Draft Joint Action on the interception of telecommunications - Discussion paper


This document precedes ENFOPOL 98 and suggests that it was originally intended to go ahead with a Joint Action simply enacting the 1995 "Requirements".



3 July 1998




from: Presidency

to: Police Cooperation Working Party

No. prev. doc.: OJ C 329, 4.11.1996, p. 1

Subject: Draft Joint Action on the interception of telecommunications - Discussion paper

I. Structure

Article 1: Puroose

Article 2: Definitions

Article 3: Oblination to provide information

Article 4: Oblination to assist

Article 5 et seq.: Snecial provisions (e.q.. for oPen networks, crvotooraphy, etc.)

II. Proposed text

Article 1: Purpose

This Joint Action lays down the obligations of network operators and service providers in providing information and assistance, pursuant to national legal provisions on the interception of telecommunications.

Article 2: Definitions

For the purposes of this Joint Action, the following definitions apply:

1. Telecommunications:

Any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photooptical closed or open systems.

2. Interception:

Access to the telecommunications traffic passing over a connection and delivery of call associated data to the law enforcement agencies.

3. Law enforcement agencies:

Courts and authorities legally empowered under national law to order (decide upon, authorise) and/or carry out the interception of telecommunications.

4. Lawful authorisation:

The court order/permission or other official warrant granted under national law to intercept specified telecommunications.

5. Network operator:

A network operator is the operator of a public infrastructure for the purpose of telecommunications between defined network termination points.

6. Service provider:

A natural or legal person providing a public telecommunications service and/or any kind of encryption. A telecommunications service consists of the transmission and routing of telecommunications. Cryptography is the encryption of telecommunications.

7. Interception order:

An order placed on a network operator/service provider for assisting a law enforcement agency (obligation to provide information and assistance).

8. Interception subject:

Person or persons identified in the lawful authorisation/order and his/their connection, the telecommunications over which are to be intercepted and monitored.

9. Call:

Any fixed or temporary connection capable of transferring information between two or more users of a telecommunications system.

10. Access:

The technical capability to interface with a communications facility, such as a communications line or switch, so that law enforcement agencies can acquire and monitor telecommunications and call associated data carried on the facility.

11. Call associated data:

Signalling information passing between a target service and the network or another user. Includes signalling information used to establish the call and to control its progress (e.g. call hold, call handover). Call associated data also includes information about the call that is available to the network operator/service provider.

12. Interception interface:

The physical location in the network operator's/service provider's telecommunications facilities where access to the intercepted telecommunications or call associated data is provided. The interception interface is not necessarily a single, fixed point.

13. Quality of service:

The quality specification of a communications channel, system, virtual channel, computer-communications session, etc. Quality of service may be measured, for example, in terms of signal-to-noise ratio, bit error rate, message throughput rate or call blocking probability.

14. Reliability:

The probability that a system or service will perform in a satisfactory manner for a given period of time when used under specified operating conditions.

15. Roaming:

The ability of subscribers of mobile telecommunications services to place, maintain, and receive calls when they are located outside their designated home serving area.

16. Target service:

A service associated with an interception subject/monitored connection and usually specified in a lawful authorisation for interception.