Switzerland’s Federal Intelligence Service has been making steady use of new surveillance methods, averaging ten special cases per month.
In a report published on Mondayexternal link, the service described how – in special cases requiring permission – it had taken advantage of the option to monitor mobile phones, hack computers and use tracking devices or bugs to watch certain people and places.
In the first four months, the service employed such methods 40 times as part of four operations. Two were related to terrorism, and the other two had to do with illegal surveillance.
The monitoring measures must be approved by the Federal Administrative Courtexternal link and Defence Minister Guy Parmelin, who has to discuss them in advance with Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis.
The law also provides access to internet communication data, but the technology is still being developed. As Parmelin said in the report’s forward, these forms of surveillance will only be used when there is a serious security threat.
SDA/ATS, swissinfo.ch, sm