Phone and E-mail Tapping in Ireland

The European Union forces Ireland to accept that foreign law-enforcement agencies can tap Irish phonecalls and intercept e-mails. This was recently brought into law by Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald. Non-compliant telecommunications companies can even be brought into a secret private court!

An EU Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters had to be fully implemented by December 1st, 2014. It involved cross-border cooperation, in particular between police and law enforcement agencies, including the exchange of information and the investigation of crime. For this purpose, national law enforcement agencies of all EU countries are allowed to record phonecalls and intercept e-mails in all the other EU countries.

It has recently emerged the British spy agency General Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has for years recorded undersea communications cables between Ireland and Britain - actually, this was revealed the day before the new law was signed. In a way, the Irish government has legalised that spying.

All of this is a tremendously dangerous situation. It is a reminder of the worst years of European anti-terrorist policy, with the NATO-sponsored Gladio programme. Today governments can record whatever we type on a keyboard, or can use your webcam to film you while lights are off. The authorisation of the private, secret prosecution of personas is an incredibly dangerous pattern. It means the end of our most basic freedom. The European Union should never have given way to that.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, proven to have medicinal properties) is illegal yet now, under EU law, outfits like GCHQ are legal; makes you wonder, doesn’t it?


Luke Ming Flanagan MEP