Cabinet Approves Handing Over Text Messages Content of 'Suspicious' Numbers

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

The cabinet rejected on Wednesday during a session at the Grand Serail to provide the Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau with the full text messages data (SMS), saying that it will only hand over the data of “suspicious” numbers.

Telecommunications Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui announced that the government rejected unanimously the security agency's request, deciding to agree strictly to hand over the content of the “suspicious” numbers.

Last week, media reports that Interior Minister Marwan Charbel and Sehnaoui agreed on providing the Intelligence Bureau with the text messages data on two stages.

According to the agreement the Intelligence Bureau will be handed over at a first stage the movement of the text messages in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, but will not be able to view the texts.

In the second stage, the security agency will be able to view the content of the text messages between “suspicious” numbers.

Prime Minister Najib Miqati voiced his support to the Intelligence Bureau's request in comments published in As Safir newspaper, but he stressed that it shouldn't infringe on freedoms.

Miqati quoted a statement by Benjamin Franklin as saying “those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither.”

Sehnaoui told As Safir newspaper that the cabinet “will not provide any security agency with the full telecom data under any pretext.”

He noted that his stance comes in harmony with the judicial authority, which is tasked with assessing the possibility of providing the security forces with the data, that also rejected the request submitted by the Intelligence Bureau.

The three-member authority stressed that the request clearly violates the constitution and law 140, which specifies the protection of communications data.

Media reports said that the security agency also extended its request to acquire Facebook and several internet passwords that the Lebanese people use, under the pretext of “national security.”

Sehnaoui confirmed the report saying that his ministry received the request in July 2012 “but didn't comment on it as it will not be approved for it breaches the privacy of citizens in delicate matters.”

However, a security source told the daily that the Intelligence Bureau will not violate the citizens' privacy, saying that those who carry out such acts will be held responsible.

“If the Lebanese don't trust their security agencies... They shouldn't ask about investigations or the truth,” the source said.

It stated that all the private data are being breached and are under surveillance by western companies such as Facebook, twitter, and Viber, but the Lebanese keep on using them.

“There's no such thing as privacy nowadays as long as we are using the latest technologies,” the source added.

The source noted that the security agency doesn't only want to reveal the identity of those behind the assassination of Intelligence Bureau head Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan on October 19 but “want to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents in the future.”

Comments 18
Missing reformist 12 December 2012, 15:05

Chou M14 puppets? :)
I personally talked to different authorities in different countries and not one single country (including Canada and Europe) would allow ANYONE to have access to this private data.
True that the US would do it but it's the only country in the world allowing this...

Default-user-icon SISI (Guest) 12 December 2012, 17:23

Europe is not a country dude

Thumb natasha 12 December 2012, 18:12

if they get a court order they can, atleast in canada .

Missing reformist 12 December 2012, 20:30

Natasha, canada in your dreams for all data. The US maybe because they are swift in updating their laws (which is a great thing) but in canada? Over my dead body... The law would NEVER pass for all data. For suspected profiles? Of course!

Missing reformist 12 December 2012, 20:30

Yalla slash 3awwe biiiiiiiiii charafak! Yeuh yeuhhhhhh yeuhhhhhhhhh

Missing reformist 12 December 2012, 20:28

yeuh yeuhhhhh yeuhhhhhhh slash! So much added value, as usual from M14erz ;)
We stopped expecting more. Bring facts to the table :)
Have you seen any European country giving ALL data? Het tan chouf what is hilarious! I was at a security conference (Cyber security) for the past week and we addressed these points... eh eh find it hilarious. This comes from ignorance :)

Thumb mouallek 12 December 2012, 21:06

To talk personally with so many authorities in so many countries implies that you are a very important personalitity or a big liar. I guess that you are only a big liar !

Missing reformist 12 December 2012, 21:11

Try me mouallek :)
Ask any questions related to cyber security... Would it be on the network on IT fronts for telecom operators... Try me on the new technologies like deep packet inspections, where regulators, national security agencies and also operators can have access to any content of any communication you establish (provided you are not using a VPN, yet again this can be overcome...).
Ask me about the challenges that regulators are facing to update their legislation against these advances in technologies (we should not kill innovation...).
But of course you can call me big liar ;-)

Missing reformist 13 December 2012, 08:21

Enough this is all you have to say? Sometimes it's better to shut up and take the risk of being taken for an ignorant rather than open it (like you did) and prove you are an idiot :)
I am happy to answer any question you may have buddy! We - at M8 - love to educate people like you ;-)
Just ask and I fail to answer, then you can question my knowledge!

Default-user-icon assaad (Guest) 12 December 2012, 17:26

On pourrait peur etre confier toutes les données à une autorité spéciale, comme un juge de confiance. il pourra donner à la police les seules informations utiles, sans que la demande détaillée ne passe par le ministre des télécomunication qui risque semble t il d'allerter les personnes supçonnées. cette autorité peut aussi etre le ministre de l'intérieur ou de la justice.

Default-user-icon saxo (Guest) 12 December 2012, 17:28

Mr. Reformist, in other countries, the minister of telcom is not a very probable friend of assassin people.

Default-user-icon NYC_Litigator (Guest) 12 December 2012, 21:44

As a Lebanese-US attorney, I can tell you with certainty that despite the "Patriot Act" which is considered by Western standards as a statute allowing for a blatant breach of privacy, no security agency can tap into your data flow in the manner requested by the ISF. All you can do is subpoena the telecom company and abide by the ensuing court order. In Lebanon, due process was observed (shocking) and the judiciary denied that request in due course. It should have stopped there. The ISF's request is too broad to be supported by probable cause: only suspicious traffic should be investigated, this means tailoring the request to the needs of the ongoing investigation. Unless every single Lebanese is deemed a person of interest, this cannot come to pass. A visiting French judicial committee went further by deeming the previous disclosures of telecommunication data as illegal.

“those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither.” - Benjamin Franklin

Missing peace 12 December 2012, 21:52

during an investigation if a security agency comes up with suspects they have to get a court order to tap them and get them which is totally normal to preserve the liberties of people, they don t have the right to listen to conversations or read messages from any citizen they want!

i don t understand what all this fuss is about!

but i find it strange that the gvt has to get implied in this not the judiciary only!

Missing reformist 13 December 2012, 08:25

peace ya peace! This is the problem with M14erz bi 3awwo w byetfalsafo when there is no need for all this fuss :)
Bass kell wahad btekhdo 3a 3a'leto! Fet7een 3a 7seboun enno guys someone died and you don't want to give the data??? So you are the killers!!!
Yeuhhh yeuhhhh yeuhhhhh :)

Thumb LebDinosaur 12 December 2012, 22:06

The Intelligence Bureau doesn't seem to understand anything about Facebook obviously. They want any pretext for covering the fact that they aren't able to conduct a proper investigation.

Facebook access will not give them any clues, but they have suspects, then go to Facebook and ask for that data. The Lebanese telecom doesn't have Facebook passwords because it's all encrypted during communications.

Missing beirutbastard00 13 December 2012, 00:07

So where is all this data kept?

Thumb LebDinosaur 13 December 2012, 00:19

That picture is scary and is part of the problem. How many ministers we have for a small country? It's mind-blogging how much money is wasted on this overhead.

Default-user-icon Tommie (Guest) 26 November 2013, 15:47

No matter if some one searches for his essential
thing, so he/she needs to be available that in detail, thus that thing is maintained
over here.