ENFOPOL 19: Interception of telecommunications - Draft Council Resolution on new technologies

This was intended to be the final version of the revised "Requirements" to include the "new technologies". Although discussed in March 1999 it has not yet been adopted.


This is partly due to the complex discussions - including the role of internal security agencies - on the interception of telecommunications provisions in the Convention on Mutual Assistance in criminal matters. The delay in adoption is also partly due to acknowledged "negative" media coverage (which tended to confuse Echelon with the EU-FBI system but nonetheless raised the issue of the surveillance of telecommunications).

The legal powers for the interception of telecommunications EU-wide are set out in the Convention on Mutual Assistance in criminal matters which was signed by the EU member states at the meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 29 May 2000. It now has to be ratified by the national parliaments of all 15 EU states - in the UK this is a mere formality as under the "Ponsonby rules" (dating from 1924) it is simply "laid before" parliament and agreed unless there a very substantial objections.

The delay in adopting the revised "Requirements" has not stopped EU member states, like the UK, ameding their interception of telecommunications laws to include the "Requirements".

TEXT

EUROPEAN UNION, THE COUNCIL

15 March 1999

6715/99

LIMITE

ENFOPOL 19

NOTE

from: Presidency

to: Police Cooperation Working Party

No. prev. doc.: 10951/2/98 ENFOPOL 98 REV 2 + COR 1

Subject: Interception of telecommunications - Draft Council Resolution on new technologies

Delegations will find attached the text of the above Council Resolution as it stands following the meeting of the Police Cooperation Working Party on 11 March 1999.

Draft COUNCIL RESOLUTION of ... on the lawful interception of telecommunications in relation to new technologies

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on European Union, and in particular Articles K.1(9) and K.2(2) thereof,

Reaffirming the considerations put forward in the Council Resolution of 17 January 1995 on the lawful interception of telecommunications,

Whereas the requirements listed in the Annex to that Resolution constitute an important summary of the needs of the competent agencies as regards the technical and organisational implementation of lawful interception measures,

Aware of the fact that the requirements of 17 January 1995, after careful verification of their continued validity, are to apply to both existing and new technologies, and that the requirements must consequently be clarified and supplemented to take account of the ongoing process of technical development,

HEREBY ADOPTS THIS RESOLUTION:

The Council notes that the requirements of law enforcement agencies with regard to network operators and service providers for the purposes of lawful interception of telecommunications, as described in the Annex to the Council Resolution of 17 January 1995 (96/C329/01) are applicable both to existing and new communications technologies, for example satellite telecommunications and Internet telecommunications.

The Council is, however, of the opinion that in view of ongoing progress in telecommunications technology, the requirements listed in the Annex to the Resolution of 17 January 1995 need to be clarified on a number of points.

The Council considers that the explanations as annexed should be taken into account in the implementation of measures for lawful interception of telecommunications and requests Member States to call upon the Ministers responsible for telecommunications to support this view and to cooperate with the Ministers responsible for Justice and Home Affairs with the aim of implementing the clarified requirements and definitions in relation to network operators and service providers.

ANNEX

EXPLANATIONS of the requirements and definitions of concepts in the glossary of the Council Resolution of 17 January 1995, published together with its Annex in the Official Journal of the European Communities (OJ 96/C329/01);

Part I: General explanations

The requirements of law enforcement agencies for lawful interception of telecommunications in relation to network operators and service providers, with glossary, of the Council Resolution of 17 January 1995 shall apply also to new technologies in existence, e.g. satellite and internet communications, and to future additional telecommunications technologies.

The technical terms used in the Council Resolution of 17 January 1995 on the basis of the then state of telecommunications technology are to be interpreted as applying to new telecommunications technologies already in existence and to future additional telecommunications technologies. In this context, a number or other electronic identifier in the 1995 requirements means e.g. in the case of the Internet, the static and dynamic IP-address (electronic address assigned to a party connected to the Internet), credit card number and E-mail address. Certain requirements, especially Nos 1, 1.4 - 1.4.6, 2 and 3.1, can be fulfilled in the case of the Internet for example by virtue of its design because the call content and the data relating to the call are never transmitted separately in any case.

Part II: Explanations of the Requirements

re 1.4.2. of the requirements

Called party number includes any telecommunications identifier of the called party.

re 1.4.3. of the requirements

Calling party number includes any telecommunications identifier of the calling party.

re 2. of the requirements

In the context of the provision of call associated data, "as soon as possible" means transmission of the data within a few seconds.

re 3.4. of the requirements

Fixed and switched connections include all types of switched connections including circuit-switched and packet-switched connections. IP connections are not excluded.

re 8. of the requirements

For international systems the maximum number of simultaneous interceptions needs to be derived from combining national requirements.

Part III: Explanatory Definitions in the Glossary

re CALL

A call includes any connection irrespective of the technology of the network, e.g. packet-switched data.

re INTERCEPTION INTERFACE

In newer telecommunications technologies the interception interface may be a virtual interface within the network.

re ACCESS

To set up the technical capability for lawful interception of telecommunications exclusively for the law enforcement agencies.

 

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