[EDITORIALS]Terror law invites abuse

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[EDITORIALS]Terror law invites abuse

Preventing terror during the World Cup soccer games is an urgent task. There is intelligence information that the terrorists behind the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States are taking aim at the World Cup games. We have not determined the reliability of the information, but there is no doubt that we should come up with the best preventive measures for the worst possible case.

We have no laws to prevent terror, although the soccer event takes place in 80 days. That is a very serious problem. The anti-terrorism bill is pending at the National Assembly's Intelligence Committee because of several controversial clauses. Human rights organizations are putting on the brake, arguing that the bill violates civil rights. The head of the National Intelligence Service will command the military and police in the event of terrorist attacks, the bill states. Rights advocates said such a clause is extremely dangerous. They argued that the National Intelligence Service has long been criticized for its infringement on human rights and that the anti-terrorism center should not belong to the intelligence service.

As clearly stated when the anti-terrorism bill was first drafted, terrorism in pursuit of anti-civilization and anti-humanitarian causes must be stopped at all cost. We need strong and effective preventive measures. Yet, there should never be an infringement on human rights.

The intelligence service says that the bill identifies terrorism clearly and that the application of the law will be limited to prevent misinterpretation. Under the National Security Act, some unfortunate individuals were sacrificed by the abusive applications of the law.

We believe the intelligence agencies have been given too much latitude under the anti-terrorism act: The anti-terrorism center's head should be provided with information about terrorists' funds; authorities would have the right to tap communications for seven days. We admit that investigations should be covert and preventing terrorism is urgent. However, we feel unease whenever the intelligence service tries to assume more power.

Preventing infringement on human rights and political abuses are as important as the act itself. Listening to experts and public opinion is a way to clear the distrust.

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