National Security 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.Wiretapping can be conducted only by police (Constitution, Art. 144), but results can be shared with intelligence agency.Standards spelled out in intelligence authorizing legislation. CSIS Act, Nat. Def. Act.Vague access standards grant substantial authority.Standard for security interceptions set out in Law n° 91-646National security surveillance powers are spelled out in the G-10 Statute.Vague standards allow widespread access.Standards for GSS spelled out in Wiretap Act and the GSS ActAct No. 155/200Japanese intelligence does not have wiretap authority.The Communication Privacy Act and the Protection of Communications Secrets Act.Standards for intelligence access spelled out in RIPAStandards for intelligence access spelled out in FISA.
Court order required NoYesCSIS yes, CSIS Act § 21; CSEC no.NoNoNoNoNoYesWarrant RequiredRequired for intelligence agencies, with emergency exceptions.NoYes, except no court order for non-US citizen located outside the US. 50 USC §§ 1804-05, 1881a.
Approval of senior official required Application by Director-General of Security; approval of the Atty Gen required. Telecom Interception Act §§ 9, 11A-11D; see also ASIO Act § 25A.Unclear.For CSIS surveillance, application must be approved by Minister for Public Safety; CSEC requires Minister of Defence approval. Nat. Def. Act § 273.65.NoSecurity interceptions are requested by the Ministry of Interior or Ministry of Defense, and authorized by specially-named persons in the Prime Minister's officeInterception by the BND for intelligence purposes (§§ 3 and 5 of the G-10 Act) requires approval by the Parliamentary Controlling Communications.Senior officer may issue an order to produce. Crim. Proc. § 91.Yes. Approval by the Prime Minister or the Minister of Defense required. Wiretap Act § 4(a).The Prime Minister directs the secret service to conduct surveillance activity.Only public prosecutors and senior police may seek a warrant.Approval should be obtained in writing from the President of the Republic of Korea for foreign intelligence surveillance. Warrant from the Secretary of State required; emergency exception, international communications unprotected. RIPA §§ 7, 8(5).Attorney-General approval required for FISA application. 50 USC § 1804(a).
Limited to serious crimes Limited to acts prejudicial to security (espionage etc.) or for collection of foreign intelligence. Telecom Interception Act § 9, ASIO Act § 4.Yes.For CSIS, reasonable grounds to investigate a threat to security, CSIS Act § 21(1); for CSEC, for the sole purpose of collecting foreign intelligence.NoSecurity interceptions must seek to obtain information relating to “national security, safeguarding essential elements of France's scientific and economic potential, or preventing terrorism or organized crime” or the creation of paramilitary groups. National security surveillance is limited to specified purposes. G-10 Stat. § 5.NoNo, though must be necessary for state security. Wiretap Act § 4(a).Must be considered “indispensable” to prevent terrorist or subversive activities Limited to drug trafficking, illicit firearms trade, organized murder, and the smuggling of illegal immigrants.Limits exist regarding foreign intelligence surveillance which must receive Presidential authorization, however general limits on intelligence agencies appear to be very broad.Must be “in the interest of national security.” RIPA § 5(3)(a).National security surveillance of non-US persons can be conducted to gather intelligence without suspicion of criminal conduct; FISA surveillance of US persons limited to matters that may involve criminal violations.
Particularity as to target Not required for foreign communications. Telecom Interception Act, § 11C. See also ASIO Act § 25A(2) (seems to require particularity for stored communications).Yes.Not required for CSEC surveillance; warrant for CSIS must specify the identity of the target "if known," CSIS Act § 21(2)(d).NoneNoThe G-10 Act authorizes both individualized surveillance and "strategic surveillance," which is not particularized.None. Info. Tech. Act § 69(1).The person or device must be specified, if known in advance.YesYes. Comm. Interception Act, art. 6.Required for issuance of a wiretapping warrant pursuant to the Protection of Communications Secrets Act by an intelligence agency. Unclear regarding presidentially authorized foreign intelligence surveillance.Satisfied by warrant requirement, though international communications excepted. RIPA §§ 5, 8(5).Yes for surveillance regulated by FISA.
Showing of suspicion required There must be reasonable grounds to believe access will substantially assist the collection of intelligence. ASIO Act § 25A(2).Reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed by the person who will be investigated.Reasonable grounds to investigate a threat to security. CSIS Act § 21(1).NoneNoNo particular showing required, but must be authorized by the G-10 Commission.“Necessary or expedient … for investigation of any offence.” Info. Tech. Act § 69(1).Must be necessary for state security. Wiretap Act § 4(a).No“Sufficient suspicion that a communication involving [a serious crime] ... is about to take place." Comm. Interception Act, art. 3Required for issuance of a wiretapping warrant pursuant to the Protection of Communications Secrets Act by an intelligence agency. Not required regarding presidentially authorized foreign intelligence surveillance.NoneProbable cause to believe that the target is a foreign power or agent of a foreign power. 50 USC § 1805(a)(2)(A).
Exhaustion of less intrusive means Yes, "wherever possible," under AG guidelines for ASIO.YesYes. CSIS Act § 21(2)(b); Nat, Def. Act.§ 273.65(2)(b).Not required.NoMust be necessary to investigate a serious offense. G-10 Stat. § 5(2).Not required.Not required.NoRequired. Comm. Interception Act, art. 3Required 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).Available if information cannot reasonably be obtained by normal investigative means. 50 USC 1804(a)(6)(C).
Limit on duration 6 months; infinite renewals. Telecom Interception Act, § 11D; see also ASIO Act § 25A(6)-(7).Eavesdropping may last for 15 days; the term may be renewed. A total maximum time limit has not been established. 60 days in some cases, 1 year in others. CSIS Act § 21(5).NoneUnclearMust end when no longer necessary.NonePermits are limited to 3 months; infinite renewals. Wiretap Act § 4(c).UnclearLimited to 10 days, renewals up to 30 days. Comm. Interception Act, art. 5, 7.Four MonthsLimited to 3 months; infinite renewals. RIPA § 9(6)(c).90 days, 120 days or 1 year depending on target; infinite renewals. 50 USC § 1805(d)(1)(A).
Limit on scope (minimization of irrelevant data required) Must be relevant or reasonably incidental to the collection of intelligence. ASIO Act § 25A(4)(b)-(d).Unclear.Nat. Def. Act, § 273.65(2)(d).No.NoneRecording communications from the core area of private life prohibited. G-10 Stat. § 5a.NoneNo.Confidential information (eg conversations with lawyers, doctors, or religious ministers) must be destroyed.Irrelevant data must be deleted. Comm. Interception Act, art. 22.NoneNoMust comply with minimization procedures. 50 USC § 1801(h).
Limit on use and disclosure Broad use and disclosure permitted under Telecom Interception Act, §§136-139; under AG guidelines, personal information shall not be used or disclosed by ASIO unless reasonably necessary. ASIO Guidance para 13.2.Sharing with intelligence agency permitted.May be disclosed in the public interest. CSIS Act § 19.Inter-agency sharing is encouraged.NoneData may be shared when it reveals serious criminal behavior. The Anti-Terror file has fostered increased sharing.Information may be used for any broad or generic purpose.NoneData 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. NoneMust limit disclosure to the “minimum that is necessary for the authorized purposes.” RIPA § 15(2).Yes.
Retention limit/limit on storage NoneUnclearNone specified in statute.NoneUnclearData reviewed every 6 months; deleted if no longer necessary.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 national security. RIPA § 15(3).Retention is to be minimized; statute does not specify limit. 50 USC § 1801(h).
Notice to target NoneUnclearNoneNoNoRequired, unless negative impact on welfare of Germany. G-10 Stat. § 12.NoNoNoRequired within 30 days after the end of the surveillance. Comm. Interception Act, art. 23, para. 2.Yes for general surveillance by intelligence agencies (Protection of Communications Secrets Act); unclear regarding presidentially authorized foreign intelligence surveillance.NoNo, unless information is used in criminal trial.
Oversight (protections against abuse) – judicial, executive, legislative Reports to and by Minister under Telecom Interception Act, §§ 161-164; ombudsman and Inspector General review; annual report to the Attorney-General on ASIO activities, ASIO Act § 94.The National Counsel of Justice has previously addressed wiretapping abuses.CSIS reviewed by Inspector General and Security Intelligence Review Committee. CSIS Act § 34. Independent Commr provides review of CSEC.NoneThe Commission on Security Interceptions reviews all communications surveillance conducted as Security Interceptions, and may request modification or termination of surveillance. These requests are published in an annual report to Parliament.Parliamentary Control Panel and G-10 Commission oversee intelligence activities.NoneNumerous reporting requirements to the Attorney General. Storage is regulated by judicial authorities.Communications Interception Act requires annual disclosures of the number of interceptions.The Ministry of Information and Communications operates a wiretap complaint centerIntercept Communications Commissioner reports to Investigatory Powers Tribunal. RIPA §§ 57-70.FISA Court, some public reporting, Congressional oversight, Privacy Board oversight.
Redress (remedy) Civil remedies for access to stored comms, Telecom Interception Act, § 165.Illegal wiretapping is punishable by a fine and two to four years detention.Security Int. Review Committee has authority to review complaints. CSIS Act § 38.NoneTarget of a search may seek review by the Court of Cassation regarding legality and authorizationGerman courts may order compensatory damages. G-10 Stat. § 20.NoneNoneComplaints 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.Civil and criminal penalties. 50 USC § 1809-10.