QuickLinks - Interception
Issue no. 129 - 16 October 1999
- C.I.A. to Nurture Companies Dealing in High Technology
(New York Times)
Hoping to insure that the nation's spies have the latest information technology in the rapidly changing Internet age, the Central Intelligence Agency has established a venture capital company to nurture high-tech companies.
- Die IETF überlegt, ob sie Abhörmöglichkeiten in Standards integrieren soll
Die Internet Engineering Task Force ( IETF), ein internationales Gremium, das sich mit den Standards des Internet beschäftigt, die die Interoperabilität des Netzes aller Netze garantieren, sieht sich offenbar einem schwierigen Problem ausgesetzt, nämlich ihrer Haltung zu Technologien, die das Abhören im Internet ähnlich wie bei Telefonsystemen ermöglichen.
- Germany - Bundestag berät über Zugriff auf Verbindungsdaten
Ein veralteter Paragraf erlaubt schon anlässlich kleinerer Vergehen einen staatlichen Zugriff auf Verbindungsdaten im Telefonverkehr. Gegen dessen Fortbestand sprachen sich jetzt Datenschützer und Grüne aus.
Issue no. 128 - 28 September 1999
- UK - Surveillance: A special report
A News Special that examines the reasoning behind government plans to snoop on our electronic communications. It probes leading industry experts and asks what are the true motives behind the plans, which could be in place as early as next year.
Issue no. 127 - 20 September 1999
- USA - FBI, Cos. Strike Software Agreement
The FBI reached a first-of-its-kind agreement enabling telecommunications companies to use computer software made by Nortel Networks to assist law enforcement agencies in conducting lawfully authorized wiretapping.
Issue no. 126 - 8 September 1999
Issue no. 125 - 3 August 1999
- U.S. backs off private monitoring
With criticism rolling in from all quarters, U.S. government officials backed away from a controversial plan to monitor private-sector networks for hacking activity. The proposed Federal Intrusion Detection Network (FIDNET) proposes to monitor critical systems for security breaches arose out of concerns about the growing vulnerability of government computer networks and sensitive private-sector networks to hackers. But a spokesman denied that there is any plan for the surveillance of private online data. see also What the Fidnet?!! (Industry Standard)
Issue no. 122 - 7 July 1999
- UK - Britain Sneaks "Enfopol" Plan Into Action
Controversial new plans for intercepting e-mail, the Internet, pagers, mobile phones and all new types telecommunications services were proposed in Britain last week. If the new law is passed as proposed, all "communications service providers" (CSPs) will be required at their own expense to build in government interception facilitities to their networks.
Issue no. 120 - 14 June 1999
- Only NSA can listen, so that's OK
Giant US software manufacturer Lotus has been lowering the profile of information about how they have installed an NSA-only trapdoor into e-mail and conference systems used by many European governments, including the German Ministry of Defence.
Issue no. 119 - 7 June 1999
- Japan: More Crime, Less Privacy
Privacy issues have taken center stage as Japan prepares to enact legislation allowing the police to eavesdrop on phone calls, intercept fax and computer transmissions, and read email. The draconian measures are ostensibly intended to help law enforcement halt premeditated murders, trafficking in drugs and guns, and smuggling of illegal aliens into Japan. See also Crossbow Incident Linked To Japan Wiretap Bill(Newsbytes).
Issue no. 118 - 21 May 1999
- Cyber Sillies
Duncan Campbell examines the background to the publication on the Internet of British MI6 officers' names. He claims that had MI6 kept quiet instead of issuing a D-notice, the message would have been ignored and disappeared. [Ed: the author may be right about it being ignored, but not about it disappearing without trace. see DejaNews].
Issue no. 117 - 8 May 1999
- European Parliament Debates Wiretap Proposal
(New York Times)
The European Parliament debated a controversial resolution that would provide the technical infrastructure to enable police agencies to eavesdrop on Internet, fax and cell phone communications to combat money laundering, terrorism, child abuse and drug trafficking.
- New STOA report on interception
(Duncan Campbell for STOA)
Report on the development of surveillance technology and risk of abuse of economic information. This study considers the state of the art in Communications intelligence (Comint) of automated processing for intelligence purposes of intercepted broadband multi-language leased or common carrier systems, and its applicability to Comint targeting and selection, including speech recognition.
Issue no. 116 - 1 May 1999
- Australia - ASIO out to spy on e-mail
(Sydney Morning Herald)
Australia's spy catchers today revealed plans to go after spies and terrorists through their computers, financial transactions and tax records. Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) Director-General Dennis Richardson said the organisation was seeking changes to its powers which gave it a capability to use 1990s technology.
Issue no. 106 - 29 January 1999
- USA - Wiretapping Requests Not Affordable, CTIA Tells FCC
The technology that law-enforcement agencies want installed to support wiretapping would add $1 million to the cost of every wireless switch, according to the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA). The association claimed the total cost of providing the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other law enforcement agencies with all the capabilities they are seeking would exceed $5 billion.
Issue no. 101 - 17 December 1998
- Germany - Abhörkompetenz des BND vor dem Bundesverfassungsgericht
Heute und morgen findet eine Anhörung zur Aufgabenstellung des Bundesnachrichtendienstes (BND) im Bundesverfassungsgericht (BVerfG) in Karlsruhe statt. Dabei werden die rechtlichen Grundlagen und technischen Möglichkeiten des BND im Bereich der elektronischen Fernmeldeaufklärung auf ihre Verfassungskonformität hin überprüft.
Issue no. 99 - 5 December 1998
- Europe Is Listening
The European Union is quietly getting ready to approve legislation that will allow the police to eavesdrop both on Internet conversations and Iridium satellite telephone calls without obtaining court authorization.
Issue no. 98 - 30 November 1998
- EU plant europaweite Abhöraktionen
Pin-Nummern von Handys, die Kennwörter von Mailboxen, die Rufnummern von Gesprächsteilnehmern oder die Paßwörter im Internet müssen künftig von Netzbetreibern in Europa an die Polizei weitergeleitet werden, wenn ein Internet- oder Telefonbenutzer strafverdächtig ist und abgehört werden soll.
- EU - Enfopol-Papiere
[reports including full text of "restricted" Council Working Party document in German] In der Artikelserie "Die ENFOPOL Papiere" analysiert Telepolis die Pläne der Europäischen Union zur flächendeckenden Überwachung von Telekommunikationssystemen und rückt diese in den Kontext bestehender Systeme wie Echelon sowie anderer Anstrengungen europäischer Sicherheitsbehörden, mehr Überwachungsmöglichkeiten und -Befugnisse zu erhalten.
Issue no. 95 - 11 November 1998
- Netherlands - Refusal to snoop lands ISP in court
A defiant Dutch Internet service provider, XS4ALL, will meet the country's Ministry of Justice head-on in court next week, a year after it refused to tap the Internet activities of one of its subscribers. The ISP said there was no adequate legal basis for intruding on the privacy of one of its subscribers, that existing tapping laws applied only to telephony while tapping was illegal under computer security laws.
- USA - Wiretapping Internet Phone Lines
The 1994 Digital Telephony law, which requires telecommunications companies to wire surveillance technology into their networks, could force Internet telephony firms to configure their systems to be easily wiretapped by law enforcement agencies. A Federal Communications Commission official, who declined to be identified, said the FCC is trying to decide how the law should apply to IP telephony and what types of Internet phone calls should be covered.
- Mobile Trace: the GSM is like Tom Thumb
(Electronic Commerce Europe)
A form of geographic wiretapping exists for each GSM in the "on" state, i.e. for 82 million mobile telephones. The battery must be connected, but it is not necessary to make a call to be traced automatically.
Issue no. 93 - 29 October 1998
- UK - Big Brother Preis geht an Echelon
Die Britische Abhörstation Menwith Hill wurde mit einem "Lifetime Award" für permanente Verletzung der Menschenrechte ausgezeichnet.
- USA - Report due on high-tech spies
A Washington DC civil liberties organization will send a detailed report on a National Security Agency's top-secret high-tech spying network to members of Congress later this week. The report, "Echelon: America's Spy in the Sky," details the known history and workings of the agency's global electronic surveillance system. The system is reportedly able to intercept, record, and translate any electronic communication-such as telephone, data, cellular, fax, e-mail, telex-sent throughout the world.
- USA - Showing goods intentions
A Washington DC civil liberties organization will send a detailed report on a National Security European Commission proposals to reform export control on certain goods could have profound implications for the telecomms industry.
Issue no. 92 - 22 October 1998
Issue no. 91 - 16 October 1998
- Kurds retaliate in Turkish jam war
A Kurdish satellite TV station is launching a major campaign to combat what it alleges is the persistent interference of its transmissions by the Turkish Government. Med-TV says it is considering taking the issue to the European Court of Human Rights and has won the backing of the anti-censorship pressure group, Article 19.
Issue no. 89 - 8 October 1998
- Did EU Scuttle Echelon Debate?
The European Parliament has swept aside concerns about alleged surveillance and spying activities conducted in the region by the US government, a representative for Europe's Green Party said Monday. Specifically, the EU allegedly scuttled parliamentary debate late last month concerning the Echelon surveillance system. Echelon is a near-mythical intelligence network operated in part by the National Security Agency.
Issue no. 87 - 1 October 1998
- EU - Eavesdropping on Europe
If the European Parliament has its way, the lid is about to come off what is reputedly one of the most powerful, secretive, and extensive spy networks in history -- if, in fact, it really exists. In October, Europe's governing body will commission a full report into the workings of Echelon, a global network of highly sensitive listening posts operated in part by America's most clandestine intelligence organization, the National Security Agency.
Issue no. 84 - 18 September 1998
- UK - Police tighten the Net
The police, MI5 and the Home Office are trying to push through a scheme to pressure other service providers to hand over private e-mail information without the court order that is required for telephone calls and the mail. Are the police taking liberties with our privacy? Two weeks ago, police entered the offices of Demon Internet, one of Britain's biggest Internet companies, and seized two computer servers and computer logs. The "Wonderland" raids, organised by Britain's National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS), took place just days before a police, MI5 and industry discussion group is due to meet to agree "law enforcement" access to private information about the Net and its users.
Issue no. 83 - 16 September 1998
- USA - A Call for Digital Surveillance Is Delayed
(New York Times)
In a setback for the FBI, the Federal Communications Commission has given the telecommunications industry an additional 20 months to comply with a federal law meant to bring law enforcement surveillance into the digital age. But in extending the deadline the commission deferred action on some of the most disputed facets of the issue, which has pitted law enforcement officials against telephone equipment manufacturers, network-service providers and privacy-rights advocates.
Issue no. 82 - 11 September 1998
- EU / US - Tip for tap
Next week in the European Parliament, the European Commission will make its first official statement about the impact on member states of the top secret Anglo-American "Echelon" communications intelligence system. The EC statement to the European Parliament on "transatlantic relations" will cover discussions on communications at the May 1998 EU/US summit "and the use of monitoring techniques in the field of communications (Echelon system)".
Issue no. 80 - 13 August 1998
- Russian Web site fights government monitoring effort
Anatoly Levenchuk, who fears the Russian government has plans to monitor all Internet traffic in the country, is fighting back. On his own site, the Web-savvy Muscovite has published details of what he says is a new Russian secret police project known as SORM -- system for ensuring investigative activity. Levenchuk calls it the Russian Internet wiretap project. "I'm afraid that this is (a) return back to Big Brother," he told CNN.
Issue no. 79 - 11 August 1998
- Germany - Überwachungspläne auf Eis gelegt
Die Überwachung des Internet steht in Deutschland fürs Erste auf wackeligen Füßen. Das Bundeswirtschaftsministerium verschob die Entscheidung auf unbestimmte Zeit.
Issue no. 76 - 28 July 1998
- Germany - "Legales Abhören" im Internet
Die Regierung habe in einem Entwurf für die neue Telekommunikations-Überwachungs-Verordnung einen "Lauschangriff" auf Datennetze wie das Internet vorgesehen, meldete das Nachrichtenmagazin "Focus" in einer Vorabmeldung zu seiner neuesten Ausgabe. Damit könne der Inhalt von E-Mails oder Internet-Gesprächsforen ausgewertet werden. Bundesinnenminister Manfred Kanther (CDU) wolle eine Such-Software einführen, die das Internet nach verbotenen Inhalten durchforste. Innenstaatssekretär Kurt Schelter (CDU) sagte "Focus", bei Verdacht auf Straftaten wie Kinderpornographie werde damit die Möglichkeit zum "legalen Abhören" geschaffen. Wie das Magazin weiter berichtete, sollen die Provider - die Zugangsanbieter zum Internet - den Plänen zufolge verpflichtet werden, bestimmte für die Strafverfolgung wichtige Daten zwischenzuspeichern und bei Bedarf den Behörden auszuhändigen.
- UK - Technological 'threat to civil rights'
The law on phone-tapping by the police fails to take account of new means of communications such as e-mail, a civil rights group has warned. A report by Justice concludes criminal intelligence work poses a threat to people's privacy and could break European law. The organisation calls for a unified set of regulations covering the bugging of all forms of communication.
Issue no. 64 - 2 May 1998
- USA - FBI Sued over Wiretapping System
Two telecommunications industry groups filed a lawsuit alleging that the FBI and the Department of Justice are asking for a system that is far more extensive and expensive than the one envisioned under the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act.
Issue no. 59 - 30 March 1998
- USA - FCC Asked to Resolve Wiretap Dispute
The US Justice Department and the FBI today sought the FCC's help in resolving a dispute with the telecom industry over preserving their ability to tap telephone lines in the digital age. A 1994 law requires telcos to make digital wiretapping technology available to law enforcement. But three years of negotiations later, the industry and the government are at a stand-off.
Issue no. 55 - 21 March 1998
- USA - Reno sees virtual stalemate over digital wiretaps
Attorney General Janet Reno all but declared a stalemate Thursday in the Justice Department-FBI negotiations with the telecommunications industry on the issue of how to build a system that will give law enforcement the ability to listen in to new generations of digital communications.
Issue no. 54 - 12 March 1998
- USA - Attorney general seeks compromise with industry on digital wiretapping
(Nando.net - The AP)
In an effort to get stalled negotiations moving again, Attorney General Janet Reno offered to work more closely with the telecommunications industry Friday on a plan to preserve law enforcers' ability to wiretap phone lines in the digital age.
- USA - House Passes Wireless Privacy Bill
In a bid to protect privacy for cellphone or digital calls, the House Thursday voted 414-1 to make intercepting such phone conversations illegal. The Wireless Privacy Enhancement Act makes clear that the act of interception -- whether or not the call is later divulged or disseminated in any way -- is against the law. It bans modification of scanners that are now on the market that can easily pick up calls made on cell phones, and prevents a market for new scanners capable of intercepting digital communications.
Issue no. 48 - 17 February 1998
- USA - FBI wiretap plan scrutinized
Civil liberties groups are urging Congress to cut off future funding for a Federal Bureau of Investigation program thatallegedly would expand its wiretapping authority to include communications sent over Net backbones or wirelessdevices.
Issue no. 46 - 11 February 1998
- EU - Row looms over police rights to bug the Internet
The question of whether police forces should be given the right to 'tap' encrypted messages sent across the Internet looks set to spark a clash between EU governments and the European Commission.
Issue no. 44 - 6 February 1998
- EU - Developments in surveillance technology
from An appraisal of technologies of political control - a report commissioned by the Scientific and Technological Options Assessment Unit (STOA) - (large file - 256 Kb)
Issue no. 43 - 4 February 1998
Issue no. 42 - 2 February 1998
- Cryptage sur Internet: l'UE cherche des instruments adaptés
Les ministres de la Justice et de l'Intérieur de l'UE réunis à Birmingham (Grande-Bretagne) ont convenu de trouver les moyens pour garantir un accès de la police aux "clés" permettant le décryptage des messages codés sur Internet, a-t-on appris auprès de la présidence britannique de l'UE.
- European body considers expanding police Net powers
E-mail will be fair game for Europe's police forces under a new directive (sic) being explored by the powerful European Union. Justice ministers from European Union member countries agreed Thursday to consider letting police snoop on Internet users as a measure to tackle organized crime.
Issue no. 37 - 19 January 1998
- German Eavesdropping Law Passes
In a vote that one liberal legislator called "black Friday" for the German constitution, Parliament today passed a bill giving police new freedom to spy electronically on criminal suspects.
Issue no. 36 - 15 January 1998
- Senator Wants Back Door to Encrypted Data Closed
Sounding the opening bell of a renewed battle over encryption policy, Senate Republican John D. Ashcroft has declared he would oppose legislation that would mandate that all software made in the Unites States be equipped with features that would allow government access to all encrypted data.
Links to news items about legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the information society, particularly those relating to information content, and market and technology.
QuickLinks consists of
QuickLinks is edited by Richard Swetenham email@example.com
- a free newsletter appearing approximately once a week. The newsletter is distributed by electronic mail through an "announcement only" mailing list. To be included on the mailing list, send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org (HTML) or email@example.com (Text)
- a Web site with frequent updates, an events page, news items organised by category as well as chronologically by issue and full text search.