Lawful interception used to be straightforward because it was confined to traditional voice traffic. Over the internet terrorists and other criminals find a wide range of sophisticated, encrypted communication channels available to them, and with the changing communication patterns, the regulatory mandates have expanded to traffic that scarcely existed twenty years ago.
Sponsored by Utimaco Safeware AG, Frost & Sullivan has published a whitepaper entitled “Lawful Interception: A Mounting Challenge for Service Providers and Governments”, that identifies and analyses the challenges faced by governments and service providers in satisfying the need for surveillance to combat crime, without any gaps in coverage.
“Network operators and service providers are actually not able to comply with the fundamental requirements of lawful interception without a dedicated lawful inter¬ception solution,” says Alexander Michael, Principal at Frost & Sullivan. “Without a complete solution, compliance can be a lot of work and there is an inherent risk of abuse and other failures to protect the privacy of the users.”
The whitepaper discusses the different regulatory mandates and their development, around the world. It describes the ensuing challenges and how network operators and governments can use technology to address the challenges.
Lawful interception is a powerful law enforcement tool, but it does impose a huge burden on network operators and service providers. Frost & Sullivan believes governments should take more direct responsibility for maintaining lawful inter¬ception capabilities, instead of just passing the buck to the operators: “In many countries, a government-sponsored umbrella system covering all operators in a jurisdiction would be the best solution for all parties“, says Alexander Michael.