The Swiss authorities have concluded a telecommunication surveillance deal with the United States-based high-tech firm Verint Systems Inc. to supply a new programme to replace its existing surveillance system.
The new programme, worth CHF13 million ($14.2 million), is intended for the federal and cantonal police and justice departments and should be up and running at the end of 2015. It will replace the current version of the system known as Interception System Schweiz (ISS).
“The federal authorities finalised a contract on December 18,” Matthias Ramsauer, secretary general of the Swiss justice and police department said on Wednesday, confirming a report in the Le Temps newspaper that named the firm.
Verint, which is a leading manufacturer of surveillance technologies, is headquartered in Melville, New York in the US. Among its various surveillance products, the firm sells “monitoring centres” that “enable the interception, monitoring, and analysis of target and mass communications over virtually any network”.
According to the firm’s website, such systems are used in more than 75 countries.
The new system will be the second version of the ISS. Last September, authorities announced that due to technical weaknesses, they were abandoning the first version of the phone and internet surveillance system which they had acquired for CHF18 million in 2008. The first version’s launch had been delayed several times.
Previously, police and justice officials used the so-called Lawful Interception System (LIS) from 2002, which was developed by the German supplier Syborg, a subsidiary of Verint.
swissinfo.ch and agencies