The Court in Warsaw grants the Polish Internal Security Agency the right to refuse access to data on Internet content blocking.
The Regional Administrative Court (WSA) dismissed the complaint of the ePaństwo Foundation on the decisions of the Internal Security Agency (ABW). The ABW refused access to the number and names of website blocked under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
At the hearing on April 11, 2017, the Court did not agree with our arguments. We emphasized that the regulation may limit freedom of expression and therefore the highest transparency in the application of the Anti-Terrorism Act is required.
Court decision and arguments
In the oral justification, the WSA referred to the current situation, which in the opinion of the court is distinguished by a high degree of terrorist threat and in its opinion justifies refusing to answer the Foundation’s request.
The court pointed out that in his opinion, that our question on the number of blocked sites was imprecise. Interestingly, for ABW itself it was clear and therefore it has not pointed out this problem at any stage of the proceeding. According to the court, the question should directly relate to the word “statistics”, although it later stated that this question should also remain unanswered, given the degree of terrorist threat.
The Foundation will ask for a written justification and will consider filing a cassation appeal with the Supreme Administrative Court.