Vaud mass surveillance operation raises questions
Civil liberty groups are angry after canton Vaud revealed it used a controversial mobile phone monitoring programme which could mean hundreds of thousands had their phone use checked by police.
The mass surveillance was aimed to track down those responsible for a series of robberies on armored trucks which made headlines last year.
The details of the operation have been published by the Federal Justice Department in its annual surveillance report.
The police checked which phone was attached to each cell in the network. It would have been possible for them to have read SMS messages and see phone calls being made or received.
The Vaud prosecutors’ office says the searches related only to serious incidents.
But a lawyer for the Digital Society says it’s a form of mass surveillance which targets innocent people. He says all those who had their information checked should be told.
The operation was legal as it had been authorized by a judge.