RA National Assembly Deputy Edmon Marukyan has written a letter to the RA Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan related to the concern of the “Union of Informed Citizens” NGO that the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation has access to personal data of citizens of the Republic of Armenia.
In particular, Marukyan writes that this issue was raised by the Programs Coordinator of the “Union of Informed Citizens” NGO Daniel Ioannisyan who reported and provided evidence that the Russian FSS has access to the personal data of Armenian citizens via the Border Management Information System (BMIS). BMIS electronic database stores scans of passports and vehicle registration documents, information on the date, time of crossing the border, direction and accompanying people, as well as other data that are stored for at least 7 years.
RA Government Decree N 884 of 2006 clearly stipulates which bodies can use the BMIS system. That list includes a number of RA state bodies, particularly some branches of law enforcement and the executive.
In response to the enquiry from the Union of Informed Citizens NGO, the Armenian National Security Service informed that they have granted the Russian Border Protection Department of the Federal Security Service access to the BMIS system, making a reference to the 1992 agreement between Armenia and Russia on the “Status and Activity of Border Troops of the Russian Federation in the Territory of Armenia”, without mentioning any specific provision.
It is obvious that the 1992 agreement cannot contain any clause related to the electronic system created in 2006.
Clause 6 of Article 27 of the RA Law on “Protection of Personal Data” clearly stipulates that “The personal data possessed by state bodies can be passed on to foreign state bodies only within the framework of international agreements”. And since there is no international agreement according to which Armenia shall pass the personal data of people crossing the RA state border to Russia, the transfer of the data is illegal.
“Granting access to and transfer of citizens’ personal data by the Armenian National Security Service to bodies of other governments is a mass violation of the citizens’ rights to protection of their personal data, stipulated in Article 34 of the RA Constitution”, Marukyan writes.
Taking the aforementioned into consideration, as well as based on Clause 1 of Article 5 of RA Law on National Assembly Rules of Procedure, Edmon Marukyan asked the Prime Minister to inform him whether he is aware of the facts mentioned above and, if so, what his position on the matter is.
Mr. Marukyan also suggested taking urgent measures to stop the illegal and mass violation of the rights of Armenian citizens and citizens of other countries.