Evolution from Wiretapping to Lawful Intercept
During the 20th Century, POTS (plain old telephone service) became the central form of communications. To help law enforcement agencies (LEAs) do their job safely and effectively, a method called “wiretapping” was developed to lawfully monitor and collect telephone communications of alleged criminals once a warrant was granted from the judicial system. It was called wiretapping because the monitoring and connection device was an actual electric tap on the telephone line.
Late in the 20th Century, the advent of computing, broadband networks, and mobile communications complicated law enforcement’s efforts for lawfully monitoring and collecting communications. A new method, called “lawful interception,” was developed. Lawful interception (LI) leveraged telecom system-level architectures. Most vendor LI solutions were hard coded platforms designed to monitor and record criminal communications by targeting a phone number or a specific computing IP address. By law, these systems are placed within communication service provider (CSP) networks and are made available to an LEA once a judge determines that there is sufficient evidence to monitor and collect the communications.
AQSACOM leverages a software-based solution architecture which uses commercial off-the-shelf, or COTS-based servers that provide a more cost effective, rapid deployment by streamlining operations and making it easier to update according to changing network and market requirements. This differentiated approach has been a key driver behind AQSACOM’s growth within the CSP and LEA markets enabling the company to become a lawful interception market leader with tier one customers globally on every continent.
21st Century Communications and Cyber Intelligence
Communications changed dramatically during the early part of the 21st Century with the proliferation and commoditization of broadband and mobility services. This revolution was compounded by the introduction of mobile data networks and an ever-growing multitude of new applications for communications. To complicate matters further, rapid advances in such technologies as the Internet of Things (IoT) means the world is moving from millions to billions of connected devices.
The way people communicate and exchange information has changed forever. As a result, tracking, monitoring, and collecting communication information for national security and criminal investigations has become infinitely more challenging for LEAs. With the advent of these new challenges, it has become clear that a monolithic, platform-based “Lawful Interception” approach is detrimental to the goals of the LEA. Today, a new approach is required: Cyber Intelligence, which is the next generation approach to LI. Lawful Cyber Intelligence moves beyond disparately monitoring phone numbers or IP addresses by collecting a broader set of 21st century social media, communication, and network activities to build more comprehensive, multi-dimensional suspect profiles in real-time.
Leveraging its software-based heritage, AQSACOM is leading the industry’s transformation to Cyber Intelligence. The company has added a new, converged monitoring and analysis functionality that can be used independently or across AQSACOM’s suite of interception, data retention, and geolocation products to deliver turn key solutions. This new Cyber Intelligence approach is inherently designed to:
- Flexibly monitor and collect traditional and social media communications and other data from a host of different networks,
- Quickly converge and correlate exponentially greater amounts of relevant data, and
- Leverage a host of new data analysis applications to provide LEAs with better and more timely intelligence.