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[FYI] Intercepting the Internet


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29 April 1999 

From: "Caspar Bowden" <cb@fipr.org>
To: "Ukcrypto (E-mail)" <ukcrypto@maillist.ox.ac.uk>
Subject: Guardian 29/4/99: "Intercepting the Internet"
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 10:52:58 +0100

html Intercepting the Internet

A secret international organisation is pushing through law to bring in
eavesdropping points for websites and other forms of digital
communication. Duncan Campbell reports

Thursday April 29, 1999

European commission documents obtained this week reveal plans to
require manufacturers and operators to build in "interception
interfaces" to the Internet and all future digital communications
systems. The plans, drafted by a US-led international organisation of
police and security agencies, will be proposed to EU Justice and Home
Affairs ministers at the end of May. They appear in Enfopol 19, a
restricted document leaked to the London-based Foundation for
Information Policy Research (http://www.fipr.org/polarch/index.html)

The plans require the installation of a network of tapping centres
throughout Europe, operating almost instantly across all national
boundaries, providing access to every kind of communications including
the net and satellites. A German tapping centre could intercept
Internet messages in Britain, or a British detective could listen to
Dutch phone calls. There could even be several tapping centres
listening in at once.

Enfopol 19 was agreed by an EU police working party a month ago. It
was condemned last week by the civil liberties committee of the
European Parliament. But the European Parliament will shortly dissolve
to face elections in June. Meanwhile, EU ministers are preparing to
adopt a convention on Mutual Legal Assistance, including international
interception arrangements.

If the Enfopol 19 proposals are enacted, internet service providers
(ISPs) as well as telecommunications network operators face having to
install monitoring equipment or software in their premises in a high
security zone.


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