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Mission
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Legislation
Secret intelligence gathering
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Economic security
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Communications security
Vetting


Legal Regulation
  Motto: "Not everything that is pursued secretly is illegal and not everything is illegal that is secret"

Like other state bodies our Office also operates and discharges its mission subordinated to the law.

The Information Office shall always operate within legal frames but its effort to protect the sovereignty and constitutional order of the Republic of Hungary it may impose restrictions on personal rights and freedoms and apply tools and methods of covert intelligence collection.

In compliance with the constitution, legislation on the national security services must be passed by two-thirds majority. The Act CXXV. 1995 drafted on this ground, went beyond this constitutional obligation that merely restricts the scope of operation in this way. Apart from the operation the law has provisions on the whole of the services as such (their names, control, staff, operational guarantees etc.).

Two-thirds majority is needed to amend these rules. Laws to be passed by simple majority might also include provisions on national security operation (e.g. Act CXXVI. 2000. on the Co-ordinating Centre to Combat Organised Crime). But these have to be in tune with the Act on the National Security Services.

The first ever national security act in the history of Hungarian law, considering its guarantees, elaboration and lucidity, does stand international comparison. Of course it does not have in sight the historical British-like official relationship to the services. In the home of parliamentarism to talk about these services in public was considered a taboo up until recent times. The mere existence of the "Security Service" was officially "admitted" first in 1989.
With the aim of settling certain minor details the law enables to create some lower level regulations (governmental, ministerial decrees). This happens to be the case, but the existence, operation and activity of the Office have been defined by much more unpublished governmental decrees, ministerial, general director's order, co-operational agreements than those of other state bodies. These of course cannot be in conflict with the laws that have been publicised.

An extensive system of constitutional control guarantees the lawful operation of the Office: the authority of the minister in charge to give guidance, control and supervise; the authority of the minister of justice to give authorisation for covert intelligence collection, parliamentary oversight, the right to appeal to the parliamentary commissioner and the right of complaint.



European Union
National security files