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Swedish police implementation of IMSI-catchers in a European law perspective
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Law.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4642-3872
2016 (English)In: Computer Law & Security Review, ISSN 0267-3649Article in journal (Refereed) In press
Abstract [en]

In this article the qualitative requirements of legality under the European Convention on Human Rights are analyzed as they apply to the use of ‘IMSI-catchers’ – a technical device to track the location and use of cell phones. The implementation of IMSI-catchers in the Swedish police is used as a case study and litmus test to illustrate how domestic law may interact with the requirements under convention law in this area. The article shows that the Swedish implementation of IMSI-catchers in substantive law has lagged behind the actual use of the measure in police work through references to the domestic legal principle that ‘the ether is free’ that serve to preclude legal protection of confidentiality of radio communications. The application of this principle highlights deficiencies in the conformity of Swedish law with both the EU ePrivacy directive and the requirements of legality under the European Convention.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
IMSI-catcher, Surveillance, Police, Legality, Obscurity, Law, Sweden, ECHR, Ether, Metadata, Policing, Police methods, Technology law, Mobile communications, Privacy, Security, ePrivacy, EU-law
Keyword [sv]
IMSI-catcher, övervakning, polis, legalitet, juridik, sverige, Europakonventionen, metadata, integritet, dataskydd
National Category
Law (excluding Law and Society)
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-124487DOI: 10.1016/j.clsr.2016.07.006OAI: diva2:952581
Policing in Sweden – Efficiency and Rule of Law in Police Work
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, SGO14-1173:1
Available from: 2016-08-15 Created: 2016-08-15 Last updated: 2016-09-19

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Naarttijärvi, Markus
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