prosecutor if they deem a threat to national security to be "imminent."

The Constitution states that the privacy of legal means of communication is inviolable; thus, the Romanian Intelligence Service is legally prohibited from engaging in political acts (for example, wiretapping on behalf of the government for political reasons). However, the law allows security services to engage in such monitoring on national security grounds ater obtaining authorization. Similarly, although the law requires the SRI to obtain a warrant from a prosecutor to carry out intelligence activities involving "threats to national security," it may engage in a wide variety of operations, including "technical operations," to determine if a situation meets the legal definition of a threat to national security.

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