Arthur A. Jones, J.D., Dr.jur.
Robin Wiseman, J.D., Dr.h.c.
International Human Rights Law and Policy
c/o Los Angeles Community Policing
email to: Arthur@lacp.org
Fund (PIF) Advisory Committee,
..........Emergency Communications & Information Technology Project
..........County of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department
..........Leroy D. Baca, Sheriff
..........Dr. Richard Weintraub, Director, Professional Development Bureau
European Cooperation in
purpose of this brief synopsis is to illustrate the direction
our research is presently taking and to invite Committee members
to submit their thoughts and suggestions for future research
of new or innovative approaches in foreign jurisdictions that
may be wholly or partly replicable domestically. In fact, the
following materials comprise merely an introductory “once
I. International Information Exchange Standards
terrorist attacks of 9/11 prompted European countries to feverish
efforts to enlarge the scope and capabilities of their international
cooperation in surveillance and information sharing.
In establishing new and efficient surveillance standards, European
governments and police agencies have benefited greatly from their
association with OASIS (Organization for the Advancement
of Structured Information Standards), not least because it represents a consensus
of practice among foremost Information Technology producers, the
U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Defense Information Systems
Early last February, OASIS announced the formation of a subcommittee
to produce technical frameworks for global exchange of data and
to enable police organizations to cooperate in a worldwide anti-terrorist
surveillance and information sharing exercise. The goal is to join
police agencies horizontally (law enforcement, investigative agencies
and intelligence-gathering groups), as well as vertically (Standards
for initiation and execution of surveillance measures, and for
protecting privacy and other civil liberties while disseminating
classified information to legally authorized persons and entities).
The subcommittee, named LI-XML
(Lawful Interception eXtended Markup Language) will devise solutions and standards in conformity with
present international treaties and regulations, including the Homeland
Security Information Sharing Act of 2002 and the Second Supplementary
Protocoll to the Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Assistance
in Criminal Matters.
Although LI-XML is not intended to serve as an electronic panacea,
its proponents in law enforcement feel it will result in greater
interoperability and public trust in the traditionally sensitive
area of legal discovery.
In Italy, XML was recently adopted officially by
the Autorità per
l’Informatica nella Pubblica Amministrazione (AIPA) for law
enforcement agencies, courts and prosecutors. The rationale is
that XML creates its own application procedures to fit the definition,
and is sufficiently similar to HTML to be recognizable to generalists
in law enforcement agencies.
This is not to suggest, however, that European high-tech police
executives are universally enthused over the prospects of XML.
Lt. Col. Umberto Rapetto,
of the Gruppo Anticrimine Tecnologico branch of the Italian
Guardia di Finanza (Secret Service, Carabinieri), recently explained
at a symposium in Berlin, Germany, that terrorist networks are
now engaging in the same sophisticated encryption of messages
as used by the CIA, NSA, German and Italian intelligence networks
and others. Steganography is being used in combination with IP
Headers and XML formats. The new risk is that terrorist messages
will not be intercepted by extant means.
Director Rapetto criticized current intelligence
efforts by comparing them to “getting all your info by watching CNN in English
all day.” He calls for more intense human intelligence activity,
coupled with better technical competence on the part of law enforcement
Similar warnings were recently issued by security engineers for
the CATT (Cyber Attack Tiger Team), Europe. Incident Response and
Digital Forensics experts for CATT point out that the limitations
of XML become obvious when dealing with subjective police definitions
of terms and meandering legal requirements to justify surveillance.
Also, terms and conditions of international, cross-border police
cooperation vary by country, by treaty, and by language/culture,
all difficult variables to program into a single XML foundation.
Consultants Richard Starnes (London), Martin Pfeilsticker
(CATT Frankfurt), and Joachim Schrod (University of Darmstadt)
at the “hype” surrounding XML, and are concerned that
the language’s potentials are being overrated while other
possibilities are being overlooked, e.g., as SGML was in the early
II. International Organizational Weaknesses
a research paper commissioned by the German BKA (Bundeskriminalamt),
the FBI equivalent, Dr. Eckart Werthebach of the Bertelsmann
Foundation reviewed the future of anti-terrorist campaigns in
Europe and the USA from an organizational viewpoint.
First, according to Dr. Werthebach, there is no
single central headquarters for unifying worldwide police efforts
and neutralizing terrorist networks. Perhaps more seriously, he
contends that there is no agency extant that possesses a “big
picture” or overall perspective on intelligence gathering
and its fruits.
As a result, much detailed information stagnates for lack of interpretation
and inclusion into greater and more strategic operations. Similarly,
due to organizational and IT weaknesses, one police agency often
fails to transmit crucial intelligence to its counterparts, or
draws subjective conclusions as to the nature of the information
it chooses to transmit.
indicates that information deficits occur primarily in:
of personal information stored covering suspects;
of time that information is retained;
to other agencies;
of stored information with subsequent data on the same subject(s).
German recommendation is for the creation of a stronger central
body with the legislative authority to mandate interagency cooperation
according to intelligence and IT needs as directed from the executive
branch of that central agency.
In Italy, the drive toward central direction of
intelligence gathering, surveillance and public safety preceded
Sept. 11 by nearly a year.
Parliament authorized the secretary of internal affairs and public
safety (Ministro dell’Interno) to unify, coordinate and direct
all public safety operations and resources. The secretary immediately
issued a directive to unify all public safety and anti-terrorist
efforts in the country. The unified approach succeeded in removing
internecine rivalries among and between police agencies and intelligence
groups, thus contributing to the success of Italian anti-terrorist
also is the work currently being produced by several German risk
management firms regarding the changing nature of crisis
management of the future. According to one respected source, police
crisis management and decision-making should not be dissimilar
to that of business corporations. Among the suggestions:
qualified personnel to analyze potential crises and risks
before they occur;
a complete, holistic immediate reaction and response;
a comprehensive crisis information protection program;
a strong leadership personality as crisis manager to devise
and lead the crisis prevention program;
management psychologists on the task of building in decisional
angst de-stressors in the event of crisis.
The past two years have seen dramatic developments throughout Europe
in tightening international police cooperation. In particular, the
Schengen Agreement, eliminating most border stations within the European
Union, also created a new paradigm for transnational police work.
It also spawned a series of bipartite and multipartite police
agreements that provide standards for cross-border observation,
surveillance, and police pursuits.
For next month’s PIF Advisory Committee meeting,
we will prepare a brief summary of police pursuit techniques
and new approaches
out of Europe that may prove to be of interest to the members.
A. Jones, J.D., Dr.jur.
Wiseman, J.D., Dr.h.c.
--- Arthur A. Jones and Robin Wiseman are international human
rights lawyers with legal educations in the United States and
They are consultants and authors on international policing, social
policy and human rights, and regular contributors to the forum
at LA Community Policing.
For more of their work, please see the Think
additional information or a complete list of references, contact: