Peru’s government has ordered telecommunications companies to grant police warrantless access to cellphone users’ locations and other call data in real time.
Civil libertarians say Monday’s decree is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy.
The government published the decree on a national holiday, a day before Peru’s independence day celebrations when most businesses are closed.
Enacted under special powers that lawmakers recently granted the government, the decree specifies that telecoms store so-called metadata for three years.
The government says the measure is needed to fight organized crime in a country plagued by cocaine trafficking, extortion and murder-for-hire.
The decree does not allow eavesdropping on actual conversations without a court order. But it does let police know exactly where someone is making a call, at what time and to whom.