Almost 62,000 applications for access to landline, mobile phone and internet data were made to companies providing services to the Irish public by State authorities in a five-year period.

An Garda Síochána made almost all of the requests, security sources have told The Irish Times.

…The information received for the five-year period to the end of 2012 has been made available by the Irish authorities to the European Commission. Between 2008 and 2012 the number of applications for data reached 61,823; a rate of more than 1,000 a month. Of those, 98.7 per cent were granted.

… In 2012, half of the requests made by the Garda and other agencies such as GSOC, Defence Forces and Revenue Commissioners related to mobile phone records. The remaining applications for data were split roughly evenly between landlines and internet services.

Majority of 62,000 data requests made by Garda (Irish Times)

Previously: GSOC Snoop Guide

They Snoop To Conquer

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23 thoughts on “How Many?

  1. Mysterybeat

    Ah but why focus on that, when you can use this to beat an already toothless Garda Ombudsman.

    The law may be bad, but the reporting is appalling.

    1. phil

      I suspect that effort failed, so now they are falling on their own sword to protect the leaks and possibly the 2 pauls

      1. rory

        Sorry, I’m probably the only one who didn’t understand your comment, but just to clarify:
        Who is falling on their own sword? What does that mean? And who are the 2 Paul’s (I’m guessing one of them is Williams?)

    1. ReproBertie

      Look at all the text message evidence that came up in the Graham Dwyer case as a simple example of why the gardaí request access to phone records. It’s not all about trying to intercept your naked selfies.

    2. nellyb

      “Revenue Commissioners”, yeah… Why don’t they go to Lux or channel islands to read phone records there?

        1. Kieran NYC

          ‘Problematic’: a word used when you’re vaguely uneasy about something but don’t have an actual clue why.

  2. Joni2015

    Broadsheet, you haven’t a clue. You’d berate the gardai for not doing their job yet you are outraged when they are actually investigating serious crime. Phone billing data is essential in investigations and has resulted in thousands of prosecutions. But yeah, big brother is watching.

    1. The Bird in the Box


      phone records could also be used to eliminate people from enquiries – surely that’s a good thing? Wouldn’t we all be pretty pissed off if we were investigated for something that a simple check of our phone records could eliminate us from? we’d be accusing gardai of ignoring evidence then

      1. ahjayzis

        I don’t think anyone’s saying all communications data should be sacrosanct under all circumstances.

        I object to the lack of oversight – in most countries requests for personal data need a warrant from a judge. That’s a basic minimum for me.

        We’ve been shown how the Gardai have been a law unto themselves, with the minister in their pocket and that needs to change if faith is to be restored.

          1. Neilo

            Compared to the shower in UK police forces – lookin’ at you, Cumbria and S. Yorkshire – the Garda ain’t too bad but could always do better.

        1. Spaghetti Hoop

          Spot on. If a warrant is required to search your property…seems only right it should be sought to search your calls.

  3. Markus

    All this points to is that the gardai are actually carrying out investigations in to crimes. The very thing the gardai were praised for in the Graham Dwyer trial is being used as a stick to beat them now.

    What’s also not clear is what amount of info is released in each request. Does each request relate to one person’s records or if one criminal calls 100 numbers, and the gards want to find out who he rang, does this count as 101 requests?

    1. ahjayzis

      That’s why it needs judicial oversight – warrants. The guards make a case for what information they think they need from the providers and their reasons for thinking it’ll aid the investigation – the judge makes a ruling on whether it’s reasonable / logical and not a fishing exercise and directs the company to release the data he allows them to.

      This isn’t rocket science, it’s what most other jurisdictions do. Imagine suggesting to an American that their police be given direct access to the communication company’s records….

  4. Vote Rep #1

    When I read this this morning I laughed. The original leak had all the hallmarks of a leak with the intention of discrediting GSOC. Which organisation would love to see the back of GSOC? Hmmm. Of course, they were too dim to see any other possible outcome to that leak other then GSOC getting some heat.

  5. poppy

    Some years back i was appalled to read in a sunday paper quoting a ‘garda source” that missing Jo Jo Dullard had possibly fled abroad due to psychological problems due to an earlier abortion. It was disgraceful leaking private medical records and only heaped anguish and distress on Jo Jo family. In an ideal world our Garda Commissioner should have given “garda source” the boot and ensured asshole journalist was blacklisted.

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