Hundreds of Bulgarians protested on Thursday against planned legal amendments allowing mass monitoring of emails, electronic messages and phone calls.
Under the changes to the electronic messages law, approved by parliament at first reading, Internet providers and mobile phone operators would be obliged to provide to police non-stop direct access to the electronic communication of all Bulgarians.
The national protest 'Bulgaria is not Big Brother, 2010 is not 1984' centered its attention on the Bulgaria Parliament and was supported by over 25 political parties and organizations including the the main opposition parties' – Bulgarian Socialist Party and the ethnic Turkish DPS party - MPs turned out to support the protesters.
Protestors, who rallied in front of parliament in Sofia shouting "Bulgaria is not Big Brother", said the proposed legal changes violated human rights.
"Seven million people do not deserve to fear they are being followed because of a drug dealer, a serial killer or whoever it might be," law student Simeon Simeonov, 22, said.
Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said last week that the government would most likely make changes to the proposed legislation to address the criticism before parliament discussed the law at a second, final reading later this month.