Secrecy of Correspondence

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Secrecy of Correspondence


one of the democratic freedoms of the individual. Secrecy of correspondence signifies the inviolability of postal and telegraphic communications of all kinds: letters, telegrams, small packets, parcels, and money orders.

In the USSR, Article 56 of the Constitution guarantees the secrecy of citizens’ correspondence. Correspondence may be attached and removed from postal and telegraph offices only with the sanction of a procurator or by a court decision for the purpose of fighting crime and preserving public order and state security.

Republic legislation—for example, Article 176 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the RSFSR—provides that the personal correspondence of citizens may be read out in an open court session only with the consent of the correspondents; in any other such case, such correspondence is examined in camera. In the USSR, violation of the secrecy of citizens’ correspondence entails criminal liability, as set forth, for example, in Article 135 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR (see alsoFREEDOMS, DEMOCRATIC).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
These are such situations as: oral or written disclosure of direct information; failure of secrecy of correspondence and communication; disclosing the information to one or more persons; disclosing the information directly or with the use of technical means; involving inadequate protection of medical documentation; leaving the database and documents without supervision, allowing unauthorized persons to get acquainted with their contents.
As a result, private documents belonging to employees and third parties were searched, an action that violated those individuals' rights to secrecy of correspondence and protection of personal data.