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Time limit on intelligence data about citizens

Classified data will be kept up to 50 years. L’Echo and De Tijd reported on Tuesday (2 August) that the time during which the civil intelligence body in Belgium (La Sûreté de l’Etat) can store information about citizens will be limited. Until now there was no procedure for declassifying information.

A royal decree will be published on Wednesday to that end, limiting the period to 50 years. Exceptions to the rule include information with historical value recognized by the state archives and information necessary for the work of the intelligence service or still part of an on-going process.

In cases like these the intelligence service will reassess on a regularly basis – or every five year – if the information is still essential. Procedures will also be put in place to destroy data, something which have been missing until now.

The Brussels Times (Source: Belga)