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Investigation Agencies Increased E-Mail Inspection

Posted September. 08, 2001 08:47,   


A report says that the cases that involve the investigation agencies to request for the telecommunication service providers to wiretap or check phone call records have increased to a great extent at the first half of this year. The number of cases that the mobile communication providers offered the communication records to the investigation agencies amounted to 97,482, increased by 80.9 percent from the same period of last year.

The Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) released yesterday `the Report on the Telecommunication Wiretapping and Calling Records Cracking`. According to the report, the wiretapping increased by 25.9 percent from 1,183 cases to 1,489 cases, and the communication record leakage mushroomed by 71 percent from 74,451 cases to 127,289 cases.

Tapping the wired phone calls (1,134 cases) constituted 76.2 percent of the total wiretapping cases, and the tapping of mobile phone calls (169 cases) formed 11.3 percent. The checking of emails via internet and PC communication doubled from 97 cases to 185 cases. The MIC maintained that the voice mail boxes could only be tapped since the tapping of mobile phone calls is impossible for a technological reason.

For agency, while the wiretapping by the police declined by 1.7 percent, the National Security Agency and the prosecutors office have increased the wiretapping activities. The National Security Agency increased the telecommunication crackdown by 75.9 percent from 377 cases to 663 cases, and the prosecutor offices increased by 22.2 percent from 135 cases to 165 cases.

The report revealed that the telecommunication service providers have increased to offer the telecommunication records to the investigation agencies every year, from 142,617 cases in 1998, 154,390 cases in 1999, and 160,485 cases in 2000. The telecommunication records, including personal records, calling time, and phone number, can be offered even by the written request without the warranty.

For institution, the National Intelligence Service requested the records of 7,023 cases, rose by 102.3 percent, and the police (90,034 cases) and the prosecutors office (18,181 cases) also showed the increasing tendency by 94.7 percent and by 18.4 percent respectively. In particular, the request of the communication data regarding internet and PC communication (4,455 cases) hugely rose by 312.8 percent from the first half of last year.

Regarding the increase of wiretapping and the leakage of telecommunication records,

MIC explained, ``Recently, a suspect usually possesses the wired phone, mobile phone, and email ID together. And the offer of the telecommunication records increased because the cooperation period mostly shortened from 3 months to3 days.``

Moon Kwon-Mo africa7@donga.com