Feeds

Law chief wants wiretap evidence

Takes lessons from US

Top three mobile application threats

Wire tap evidence should be admissible in court, attorney general Lord Goldsmith has told the Guardian newspaper after being briefed by his opposite number in the United States.

His comments were made on the same day that 20 police and security chiefs were arrested over the abuse of wiretaps in Italy.

"I do believe there are ways we can [admit wiretap evidence]," said Goldsmith. "Otherwise, we're depriving ourselves of a key tool to prosecute serious and organised crime and terrorism," he said in the paper today.

There are people in the police and security services who are said to have reservations about allowing wire tap evidence in court because they fear it might reveal the tools of their trade.

The report said Goldsmith realised it would be possible to establish safeguards to protect the privacy of the security services. The article did not mention any need to protect the privacy of ordinary citizens.

The attorney general came to this conclusion after meeting with US authorities including his peer, Alberto Gonzales, representatives of the FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission, lawyers and judges.

The only other fear Goldsmith expressed in the Guardian report was that snoopers would become inundated with requests to spy on people.

"We may need help from the legislature and the judges to avoid the agencies being swamped with irrelevant requests," he said.

Italian use of wiretaps is said by the Financial Times to be "ubiquitous" and leaks of transcripts to the press before a trial "habitual".

One of the people arrested over abuse of wiretaps yesterday was the former head of security at Telecom Italia, Giuliano Tavaroli. Pierguido Iezzi, head of security at the telco's owner Pirelli, was also arrested. Most of the other arrests were of police. Allegations included the operation of a secret "shadow" wiretap network.

The US representatives had told Goldsmith how wiretap evidence had allowed them to prosecute Mafia dons.

He subsequently hinted to the Guardian at a hardening of the state's view of suspects: "One of the key issues for me will be whether we've got the right attitude to prosecuting, whether prosecutors need to be, I won't say more aggressive, but more forward and forceful," he said. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.