30 April 1999
See Duncan Campbell's report of 30 April 1999: http://jya.com/Ilets-dc2.htm
29 April 1999
From: "Caspar Bowden" <email@example.com> To: "Ukcrypto (E-mail)" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Guardian 29/4/99: "Intercepting the Internet" Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 10:52:58 +0100 http://www.newsunlimited.co.uk/The_Paper/Weekly/Story/0,3605,45981,00.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) [See: http://www.fipr.org/polarch/enfopol19.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. Ministers were told two months ago that an international committee of experts regarded new European policy on tapping the internet "as an urgent necessity". But they will not be told that the policy has been formulated at hitherto secret meetings of an organisation founded by the FBI. Known as the International Law Enforcement Telecommunications Seminar (Ilets), police and security agents from up to 20 countries including Hong Kong, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have been meeting regularly for seven years. The Ilets group was founded by the FBI in 1993 after repeatedly failing to persuade the US Congress to pass a new law requiring manufacturers and operators to build in a national tapping network, free of charge. Since then, Ilets has succeeded in having its plans adopted as EU policy and enacted into national legislation in a growing number of countries. The group first met at the FBI research and training centre in Quantico, Virginia, in 1993. The next year, they met in Bonn and agreed a document called the International Requirements For Interception, or IUR 1.0. Within two years, the IUR "requirements" had, unacknowledged and word for word, become the secret official policy of the EU. They became law in the United States. In June 1997, the Australian government succeeded in getting the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to adopt the IUR requirements as a "priority". It told the ITU that "some countries are in urgent need of results in this area". Ilets and its experts met again in Dublin, Rome, Vienna and Madrid in 1997 and 1998, and drew up new "requirements" to intercept the Internet. Enfopol 19 is the result. Linx, the London Internet Exchange, is the hub of British Internet ommunications. According to Keith Mitchell, chairman of Linx: "Anything along the lines of the Enfopol scheme would probably have astronomical cost implications. In the event such a scheme was ever implementable, the costs should be met by the enforcement authorities. Since the industry cannot afford it, I doubt the public sector could "This kind of monitoring approach is based on a world view of telecomms operators which is both technically and economically outdated."