Any Garda could potentially be able to put any person's phone records - including those of a TD - under surveillance.
That's the advice of a digital rights advocate and law lecturer, following comments by a TD who has said she started using so-called 'burner' phones.
Catherine Murphy said she started using disposable phones to speak with sources around the time she raised concerns about the sale of SiteServ and other transactions at IBRC.
TJ McIntyre, a law lecturer at UCD, has said only the Minister for Justice has the power to allow phone calls to be actively recorded.
But he also said it is far easier to get the so-called 'metadata' showing who a person has spoken to, and when: “That’s done internally within gardaí, that’s done on the basis of a signature from the Chief Superintendent,
“And in practise that has been a rubber stamp in the past, literally, in practise individual gardaí have made requests and then at the end of every two weeks or every month, they would be passed on in a batch to the Chief Superintendent who would then rubber-stamp them after the fact.”