Secret services receive legal unlimited access to databases of telephone companies

2010 2010-03-05T16:08:26+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The KGB (State Security Committee) and the Operating Analytical Centre (OAC) under Lukashenka’s administration are penetrating into the work of cell phone companies by installing special equipment.

Provisions on the arrangement for co-operation between mobile operators with the KGB and the OAC have been rubberstamped by Decree #129 of 3 March 2010.

The KGB of Belarus and the OAC affiliated by Aliaksandr Lukashenka (OAC) have received access in on-line mode to databases of Belarusian mobile operators. Notably, penetration in lives of mobile communication subscribers will be carried out at the expense of cell phone companies.

The matter does not concern legalization of the practice when law-enforcing agencies de facto addressed mobile operators for help, but about the KGB and OAC penetration in the work of mobile operators through installation of special equipment, AFN informs.

According to the document, from own funds a mobile operator is to carry out buying, installation, maintenance support and repair works for supporting electronic surveillance (System for Operational-Investigative Activities, SORM), defense of information about the tactics of carrying out operational and investigative activities, work on applying SORM technical requirements to telecommunications networks, purchase and exploitation of baseband equipment, situated at the objects of telecommunication for organizing channels of communication; with remote access points for the SORM.

After receiving a license for provision of telecommunication services, new participants of the telecommunication market must inform the KGB and the OAC within a month about that, and within 3 months after receiving a notification from the state surveillance bodies to make a plan for SORM implementation at the entire enterprise.

In case mobile operators buy new equipment, they must adapt this equipment with SORM facilities.

According to the document, a mobile operator must offer the KGB and the OAC free uninterrupted remote access to databases of clients. This pill can be only sugared by the demand to record such addresses automatically and store this information for 5 years.

In case there is no technical opportunity of round-the-clock remote access to databases of users, on a written application from heads of the KGB, the Interior Affairs Ministry or the OAC mobile operators are to give for free full and accurate version of these databases in electronic form to the abovementioned agencies.

Under the document, databases of subscribers must include the following information:

About physical persons: a number, name, surname, patronymic, subscriber’s address or an address of terminal, subscriber’s numbers, information allowing identification of the subscriber or his terminal; and for cell phone subscribers – details of the identity document (its name, series, number, date of issue and the name of the state agency which had issued the document);

About legal entities: firm’s name, its legal address, the address where the terminal is installed, subscriber’s numbers, information allowing identifying the subscriber or its terminal;

General information about communications services activated by the subscriber.