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II. Surveillance policy

Communications surveillance

The law of Intelligence Operation determines the lawful disclosure of private secrets. According to the law, only a few organizations have a right to conduct "executive work." These organizations include Intelligence, military intelligence organization, police, enforcement agency (established by a court decision), and the Border Intelligence Agency.1 Those organizations are allowed to conduct surveillance (telephone and mail correspondence), to make secret inspection (including home, organization, vehicles, luggage, and things), and to use special equipment enabling them to intercept communications. However, they must first obtain a prosecutor's written permission.2 Moreover, the prosecutor must supervise all of their activities.3

In Mongolia, the Intelligence is responsible for registration of the surveillance equipment and for control of its usage. The prosecutor's office exercises control on registration of surveillance equipment. However, the law of Intelligence Operation does not include any regulation on the production or import of surveillance equipment. Moreover, the law does not ban the import, sale, possession, or use of surveillance equipment by citizens and organizations, and does not establish any legal ground for system of amenability on wrongdoers.

According to the Law on Approval of the List for State Secrets, the reports, news, studies of executive works, documents of special funds, documents of crimes under control or investigation, and other related issues4 are considered state secrets. Therefore, one cannot know how many people were investigated secretly, and who uses the surveillance equipment and for what purposes.

The Law of Mongolia on Telecommunications5 charges an administrative body with maintaining the "safety, efficiency and quality of telecommunications services, and to control the protection of privacy of correspondence."6 The law also obliges operators to protect the privacy of all information transmitted through telecommunications networks.7 The Government Intelligence Agency, with the consent of the prime minister, has monitored and recorded telephone conversations.8 The U.S. State Department reports that the extent of the monitoring is unknown, and that police wiretaps must be approved by a prosecutor's office.9

In 2000, the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia ("Commission"), which includes the Human Rights Ombudsman, was established by Parliament. The Commission is charged with the promotion and protection of human rights, and with monitoring the implementation of the provisions of human rights and freedoms10 enshrined in the constitution of Mongolia, laws and international treaties to which Mongolia is a party. The commission published human rights status reports11 in 2002 and 2003 and distributed them to the government and the broader public. The Commission has reported that police and other law enforcement agencies do not respect the security and liberty of persons and civil rights are often abused.12 Many of the country's laws leave much discretion to state authorities regarding search and entry into private premises, use of coercive measures, arrest and detention.13