Europol, the law enforcement agency in the European community, as well as multiple cybersecurity firms, say that new 5G network technology will prevent law enforcement agencies from any activity tracking mobile device activity, because the technology currently available to police agencies has lagged too far behind.
On the other hand, the members of the GSMA Association were surprised by these statements from the European agency, claiming that criminal activity can still be tracked after the massive implementation of 5G technology.
In an interview for the international news agency Reuters, Catherine De Bolle, director of Europol, mentioned that the ability to conduct surveillance through the use of 4G networks is one of the most reliable criminal investigative tools currently, so it is not convenient to simply discard the use of this technology.
According to cybersecurity specialists, law enforcement agencies frequently use the analysis of 4G networks for their various crime-fighting efforts, from call tracking to the location of kidnapping victims.
On the other hand, cybersecurity specialists at the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) believe that the latest generation 5G networks increase the complexity of these monitoring efforts, as mobile traffic data travels through much more elements of the communication system. “Right now we are trying to reach the best deals for mobile operators, technology companies, users and authorities,” the director of Europol said.
The GSMA reaffirmed its position, stating that the implementation of 5G technologies does not prevent any criminal activity from being tracked by analyzing mobile networks. “Law enforcement agencies participate in the global initiative 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), responsible for issuing standards for 5G networks, including interception for legal purposes.”
Europol also published a report mentioning some potential technological threats against law enforcement in the European community, including the use of autonomous vehicles for illicit purposes or automatic decryption systems.