For Oral Answer on : 04/11/2021
Question Number(s): 32 Question Reference(s): 53380/21
Department: Environment, Climate and Communications
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
[Ref No.: 53380/21]
* To ask the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the person or State body responsible for securing the integrity of Ireland’s mobile telephone and related telecommunications infrastructure, in particular with respect to security against the hacking of mobile phones used by Irish citizens and companies; his views on whether the current safeguarding legislation in place in this area is sufficiently robust; his plans to further strengthen such legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – David Stanton.
Telecommunications network operators and service providers operate in a fully liberalised market and are regulated by the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), which is statutorily independent in the exercise of its functions (as provided for in Section 11 of the Communications Regulations Act 2002).
At EU and domestic level, there are existing legislative requirements on telecoms operators in relation to managing risks posed to the security and integrity of their networks and services. These are set out in the European Communities (Electronic Communications Networks and Services) (Framework) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 333 of 2011) and ComReg is responsible for ensuring compliance with these provisions. Work is ongoing with industry, led by my Department and ComReg on the development of new electronic communications security measures.
While I, as Minister, have has no function in relation to enforcement, the Department keeps the security of the telecommunications sector under review. State security however, and legislation relating to hacking are matters primarily for the Minister for Justice.