TODAY’S – Minister: TIB will be restructured to ensure agency not compromised

Minister: TIB will be restructured to ensure agency not compromisedMinister of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Lutfi Elvan has said there is a need to reorganize the Telecommunications Directorate (TIB), a state body that has the authority to carry out legal wiretaps, in order to protect the confidentiality of sensitive information within the institution and prevent the occurrence of further security breaches. Elvan, highlighting that the government does not know what kind of activities the TIB was involved in before the Dec.

17 and 25 graft investigations last year — operations which implicated several ministers and pro-government businessmen — said the institution had been compromised in the past due to the passing of secret data to outside parties with the collaboration of some employees in the agency.Elvan also said the government is readying itself to take concrete steps toward a structural change in the TIB.

He added that moving the TIB to a new building is also on the governmentand#39s agendaThe TIB became a subject of controversy over claims that the agency engaged in spying for foreign countries. Teams from the Ankara police departmentand#39s anti-terror unit raided the office of the TIB several times as part of an investigation launched by the GlbaII Chief Prosecutorand#39s Office over allegations that sensitive information at the TIB was passed to foreign countries.

The investigation examined claims that the archives of the TIB were completely erased, copied and given to foreign countries before their deletion. The investigation also sought to ascertain whether the entire digital memory and logs at the TIB for the period prior to 2012 were deleted.

Main opposition Republican Peopleand#39s Party (CHP) deputy Erdal Aksunger commented on the police raids at the organization by saying that the goal of the raids was to eliminate all evidence related to the corruption investigations of Dec. 17 and 25.

The corruption scandal that exploded on Dec. 17, 2013 and grew to include numerous high-profile figures, including President Recep Tayyip ErdoIanand#39s son, Bilal, as well as turning Turkeyand#39s political agenda upside down, was a landmark event.

It was followed by government actions such as a purge of members of the judiciary and the restructuring key state agencies in accordance with the governmentand#39s political ambitions.Another controversy the TIB was involved in had to do with the appointment of a bureaucrat from the countryand#39s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) as TIBand#39s new head in 2013, shortly after the corruption investigations, a move that drew the ire of opposition parties.

It was also claimed that the Cabinet secretly hired 75 new personnel for the TIB under special conditions of employment, according to a news report in the Cumhuriyet daily in SeptemberThe daily claimed that the hiring of new 12 legal experts and 63 engineers by the TIB was not even published in the Official Gazette, casting suspicion on the governmentand#39s intention in the hires. Those 75 new personnel have reportedly been granted the right to quit whenever they want and given the guarantee that they will not be sacked as long as they donand#39t commit a serious disciplinary offense.

They are reportedly be paid a salary of TL 10,000-17,000, which is above the standard salary for employees in the public sector.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman