From Iceland — How Wiretapping Is Used In Iceland

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Paul Fontaine

Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, an MP for the Pirate Party, posed a formal question to the Ministry of the Interior on police wiretapping in 2008. Yesterday, Stundin reports, he shared what he learned with parliament.

A police warrant to tap someone’s phone was granted in 99.3% of all cases where one was requested. Of the 720 wiretap warrants police have asked for, in only five cases was the request denied.

“It is effectively the case that if a police officer asks for a [wiretap] warrant, they will get it,” Helgi said.

The use of wiretaps is also, in the vast majority of cases (65%), linked to drug investigations. In only 5.28% of cases was it used in connection with a sexual assault case, and in only 2.64% of cases in connection with human trafficking.

Furthermore, it does not seem that wiretapping is particularly effective in strengthening a case – only 40% of cases that involved wiretapping even make it to court, let alone result in a conviction.


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