Total overhaul of the Federal Mail and Telecommunications Monitoring Act

The FDPIC has expressed his opinion on the draft bill of the total overhaul of the Federal Mail and Telecommunications Monitoring Act within the framework of inter-ministerial consultations on the subject. One of the new features is that a legal basis will be created for the use of computer programmes. We had already asked for a legal basis to cover the publication of content data which have been obtained from telecommunication sources.

Over the last few years, we have repeatedly made our position known on various draft bills that were introduced to cover the interception of postal and telecommunications traffic. This year we were given the possibility of expressing our opinion on the planned total overhaul of the federal law. From our perspective, data protection should not stand in the way of effective crime prevention. The Federal Mail and Telecommunications Monitoring Act does, however, impinge upon a fundamental right that is protected under the Constitution. Hence the need for a formal and material legal basis that is sufficiently specific.

In the past we argued that there were no legal provisions to cover the use of computer programmes such as "State Trojans" (cf. our 19th Report on activities 2011/2012, section 1.4.8 in German, French and Italian). The draft bill that has now been presented to us aims to rectify that shortcoming by introducing an appropriate provision.

We also called for the adoption of a legal basis to cover the publication of content data (e.g. data back-up of devices, address books or user documents) by providers of remote communication services such as cloud or storage providers. It is our view that the publication of content data stored on the internet should be explicitly and formally covered by an appropriate law.

https://www.edoeb.admin.ch/content/edoeb/en/home/documentation/annual-reports/20th-annual-report-2012-2013/total-overhaul-of-the-federal-mail-and-telecommunications-monito.html