"One military security service enough for Serbia"

BELGRADE -- Director of the Military Security Agency (VBA) Svetko Kovač is of the opinion that one military security service is enough for Serbia.

Svetko Kovač (Beta)
Svetko Kovač (Beta)

One military security service that would be both intelligence and security one is enough for Serbia with these needs, Kovač said at the Serbian parliament.

Asked by reporters to comment on the idea for merging the security services into one national service, Kovač noted that the VBA had earlier proposed that, and even drafted a project for merging, adding that would be a topic of the debate, after which a decision would be delivered.

Speaking about changes to the Law on the VBA and the Military Intelligence Agency (VOA), on which the parliament is holding a debate in principle on Monday, Kovač said that up to now, the law had envisaged that the VBA director should grant a warrant for secret surveillance of telecommunications without access to the content, but that in the future, that decision would be delivered by the Higher Court.

“As part of this solution, we introduced a mechanism so as not to reduce the efficiency of services, i.e. emergency protocols. In emergency situations, the VBA director could issue a warrant for the implementation of this measure, but it has to ask for a judge's approval. It has been agreed that should be applicable 24/7,” he explained.

According to Kovač, the essence is that access to the content of communication was not possible even before, but that was access to the stored data without access to their content.

“That will remain in force, which means 'without access to the content', and that provides authorities with access to phone call logs - who talked with whom, for how long,” Kovač specified.