Law Enforcement Standards by Country

Standard Australia Brazil Canada China France Germany India Israel Italy Japan Korea United Kingdom United States
"In accordance with law" Standards for real-time intercept spelled out in Telecom (Interception and Access) Act. Computer access regulated under ASIO Act, § 25A.Standards set forth in Brazilian Federal Act 9296 / 1996Standards spelled out in Crim. Code § 184.Vague access standards grant substantial authority.Standards set forth in Loi 91-646 of July 10, 1991.Standards spelled out in BDSG & Crim. Code §§ 100a et seq.Vague standards allow widespread access.Standards spelled out in Wiretap Act and Comm. Data Act.Standards set forth in Articles 266-271 of the Criminal Procedure CodeStandards spelled out in Communications Interception ActThe Protection of Communications Secrets Act and Criminal Procedures Act set broad standardsStandards spelled out in RIPA and Police and Criminal Procedure Act.Standards provided by the Wiretap Act and ECPA.
Court order required YesYesYes; emergency exception. Crim. Code § 186.NoYesYes. Required by Basic Law, Art. 10, Crim Code.NoYes, warrant from senior judge required.Yes, authorization from judicial authorities required.Warrant RequiredYesNoYes.
Approval of senior official required No. Telecom. Act § 39.NoYes; signature of Attorney-General. Crim. Code § 185(1).NoNoNoSenior police officer may issue an order to produce. Crim. Proc. § 91.NoNoOnly public prosecutors and senior police may seek a warrant.NoWarrant from the Secretary of State required; emergency exception. RIPA § 7.Authorization from Attorney General or designee required to apply for warrant. 18 USC § 2516.
Limited to serious crimes Yes. Telecom. Act § 46.Wiretapping is not permitted for crimes that are only punishable by “detention,” rather than full imprisonmentNoNoWiretapping only permitted for In criminal and misdemeanor crimes, punishable by at least two years in prison. Cloning and keystroke monitoring is only permitted for organized crime investigations.Limited to substantial criminal offenses. Crim. Code §§ 100a(2), 100g(2). Information may be used for any broad or generic purpose.NoElectronic interceptions must related to investigations of serious offenses (offenses listed in Art. 266 of the Data Protection Code or those with a minimum five year sentence) Limited to drug trafficking, illicit firearms trade, organized murder, and the smuggling of illegal immigrants.Wiretapping limited to serious crimes pursuant to Protection of Communications Secrets Act; not limited for the issuance of warrants for digital data pursuant to the Criminal Procedures Act.Limited to “preventing or detecting serious crime;” crime undefined. RIPA § 5.Limited to long list of predicate crimes. 18 USC § 2516.
Particularity as to target Yes. Individual targeted must be suspected of criminal activity. Satisfied by warrant requirement. Crim. Code § 185(1)(e).NoneRequiredRequired. Crim. Code §§ 100a(3).None. Info. Tech. Act § 69(1).The person or device must be specified, if known in advance.Individual targeted must be suspected of criminal activity.Satisfied by warrant requirement. Comm. Interception Act, art. 6.Required for issuance of a wiretapping warrant pursuant to the Protection of Communications Secrets Act.Yes. RIPA § 8.Yes; roving wiretaps allowed. 18 USC § 2518; 50 USC §1805(c)(2)(b).
Showing of suspicion required UnclearThere must be reasonable suspicion that the crime has been committed by the person investigated Reasonable grounds to believe [the interception] may assist the investigation of the offence. Crim. Code § 185(1)(e).NoneYesMust be “necessary” for an investigation supported by “determinate facts”.“Necessary or expedient … for investigation of any offence.” Info. Tech. Act § 69(1).Necessary to prevent or detect offenses. Wiretap Act § 6(a).Yes“Sufficient suspicion that a communication involving [a serious crime] ... is about to take place." Comm. Interception Act, art. 3.Required for issuance of a wiretapping warrant pursuant to the Protection of Communications Secrets Act. Not required for the issuance of warrants for digital data pursuant to the Criminal Procedures Act.“Secretary must be convinced that the warrant is necessary …[for] preventing or detecting serious crime and that the conduct authorized is proportionate.” RIPA § 5(2)-(3).Probable cause to believe that a crime has been, is being or is about to be committed. 18 USC § 2518(3)(a).
Exhaustion of less intrusive means No other practicable methods exist. Telecom. Act § 46A(3)(a).RequiredRequired. Crim. Code § 185(1)(h).Not RequiredNot requiredAllowed only if other means would be much more difficult or offer no prospect of success. Crim. Code §100a(1)(3).Not RequiredNot RequiredSurveillance must be essential for the continuation of an investigation.Required. Comm. Interception Act, art. 3.Required for issuance of a wiretapping warrant pursuant to the Protection of Communications Secrets Act. Not required for the issuance of warrants for digital data pursuant to the Criminal Procedures Act.Ability to obtain information by other means is merely a factor in granting the warrant. RIPA § 5(4).Allowed if normal investigative procedures reasonably appear unlikely to succeed or too dangerous. 18 USC § 2518 (3)(c).
Limit on duration 45-90 days. Telecom. Act § 49(3).Eavesdropping may last for 15 days; the term may be renewed. A total maximum time limit has not been established.Limited to 60 days; renewal up to 3 years. Crim. Code §§ 185(3), 186(4)(e)NoneFour months, with an option for renewal.Limited to 3 months; infinite renewals. Crim. Code §100b(1).NoneLimited to 3 weeks, infinite renewals. Wiretap Act § 6(c).Fifteen days, with an unlimited extension option by a judge.Limited to 10 days, renewals up to 30 days. Comm. Interception Act, art. 5, 7.The maximum period for wiretapping is three months, with potential for an additional three month extension (Article 6 of the Communication Secrecy Protection Act)Limited to 3 months; infinite renewals. RIPA § 9(6)(c).30 days; subject to renewal.
Limit on scope (minimization of irrelevant data required) NoNoLimited to info directly related to a gov’t program. Privacy Act § 4.Non-targeted data is explicitly collected.NoneRecords of core area of private life shall be immediately deleted. Crim. Code §100a(4).NoneNoneConfidential information (eg conversations with lawyers, doctors, or religious ministers) must be destroyed.Irrelevant data must be deleted. Comm. Interception Act, art. 22.NoneNoneYes
Limit on use and disclosure NoneGenerally no. Sharing Information may be shared between the members of the Brazilian Intelligence System .Generally, but police exceptions. Privacy Act § 8(2)(e).Inter-agency sharing is encouraged to increase data utilization.NoneUse must be necessary to the purpose for which the data were collected. BDSG §15(1).NoneNoneData may only be accessed and used by government entities “in order to discharge their institutional tasks” (Data Protection Code, Art. 18).Communications not relating to felonies must be deleted. NoneIntercepted communications may not be used in legal proceedings. RIPA § 17.Disclosure limited to “proper performance of … official duties.” 18 USC §2517(1).
Retention limit/limit on storage When a record is not likely to be required it shall be destroyed. Telecom. Act § 150.Information not used over the course of an investigation must be destroyed.2 years. Privacy Reg. § 4.NoneRecords are destroyed once the time limit for relevant prosecution has expired.Unclear if required 6 month deletion applies to police. NoneYesTraffic data is be retained by the provider for twenty-four months and electronic communications traffic data shall is retained for twelve months. (Data Protection Code, Art. 132).Later of 5 years or the conclusion of criminal trial. Comm. Interception Act, art. 27.UnclearIntercepted communications must be destroyed when no longer necessary for an authorized purpose. RIPA § 15(3).At least 10 years, unless ordered destroyed by a judge. 18 USC 2518 (8)(a).
Notice to target No.UnclearYes, within 90 days; extension up to 3 years. Crim. Code § 196.NoNoRequired. Crim. Code §101(4)(3).No.NoNoRequired within 30 days after the end of the surveillance. Comm. Interception Act, art. 23, para. 2.Yes; timeframe unclear (Protection of Communications Secrets Act)NoRequired within 90 days of termination of wiretap order. 18 USC § 2518(8)(d).
Oversight (protections against abuse) – judicial, executive, legislative Reports to and by the minister. Telecom Act § 93-103A.The National Counsel of Justice is tasked with overviewing judicial malpractices and improving the management of the Judiciary; this body has previously addressed wiretapping abuses.Privacy Commissioner may investigate, audit. Minister of Public Safety annual report.NoneAn authorizing judge must file a report on all wiretaps and communications monitoring.Data Protection Authority; careful attention to privacy and surveillance issues by Constitutional Court.NoneRecent investigations by parliamentary committee and State Comptroller.Storage is regulated by judicial authoritiesCommunications Interception Act requires annual disclosures of the number of interceptions.The Ministry of Information and Communications operates a wiretap complaint center.Intercept Communications Commissioner reports to Investigatory Powers Tribunal. RIPA §§ 57-70.Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts annual report to Congress. Congressional oversight. 18 USC § 2519.
Redress (remedy) Civil remedies, Telecom. Act § 107A, 165. Complaints in front of the Australia Privacy Commissioner.Illegal wiretapping is punishable by a fine and two to four years detention.Commission for Public Complaints has authority to review.NoneTarget of a search may seek review by the Court of Cassation regarding legality and authorization; exclusionary rule applies. Liability for government officials unclear.Exclusion of material and civil damages are both available.NonePolice are immunized from liability.Complaints may be filed before the Data Protection Authority (Garande) or courts; the Garande is more typically used.Suit requiring deletion of improperly obtained communications. Comm. Interception Act, art. 26.Individuals may engage in civil suit for improper surveillance or release of information (Protection of Personal Data Act)Investigatory Powers Tribunal may quash evidence, order deletion, or provide money damages. RIPA §§ 65 – 70.Exclusion of evidence, civil damages. 18 USC § 2520.