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Materials of Phone Calls Must be Stored for a Year

Posted August. 13, 2005 03:06,   


The enforcement decree revision of the Communication Confidentiality Law, which has been criticized for neglecting the protection of private information under the pretext of the convenience in investigation, was passed in a Cabinet meeting.

The government held a Cabinet meeting presided by Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan at the Central Government Complex in Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, on August 12, and deliberated and passed nine law enforcement decrees and four legislative bills, including the revised bill of the enforcement decree of the Communication Confidentiality Law.

During the Cabinet meeting, the government also passed the revised bill on the Allotment of National Health Improvement that is levied on a pack of cigarettes in which the allotment will increase by about 200 won from the current 354 won to 558 won. Accordingly, the price of cigarettes is likely to increase by 500 won around October at the earliest.

According to the revised enforcement decree of the Communication Confidentiality Law, telecommunication companies must store the following for a certain period: specific hours when subscribers phoned and terminated calls, phone numbers of the other party, records of accessing wireless Internet, and materials of tracing subscribers’ locations by telecommunication companies’ transmitting offices.

The stored-periods of international and mobile phone calls and local and long-distance phone calls are one year and six months, respectively. On top of that, Internet companies, including Internet portal sites, must store IP records for three months that allow people to find out where users accessed the Internet when users posted writings.

Since there has so far been no regulation regarding the stored hours of phone calls, telecommunication companies have usually stored records for about six months. With this revision, the stored hours of phone calls will increase by six months.

In response, civic groups and information and communication industries are criticizing, “It seems that the government is making light of protecting private information to an excessive degree under the pretext of the convenience in probing.”

However, the Ministry of Information and Communication and the Korea Consumer Protection Board proposed that storing materials of phone calls for six months is desirable.

Kang-Myoung Chang tesomiom@donga.com