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Archive for the ‘Electronic Wire Taps’ Category

More on the surveillance society.

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Just noticed this article in the Irish Times Friday 7th


Garda Commissioner Facthtna Murphy is requesting that mobile operators keep tract of all their customers web browsing not only a record of what websites are visited but a record of the content as well  ! ? ! for possible future criminal investigations ? !! .

Now what do you make of this ?

Generally this is the stuff of George Orwell and the Minstry of Truth (main stream media these days). Apparently the only operator contacted so far is Vodafone, which i find (maybe not) surprising considering the fact who my mobile is with. I remember trying the mobile broadband last year and I had to take it back as the unit didn’t work with Vista so I tried the 3G modem on my N70 that worked all right but really was slower than a dial-up ( by the way I don’t recommend that you use 3G modem on your handset as I got charged 8-12 c/kb so got quiet a alarming bill just for checking my email for a month !) Anyway I got proper broadband installed.

Can’t say that I am in agreement with giving the Police any extra powers and believe that the E.U should be told to stuff their data directive in the you know where.


Written by ferdia2010

November 8, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Who’s reading your email ? ( part II )

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More from the Irish Council of Civil Liberties.

Dear G,

Please find below information on the current law in Ireland regarding the interception and retention of mobile phone records and emails.  The ICCL will publish a report on Privacy in Ireland before the end of the year and if you would like to receive a copy of the report, please let us know and we can email/or post a copy accordingly.


The Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunications Messages (Regulation) Act 1993 provides the legal basis in Ireland for the authorised interception of post and wiretaps.  The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform may authorise an interception for the purpose of criminal investigation concerning a serious offence.  It is necessary that more conventional methods of investigation have failed or are likely to fail and that the interception would be of material assistance.  Warrants for interception may also be executed where a serious offence has been apprehended but has yet to be carried out. The warrant authorising the interception remains valid for a period of 3 months; however, this may be extended by the Minister for a further period of 3 months.

This legislation does not cover many aspects of current communications life such as mobile phone location information and the interception of emails.


Part VII of the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005 sets out the legal basis for the retention of telecommunications data in Ireland.  The legislation is concerned with the retention of records relating to the transmission of fixed line and mobile communications.  It covers both call logs and location information; however, it does not apply to the content of the communications.  Under the Act, the Garda Commissioner can ask a service provider to retain phone records for 3 years for the purpose of the prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of crime that includes but is not limited to terrorist offences and safeguarding the security of the State.  A designated High Court judge will be appointed to review the operation of the 2005 Act and to determine whether the Gardaí and the Defence Forces are complying with the provisions.  The judge has the power to investigate any case in which disclosure is made and to inspect any official documents or records relating to the request.

The implementation of the EU Data Retention Directive will allow for the storage of internet information also.  ISPs will be required to record the date and time that users connect and disconnect as well as the IP address allocated to individual users (as well as other information).  The Directive provides that the information be retained for 24 months so the Irish 2005 Act would have to be amended.  However, the Irish government are currently challenging the Directive in the European Court of Justice as they believe that proper procedures were not used in passing the Directive into law.  At the same time, an Irish civil rights group, Digital Rights Ireland (with the Irish Human Rights Commission as a party to the case – a procedure that’s called amicus curiae) has also taken a case in the Irish courts on the basis that the European Data Retention Directive breaches fundamental human rights including, the right to privacy.  More information can be found about this case and the Irish government’s case at the website of Digital Rights Ireland at http://www.digitalrights.ie/.

In relation to your question about specialised computers installed in ISPs, I am not aware of this practice; however, I suggest that you contact Digital Rights Ireland as they are more familiar with technical issues.  However, we would be happy to answer any more questions you may have.

Joanne Garvey


Irish Council for Civil Liberties

9 – 13 Blackhall Place

Dublin 7

Phone: 01 7994504

Fax: 01 7994512

email: joanne.garvey@iccl.ie / info@iccl.ie

Written by ferdia2010

October 21, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Response from Irish Council of Civil Liberties.

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Not exactly the response I was looking for but does have some interesting details here.

On Tue, Oct 7, 2008 at 4:46 PM, Info <info@iccl.ie> wrote:
Good afternoon G,

Many thanks for your query.

I am not sure if you aware but quite recently the European Court of
Human Rights in Strasbourg found in our favour in a long-running case
regarding the interception of Irish communications in the United
Kingdom. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), Liberty and
British-Irish Rights Watch took this case all the way to Strasbourg
because, over a seven year period, all telephone, fax, e-mail and data
communications between Ireland and the UK, including legally privileged
and confidential information, were intercepted and stored en masse by an
Electronic Test Facility operated by the British Ministry of Defence.

The ICCL initiated this case nine years ago, with partner organisations,
and welcomed this long-awaited vindication of our view that data
“fishing expeditions” by the intelligence services falls foul of Article
8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Could you provide more details on your specific query and I can try to
source some information for you?

Kind regards

Irish Council for Civil Liberties
9 – 13 Blackhall Place
Dublin 7

Written by ferdia2010

October 8, 2008 at 11:17 pm

Who’s reading your email ?

with 4 comments

Or how the state listens in on your computer.

This is a topic of an interest of mine and I have wanted to put up a post on it for some time. Not many people realise that the State can “tap” your computer and record all your going’s on. A brief explanation of how the Internet works and why it is a unsecure medium is required.

As you can gather, the Internet is a series of interconnected networks (this is done by using standard communication protocols). The Internet works by breaking down files into packets which contain both the sender and recipients Internet Protocol (I.P) addresses. These packets are then moved around by specialised computers called Routers which determine the most appropriate route. Your data passes through a number of third party routers, all of which have the potenial to read your data. A computer which is set up to intercept data is know as a packet sniffer. These can be programmed to intercept traffic from certain users etc..

A Packet sniffer located at your ISP would be able to monitor all of your online activities such as

  • What websites you visit.
  • What you look at.
  • Where you send email and what is in the email.
  • What you download.
  • Who visits your site.
  • Other forms of internet communications such as instant messaging, internet phone calls etc..

The most famous Packet Sniffer is one developed by the F.B.I called Carnivore and the later version called Omnivore. This system is configured with the suspect’s IP address, it intercepts and copies all data coming from and to the suspect’s computer.

Interesting sources of information are

more to follow…

Written by ferdia2010

September 29, 2008 at 1:58 am