Secret, targeted surveillance in Hungary
Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU)
Privacy and Data Protection
Negative rulings at first instance, but appeals ongoing
Domestic law on surveillance in Hungary does not require individuals who have been subjected to surveillance measures to be notified of that fact. This means there are no adequate safeguards in place to find out about or challenge unwarranted surveillance. It also ultimately gives the government the power to surveil anyone they want without fear of being challenged.
HCLU is supporting interrelated cases concerning three human rights activists in Hungary who have experienced this directly. The activists think they are being surveiled because of their activism, but are not able to confirm their suspicions, gain access to information on what is being collected about them, or challenge the legality of this surveillance. Two cases have been taken to domestic courts and one to the European Court of Human Rights, where HCLU are arguing that there is no effective remedy against unlawful surveillance in Hungary.
The first instance of each case ended without the desired results. However, HCLU is continuing with appeals for all cases to demonstrate that there are no effective remedies before proceeding to the European Court of Human Rights.
"There are no adequate safeguards in place to find out about or challenge unwarranted surveillance"
To get a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights leading to the government of Hungary creating a legal environment more conducive for human rights defenders and activists to challenge surveillance, strengthen freedom of expression, and bolster the right to privacy.