29 December 2009. GSM A5 Files Published on Cryptome

13 July 1998

Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 16:18:39 +0200
To: jy@jya.com
From: Visiteur du cybercafé <visiteur@ii-mel.com>@demon.ii-mel.com
Subject: scoop about GSMtrace scandal!

Phil Karn [Qualcomm Scientist/Cryptographer]: 
"Cellular registration is one of the most problematical privacy 
issues in modern telecommunications." 

http://www.sonntagszeitung.ch/sz28/52996.HTM  [see English below]

http://www.letemps.ch/search/1998/07/07/com_2.htm  [see English below]

http://www.cybourse.be/interception [URL revised 24 March 1999]


Message to Visiteur du cybercafé:

We have been mandated by a law enforcement agency to identify and
purchase a GSM intercept system (up to 10000 lines).

Can you advice: Consultants, Suppliers, ...

Thank you for any information.


Bernard Metzger



Original in German. Translation by Babelfish

[Photo of intercept aerials]

SonntagsZeitung Online, July 12, 1998:

And there are it nevertheless, the movement profiles 

A confidential report of the data-security
commissioner shows: The Swisscom collects all Natel
data in the three-hour clock 


BERNE - a secret report of data-security
commissioner Odilo Guntern proves: The Swisscom
locates every three hours all switched on Natels in
Switzerland up to 100 meters exactly and stores these
data during seven days. 

Everything not half so badly, everything legally and all no
problem: Thus the Swiss federal data-security
commissioner Odilo Guntern appeased the public on last
Monday. The Swisscom AG has probably " the possibility
of localizing at any time each switched on Natel ",
admitted it. This however only up to the 50 kilometers of
global so-called location AREAS - and surely not up to the
few kilometers precise 2500 radio cells in the country, "
as in the Sundays newspaper mentioned ", Guntern said. 

Which did not experience the public: Gunterns dry
three-lateral paper is only the tip of the iceberg. Among
them a strong secret report, which for Guntern only " the
involved one ", as he says, hides itself 30 pages, set. the
Swisscom, the responsible Departemente Leuenberger
(communication) and vest (law and police) is " involved "
as well as the business check delegation of the Swiss
federal advice. 

Gunterns confidential report does not only contain the
crucial information to Natel problems. It partly contradicts
the public remarks and acknowledges the article of the
Sundays newspaper from 28 December 1997 to a large
extent. In particular Guntern concealed that the 800,000
Natel users in Switzerland can be located not only " ", but
Updating (PLU) are exposed location to a permanent fully
automated Periodic. PLU means: Every three hours
announce themselves all switched on Natels to the next
antenna, on which the Swisscom registers its location. 

That can determine each Natel owner: It is sufficient to
put the switched on mobile telephone beside transistor
radio on which this every three hours a clearly audible
galloping gives to kneeling asterisk of itself. 

Partially transaction data are stored even over many

This standortmeldung enclosure not only " one for that
only 30 location AREAS " in the country, like Guntern
believe to make wanted, they descends up to " radio cell
level ". In cities is few 100 meters exactly - in open, rural
areas nevertheless still with precision of max. 10
kilometers. Specialists of a prominent Natel company
insure that anyhow. The quite exact Natel location is thus
registered in the three-hour clock. More still: The
Swisscom stores appropriate " transaction data " all
Handies lasts seven day - in individual cases during weeks
and months. 

SVP national council Bernhard Seiler, which praesidiert
the GPK delegation of the advice, acknowledges this
circumstances to the Sundays newspaper. Also
data-security commissioner Odilo Guntern admits: " the
topic PLU is in detail stated in my report. " In " technical
details " it may not get involved however. 

The calculation is made fast. Eight standortmeldungen
stored by 800,000 Handies each day, during one week:
The Swisscom has continuously 40 million data, how and
where the 800,000 Natels in the country move. That
serves only the connecting accommodation, is called it
officially. Who has however access to these information,
a " movement profile " can create immediately and
experience by computer printout, where the Natel (and
thus probably its owner) was exact in the last seven days.
Guntern: " that is not impossible. " With the help of the
Radiogoniometrie (see box) the Swisscom can besides
each Natel exactly on 50 meters locate and the discussions

That applies also to the disputed Natel D Easy: " also over
these devices we have transaction data and operational
data ", insure Odilo Guntern. It explains why the EJPD
and federal attorney require Carla Del Ponte, who should
buyers of such devices systematically are registered. The
police would like to know if necessary, to which owner
the movement profile of a certain Natels belongs. 

And why did Guntern thereport secretly remain? " took
part " push over themselves the responsibility for the
Geheimniskraemerei mutually. Guntern: " I did not ask
those at all whether they would like to publish the report,
and decided that it was not public. " 

To it the control instances of the Swiss federal advice do
not want to resign themselves: " we were the opinion, the
whole Guntern report publicly are presented ", say the
Tessiner FR national council Werner Carobbio, which
belongs also to the GPK delegation of the advice. " we the
problem " movement profile of Natel carriers " again
deepened to bring up for discussion ", promises it. 



Original in French. Translation by Babelfish:

Les Temps Online, July 7, 1998:

TELECOMS. The federal employee with the data
protection, presented his annual report yesterday

Odilo Guntern:
«The holder of Natel must be able to remain anonymous»

By Gabriel Sigrist 

In Switzerland, any citizen can go in a store and acquire
for 120 francs a smart card to be introduced into a
portable telephone. The system Natel D easy of
Swisscom does not require any subscription and the
user can thus remain anonymous. This anonymity
disturbs the Attorney General of the Confederation,
Carla LED Bridges, who carried itself on several
occasions against a system «used by all the
criminals». According to the public ministry, the new
ordinance on telecommunications imposed as of
January 1 the identification of the users of Natel D
easy. The investigation of the federal employee to the
data protection contradicts this assertion completely. 

«The legal base to record the purchasers of Natel
easy does not exist», concludes Odilo Guntern in its
annual report. The employee with the data protection
goes further: «In our company, the protection of the
individual requires to be able to telephone without being
card-indexed, it declared at Time. To record the
purchasers of card «easy»does not make sense,
because the criminals use other means to remain
anonymous, like the foreign cards but also the services
of call-back or simply the phone boxes.»In the close
countries, the purchasers of such cards must however
decline their identity. «They is that the laws are
different, explains Odilo Guntern. In Switzerland, the
identification is obligatory only when there is a relation
customer-provider in the duration, which is not the case
of a card to prépaiement.»The card easy is thus
connected legally with a subscription CFF multicourse
or a card telephones to use in the cabins. Goods which
can be acquired anonymously. 

The debate is however not closed: «According to us,
the legal base is sufficient to impose the recording of
the users, explains Jürg Blaser, spokesman of the
public Ministry. It is essential for the security of our
country to be able to identify the holders of portable
telephones.»The federal Office of the communication
(Ofcom) will slice. According to Odilo Guntern, it
remains for the hour «perfectly legal»to acquire a
card easy without giving its name. Swisscom
encourages the purchasers however to be identified:
the operator offers a small gift to those which reveal
their personal data. 

The employee was also interested in the possibilities of
tracing of the mobile telephones. According to its
investigation, Swisscom can locate a portable simply
engaged in a relatively vast zone, but not to the cell (a
ray of ten kilometers). There too, the opinions diverge.

According to Christian Masson, enthusiastic activist of
the freedom of circulation, system GSM used by Natel
de Swisscom memorizes once every three hours the
precise localization of the apparatuses, for questions of
maintenance. Odilo Guntern does not mention such a
process in its investigation. According to Swisscom, the
positions of the users are unobtrusive progressively
with their displacements. 

The report/ratio stresses also the cards fidelity like the
Mr.-Cumulus of Migros. «Any holder of such a card
must be informed of the various reductions of which it
can profit, as well as data processing relating to it»,
indicates the report/ratio. 

On Internet: 
The full report of the employee to the data protection on

The site of Mr. Masson on

http://www.cybourse.be/interception [URL revised 24 March 1999]