The Romanian Ombudsman has notified the Constitutional Court over a recent emergency ordinance of the government which changed the legislation emergency calls and electronic communications, the institution announced on Thursday. The executive order forced all buyers of prepaid phone cards to present their IDs upon acquisition.
The Ombdusman said it found that the ordinance was breaching citizens' rights, liberties and duties and the initiator had to provide better motivation, proof of extraordinary circumstances that would match the restraining of rights.
The ordinance was published last week. It says prepaid cards would not be sold unless ID is provided when purchased starting January 1, 2020, while those who already hold such phone cards would no longer benefit of services starting September 1, 2020 unless they provide their personal data. The data would be stored by the state's special telecoms service STS for 5 years. The ordinance also introduces much bigger fines for false alarm to emergency phone number 112 starting next month.
The changes were hastened in the wake of a major criminal case in which a kidnapped teenager was murdered in the southern town of Caracal this summer, despite her calling to the emergency number repeatedly to call for help. The case was mostly blamed on the incapacity of authorities to react in due time and efficient manner.