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Source: Belgium may ban selling anonymous SIM-cards for cell phones due to Brussels attack

March 31, 12:07 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
According to the source, the parliament will start reviewing the draft law banning selling SIM-cards for cell phones to people without identification documents after Easter holidays
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© Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

BRUSSELS, March 31. /TASS/. The Belgian authorities are preparing a ban on selling anonymous SIM-cards for cell phones, a source in the country’s parliament told TASS on Thursday.

"After Easter holidays [on April 4], the parliament will start reviewing the draft law banning selling SIM-cards for cell phones to people without identification documents," the source said.

After the law is adopted, all SIM-cards will be registered in a special list with mandatory indication of the owner’s national registration number - the electronic code of their passport. "This is necessary to limit opportunities of terrorist organizations to carry out covert communication," the source noted.

He noted that the Belgian government and Belgian telecommunications regulator BIPT (Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications) have been discussing the necessity to require identification of all cell phone users for three years already. However, the draft law was actively opposed by the human rights commission that noted violations of privacy and consumer rights commission that warned about commercializing the list of SIM-cards and using it for marketing aims and for distributing advertisements.

A series of terrorist attacks hit the Belgian capital on March 22. Two bombings at Brussles Airport in Zaventem were followed by a bombing at Maalbeek metro station in the capital. Belgium hiked its terror threat to its highest level (level 4) and closed the borders. The police has identified three suicide bombers - they were all members of the Brussels terrorist group linked to terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015.

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