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[FYI] (Fwd) The European Secret Service Union

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date:          Tue, 1 Dec 1998 17:12:57 +0100
From:          "Erich Moechel" <erich-moechel@quintessenz.at>
Subject:       The European Secret Service Union
To:            gilc-plan@gilc.org
Reply-to:      gilc-plan@gilc.org

Dear all,
This is why I did not turn up on the list during  the last few weeks.
Hell broke loose since we published the ENFOPOL papers full text
yesterday  - they were not even handed out 2 European members of
parliament in September. I get requests from newspapers & TV stations
all over Europe in the moment. Dead tired but extremely happy that the
moment of publishing these spooky secrets was during Austria's period
of EU-presidency ;) urs Erich

The European Secret Service Union

Armin Medosch 30.11.98 

A summary of the reports on the ENFOPOL papers 

After reporting exclusively in a series of stories by our 
correspondents Erich Moechel and Christiane Schulzki-Haddouti 
about the far-reaching eavesdropping plans by the European Union,
Telepolis has now made the first ENFOPOL paper public on its website.
The following article is a summary of the reports and analysis written
by Moechel/Schulzki-Haddouti. 

ENFOPOL surveillance plans target any form of 
telecommunications - be it data, encrypted or in clear form, mobile
telephony, the new Iridium system and other satelite mobile phone
services that may follow. If these plans can be implemented, ENFOPOL
will be able to monitor almost every communications mode, leaving no
gaps. In order to avoid legal problems if target subjects are moving
quickly from one country to the other and also for the sake of
security of the wiretapped data ENFOPOL is aiming at the central
terrestrial masterstation of Iridium in Italy as an ideal spot to
monitor telecommunications traffic. But also large clearing houses
which handle international phone call billing for the big national
operators are mentioned as potential sources for the kind of
information European police forces are interested in. 

Iridium has thus far not given any significant statement, apart from
saying that they would abide to any law in the countries in which they
operate. A spokesperson of a large international clearing house,
however, strictl y ruled out that his company would pass on any such
data. Telepolis was also told that they had not been approached yet
with any request of that kind. 

It is important to note that, at the moment, ENFOPOL is not a reality
(unlike ECHELON), but merely a proposal drawn up by a working group
for police collaboration. But at the same time, ENFOPOL is not an
isolated concept completely detached from reality. Many of the
statements, the listed requirements and even the language used
resemble legal draft papers and bills recently made public or already
put to work in countries like Germany and Austria. In both countries,
the original bills which had asked for Internet service providers
(ISPs) to give security forces back door access to customer
information had to be watered down after an outcry in public, mainl y
organized by lobby groups of ISPs and telco operators. The similarity
of the ENFOPOL proposals and these surveillance bills in Austria and
Germany tell us that key employees within European police forces are
trying to p ull the net more closely together to create a
harmonization of European surveillance laws. 

Supporting these observations, a recent story in the London-based
newspaper Sunday Times claimed that the formation of a joint European
intelligence agency is being considered by several European
politicians. A German pol itician was quoted, saying that the German
government favoured a closer political union and that a new secret
services agency was naturally an achievement. At the same time, German
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joschka Fisc her said that, in his
opinion, Europe was heading towards political union with a joint
foreign policy. 

But the EU is not alone in its efforts. A debate in the European
Parliament in September revealed plans between the EU and the FBI to
co-operate on building a global surveillance system for
telecommunications. The ENFOPOL
 proposal clearly has to be seen in this context. If it became legal
 reality, it would not only give police forces any surveillance power
 they wish, it would also legitimize existing systems like ECHELON. 

Police statements often refer to the danger of lagging behind while
organized crime and terrorism is exploiting high-technology and when
national borders are opening up. But their own declared goals are not
served better when at the same time all privacy rights are taken away
from individuals. Furthermore, the way in which all this is done
suggests a mental regress into "big brother" thinking. Politicians and
civil servants are making top -down decisions, far away from the
public. A democratic debate has barely taken place so far. And for
someone not directly involved with such subject matters it might seem
as if all this has nothing to do with their life anyway. Governments
have done their best so far to keep ENFOPOL out of the spotlight. And
the technical matters involved are equally abstract to most people in
the world. This is the world of big telco operators, backbone
 providers, satellite providers and clearinghouses - companies which
 mostly work for other firms and therefore rarely are household names
 for the average internet user. 

The requirements of ENFOPOL for wiretapping telecommunications can
surely not be fulfilled without heavy technical changes in the systems
currently in operation commercially. We would not imply that any of
these commercia l operators would willingly or illegally trespass on
their customer's privacy rights. But once such trespassing is part of
the Transeuropean legal system, we can also not be too certain that
these companies would step forward as advocates of citizen's rights.
They don't seem to have a record for such a campaign spirit unless it
is linked with business interest. (German ISPs, for example, mainly
protested against the TK#220#V because costs should be imposed on

It seems that the best opportunity for lifting the veil of secrecy is
to finally launch the public debate that has been missing so far. This
is why we have chosen to make the original ENFOPOL paper from 3rd of
September 1988 accessible on this website. The site will also be
updated in the future with other more recent ENFOPOL papers. -.-.-
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