The Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files is an independent body with the exclusive power to adjudicate complaints from individuals seeking the deletion of information about them from INTERPOL’s files. In its 2017 annual report (its most recent) published this year, the Commission acknowledges that some governments have succeeded in disseminating diffusions against the same individuals whom the Commission has already found to be victims of their INTERPOL abuse, and INTERPOL lacks a comprehensive mechanism to stop the unlawful practice. Even before the Commission published its report, I had been calling upon INTERPOL to monitor and block all incoming red notices and diffusions to ensure that no such request entered its channels if it concerned an individual already found to be a victim of INTERPOL abuse from the same government. I have suggested that the organization should implement reliable software to conduct such monitoring. In his recent publication ‘INTERPOL CCF’s Latest Annual Report Highlights Fundamental Flaw in the System,’ Dr. Theodore Bromund disagrees with my suggestion and argues that INTERPOL cannot simply introduce a new technology to fix the problem. According to Dr. Bromund, stopping the unlawful practice “would require both changing the diffusion system at a technical level and making appropriate changes in INTERPOL’s Rules on the Processing of Data,” which “in turn would require a good deal of time and a vote in favor of the changes in INTERPOL’s one-nation, one-vote General Assembly — where it is far from clear that the nations wanting reform would be in the majority.”
In my article ‘INTERPOL’s Power to Act Preemptively in Fighting Government Abuse,’ I respond to Dr. Bromund’s argument by citing and quoting multiple INTERPOL rules that already unequivocally grant the organization the power, and indeed require it, to monitor all incoming diffusions and block the non-compliant ones before they enter its channels. I, therefore, strongly disagree with Dr. Bromund’s argument that changes in INTERPOL’s rules are needed for the organization to exercise that power. In response, Dr. Bromund has written another article ‘INTERPOL’s Lack of Power to Act Preemptively in Fighting Government Abuse of the Diffusion System.’ It is my understanding from this latter publication that Dr. Bromund agrees with my argument that under its rules, INTERPOL already has the power to monitor and block diffusions before they enter its channels, but at the same time argues that the organization cannot exercise that power, which he refers to as the “legal power,” because of “technical and political” barriers. In this regard, Dr. Bromund writes that while he accepts my legal analysis and conclusions as an “accurate depiction of the legal position,” he does not accept it as an “accurate assessment of the technical reality.” He argues that “INTERPOL’s lack of power to act preemptively in fighting government abuse of the diffusion system” stands not on legal grounds but on the lack of INTERPOL’s “technical ability to do so.” Dr. Bromund reasons that because the nature of diffusions is such that governments exchange them directly, bypassing any preliminary check from the General Secretariat, it is “not currently possible to make this legal position into a reality.” He argues that to “allow INTERPOL to screen diffusions before transmission,” a “fundamental rewiring” and “fundamental reworking at a technical level of the diffusion system . . . would be necessary,” which in turn would “require a vote in the General Assembly, which by adopting the RPD in 2012 has endorsed the diffusion system as it exists and works today.” I disagree with this position.
In his article ‘INTERPOL’s Lack of Power to Act Preemptively in Fighting Government Abuse of the Diffusion System,’ Dr. Bromund writes: “Mr. Nemets calls on INTERPOL to “monitor and block all incoming requests, including diffusions, to prevent governments from violating INTERPOL’s rules . . . [b]ut he does not explain how this can be done, given the fact that INTERPOL cannot review diffusions – including all abusive diffusions – until after they have been sent and received.” Dr. Bromund argues that “INTERPOL can (and must) prevent abuse before it publishes a notice, precisely because it is the one doing the publishing . . . [b]ut in the context of diffusions, INTERPOL is responsible for preventing abuse, but it lacks the technical power to prevent governments from sending or receiving abusive diffusions.” Dr. Bromund does not explain what he means by the “technical power,” and how it is different from and can exist without the “legal power,” as Dr. Bromund calls it, to monitor and block all incoming non-compliant diffusions, the latter of which, it is my understanding, we both agree INTERPOL already has.
Dr. Bromund seems to think that I suggest that prior to allowing a government to communicate a diffusion, the General Secretariat must first approve it following a compliance check akin to the one it carries out for notices. This is not what I suggest. Instead, I propose a simple filter, a software that would match every incoming diffusion with a database containing the names of individuals whose information the Commission or the General Secretariat have decided to delete due to a violation of INTERPOL’s rules. It is true that such filter must be maintained by the General Secretariat, but so are all INTERPOL databases, mechanisms, and tools, including those that member countries already use to communicate diffusions, as I have already mentioned in my previous article. The diffusion would be blocked from reaching its intended recipients and rerouted to the General Secretariat for further screening only if the filter were to match an incoming diffusion with a name in the database. Such a mechanism cannot be seen as “akin to the notice system’s hub and spoke model,” as Dr. Bromund calls it, changing the nature of diffusions, requiring a “fundamental rewiring” or “fundamental reworking on a technical level of the diffusion system,” as Dr. Bromund argues, or encroaching on the member countries’ right or ability to communicate diffusions directly. In this regard, I also want to reiterate what I have already stressed in my previous article – under INTERPOL’s rules, member countries’ right to communicate diffusions directly does not trump INTERPOL’s power to act preemptively to prevent abuse of its channels and screen and block incoming diffusions before they reach their intended recipients.
In support of his argument, Dr. Bromund also writes: “INTERPOL only receives a diffusion after it has been transmitted and it receives the diffusion simultaneously with the NCBs (or international entities) to which it was sent.” He argues that “INTERPOL cannot review diffusions — including all abusive diffusions — until after they have been sent and received.” From this, he concludes that the mechanism that I suggest should be implemented “could at best only detect the diffusion once it arrives at INTERPOL, and after it has already arrived at its other intended destinations.” Whether this is presented as a legal argument or a description of a process from a purely technical standpoint, we must always remember that although governments exchange diffusions directly, the process, as I have already mentioned here and in my previous article, from its very beginning to its very end, is carried out via INTERPOL’s channels and maintained by the General Secretariat, as is the process of publishing notices. To argue that INTERPOL cannot oversee any part of an operation, which is conducted through its channels, is to contradict the organization’s rules, which unequivocally require the opposite. Dr. Bromund’s argument that INTERPOL does not detect diffusions until after they have already arrived at their intended destination may be an accurate depiction of how the General Secretariat chooses the process to work now, but it is not how it should be working under the INTERPOL rules. If the General Secretariat has indeed adopted the approach that Dr. Bromund describes, it must abandon it and start monitoring all incoming diffusions before they reach their final destination.
Finally, as I have already mentioned here and in my previous article, INTERPOL’s rules already contain provisions that unequivocally grant the organization the power, and indeed require it, to screen and block diffusions before they enter its channels to prevent abuse. The rules also give the General Secretariat broad discretion over mechanisms and tools it can implement and use in order to exercise that power. Therefore, no changes to INTERPOL’s rules are needed, and none of those rules requires INTERPOL to seek authorization from the General Assembly to exercise that power, even if we accepted Dr. Bromund’s recommendation of “fundamental rewiring” and “fundamental reworking at a technical level of the diffusions system.” If any such changes or authorization were necessary, neither Dr. Bromund nor I would be justified in drawing the conclusion that INTERPOL has the power, or as Dr. Bromund refers to it the “legal power,” to screen and block incoming diffusions before they enter the organization’s channels, which, it is my understanding, both Dr. Bromund and I agree INTERPOL already has.
Yuriy Nemets is the managing member at NEMETS, a law firm based in Washington, DC. Yuriy is an attorney with over fifteen years of experience in domestic and international litigation and arbitration, INTERPOL and international extradition defense, corporate, banking, transportation, international trade and investments, and intellectual property law. He has authored publications on INTERPOL and international extradition, corporate, banking, and intellectual property law.
 Constitution of the ICPO-INTERPOL, art. 36, June 13, 1956, available at https://www.interpol.int/Who-we-are/Legal-framework/Legal-documents; Statute of the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files, art. 3(2)(C), available at https://www.interpol.int/Who-we-are/Legal-framework/Legal-documents.
 Activity Report of the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files for 2017 § 57, available at https://www.interpol.int/Who-we-are/Commission-for-the-Control-of-INTERPOL-s-Files-CCF/CCF-sessions-and-reports.
 Yuriy Nemets, Bill Browder’s Case Highlights Loopholes in Relief INTERPOL Grants Victims of Red Notice Abuse, Red Notice Abuse Report (July 16, 2018), https://rednoticeabuse.com/interpol-must-publicly-explain-why-russia-finally-succeeded-in-placing-bill-browder-on-the-international-wanted-list.
 Ted Bromund, INTERPOL CCF’s Latest Annual Report Highlights Fundamental Flaw in the System, Forbes (Mar. 31, 2019), https://www.forbes.com/sites/tedbromund/2019/03/31/interpol-ccfs-latest-annual-report-highlights-fundamental-flaw-in-the-system/#20e6152b3a11.
 Yuriy Nemets, INTERPOL’s Power to Act Preemptively in Fighting Government Abuse, 35 (Issue 5) International Enforcement Law Reporter 166 (May 2019).
 Ted Bromund, INTERPOL’s Lack of Power to Act Preemptively in Fighting Government Abuse of the Diffusion System, 35 (Issue 6) International Enforcement Law Reporter 227 (June 2019).
 Id. at 228.
 Id. at 227-228.
 Id. at 228.
 Id. at 229.
 Id. at 228.
 INTERPOL’s Rules on the Processing of Data art. 12(3), 22, 125(1) 2016, available at https://www.interpol.int/Who-we-are/Legal-framework/Legal-documents [hereinafter RPD]; Nemets, supra note 8, at 168-169.
 Bromund, supra note 9, at 229.
 Id. at 228.
 Id. at 229
 Nemets, supra note 8, at 167.
 Bromund, supra note 9, at 228.
 Id. at 228-229.
 RPD, supra note 17, art. 4(1), 12(3), 22, 125(1); Nemets, supra note 8, at 167-168.
 RPD, supra note 17, art. 12(3), 22, 125(1); Nemets, supra note 8, at 168-169.