On 1 March 2018, the totally revised Federal Mail and Telecommunications Surveillance Act (MTSA/"BÜPF") and its five implementing Ordinances entered into force. The revision is intended to adapt the surveillance law to the technological developments in communications. Suspected criminals should not be able to evade surveillance by law enforcement authorities through the use of new communication technologies. Accordingly, the revised MTSA considerably extends the circle of communication service providers required to surveil and provide information.
Surveillance and information obligations in Switzerland now affect significantly more providers of communication services, e.g. web hosting providers and providers of VoIP, e-mail and chat services. In order not to overburden providers of subsidiary services, the new law, however, provides tiered obligations for real-time surveillance and information. However, the demarcation between the individual covered categories of providers is still unclear.