ENFOPOL Timeline 1991-1999

Compiled by Duncan Campbell, Erich Moechel, Christiane Schulzki-Haddouti. Additional data provided by Statewatch.

December 1991 Meeting of Trevi. European Union Ministers decide a study should be carried out on the new telecommunications systems and "the different interception possibilities".


29-30 November 1993 FBI arrange meeting in Quantico, USA attended by EU representatives plus Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. This was the first meeting of ILETS - the International Law Enforcement Telecommunications Seminar.

March 1994 The Council of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers discuss the draft Resolution.

November 1994 The K4 Committee discusses the draft "Memorandum of Understanding with third countries".

9 January 1995 The Working Group on Police Cooperation, under the K4 Committee, considers a report on the need to "tag" all communications.

17 January 1995 IUR adopted by EU Ministers in an initially secret decision. The Resolution is adopted by "written procedure". It is not published in any form until 4 November 1996 when it appears in the Official Journal. (see: Council Resolution on the lawful interception of telecommunications. Official Journal C 329, 04/11/1996, p. 0001-0006)

11 September 1995 Empfehlung R (95) 13 betreffend Probleme des Strafprozeßrechts im Zusammenhang mit der Informationstechnologie (Europarat), 7006/95 ENFOPOL 38 (in German)

13 November 1995 The Working Group on Police Cooperation consider a report on the situation in each EU state on telephone tapping.


23 November 1995 The Council of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers agree the "Memorandum of Understanding". It is not published in any form.

4 November 1996 Council Resolution C329, sections 1-10 (PG EG 1996 C 329) pusblished;

28 November 1996 The Council of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers agree the text of a letter to be sent out to other potential "participants" (countries) in the "Memorandum of Understanding".

20 December 1996 A first Joint Action 'out of the area" surveillance plan was not discussed at the Justice and Home Affairs meeting but adopted

17 February 1997 Entschließung des Rates und der im Rat vereinigten Vertreter der Regierungen der Mitgliedstaaten, ABI. Nr. C70/1, 1997

27 February 1997 A special report by Statewatch published detailed plans for a joint plan drawn up by the Council of the European Union and the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to introduce a global system for the surveillance of telecommunications.

21 May 1997 Internal working paper ENFOPOL 115 circulated. It contains an overview of the OECD recommendations concerning cryptography and the activities of various EU working groups (terrorism, organized crime).

6-8 July 1997 EU ministers meeting on global information networks in Bonn. Two main points on the agenda are internet surveillance and cryptography.

27 November 1997 Internal working paper ENFOPOL 229 circulated. Focus is on international police access to cryptographic keys of persons under surveillance.

18 December 1997 "An Appraisal of the Technology of Political Control" (PE 166.499), prepared by the Omega Foundation in Manchester and presented to the STOA Panel at its meeting and to the Committee on Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs on 27 January 1998.

13 January 1998 The Austrian delegation produces document ENFOPOL 1 containing basic considerations of telecom surveillance in general.

3 July 1998 Internal working paper ENFOPOL 87 circulated containing mainly definitions of technical terms.

14 to 16 July meeting of IUR and STC experts in Rome

3 to 4 Sept 98 EU Police advisory group meeting to review changes to IUR in Brussels and passes the ILETS revision of the IUR based on the revision by the FBI. The result is ENFOPOL 98. The group consists mainly of Austrian and three German officials.

September 1998 STOA Interim Study Executive Summary An Appraisal Of The Technologies Of Political Control updated.

15 September 1998 Internal memorandum Justpen 87 is circulated, focus is on the Iridium satellite telefone network.

20-22 October 1998 IUR [international User Requirements] Expert meeting in Vienna and

27-28 October 1998 in Madrid finalize ENFOPOL Rev 1

4 November 1998 date of one ENFOPOL 98 REV 1 document

5 November 1998 ENFOPOL REV 1 gets submitted to the "Police Cooperation Working Party"

10 November 1998 ENFOPOL 98 Rev 1 published

20 November 1998 First ENFOPOL story breaking in Telepolis.

29 November 1998 ENFOPOL 98 published in full text

2 to 3 December 1998 Ministerial conference of the EU Justice and Internal Affairs Council ENFOPOL 98 REV 2 is "forwarded for information and approval after verification at the forthcoming meeting of the "Police Cooperation Working Party" under German chairmanship"

December 1998 By this date the ENFOPOL revelations were circulated in unnumbered European print, radio, tv and internet media

21 to 22 January 1999 K4-meeting

8 February 1999 UK: Explanatory Memorandum on Justice and Home Affairs Matters

11 to 12 February 1999 informal meeting of the European Ministers for Justice & Interiour in Berlin

22 to 23 February 1999 K4-meeting

24 February 1999 ENFOPOL 98 Rev 2 is published by Telepolis.

3 March 1999 "Stoppt ENFOPOL" Campaign initiated on the net [see links]. Protests are adressed to the EU-Ombudsman.

5 March 1999 The Office of the EU-Ombudsman declares his office not being in charge of investigating into the ENFOPOL proceedings.

12 March 1999 Justice and Domestic Affairs Ministers Council has ENFOPOL Rev 2 on the Agenda.

The surveillance plans are slated to become EU- wide law during one of the following Council meetings

30 to 31 March 1999 K4-meeting

22 April 1999 Telecommunications Council

29 to 30 April 1999 K4-meeting

17 May 1999 K4-meeting

27 to 28 May 1999 Justice and Internal Affairs Council in Brussels

11 to 13 June 1999 Elections for European Parliament

The ENFOPOL main page in German language - updated regularly

ENFOPOL main page in English

Stoppt ENFOPOL Initiative

ENFOPOL discussion forum

The European Surveillance Union

A summary of the reports on the ENFOPOL papers

ENFOPOL Plans Provoke Strong Opposition by UK ISPs

Statewatch report

The EU-FBI surveillance plans

STOA-Report update

Duncan Campbell on ENFOPOL [Guardian 14-01-1999]

Phil Agre on ENFOPOL

Simon Davies on ENFOPOL Daily Telegraph Jan 7 1999

Irish Times on ENFOPOL