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Lawful Interception : A Complete Overview

To make it simple for you and for the purpose of better understanding, we should first explain what lawful interception means. Lawful interception is actually a set of techniques through which law enforcement agencies intercept telecommunications messages. However, there have been many arguments on the subject in earlier and present times. People have no idea about how much liberty should be given to agencies so that they can monitor people’s information on the Internet and other telecommunication devices.

Lawful Interception
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To be specific, Lawful Intercept is said to be the process through which government agencies secretly monitor people’s information, messages and other data which transfers through telecommunication devices. Most of the time, interception is done for parties which are of any kind of interest to the law enforcement agencies.

Types of Lawful Interception 

  • Eavesdropping
  • Recording
  • Wiretapping
  • Capturing digital communication

Benefits of Lawful Interception

Through Lawful Interception, law enforcement agencies can find out information about who is talking to whom. Moreover, agencies can easily gather information about the content of their communication. By intercepting communication, agencies are able to enforce investigations . Interception also provides vital information to law enforcement agencies about various crime and terrorist networks.

Limitations

Intercepting calls on a fixed line phone is relatively easy as compared to mobile networks. Intercepting calls on a mobile network creates a big obstacle for lawful interception. Interception of calls on a mobile network causes many logistical problems. These may include intercepting calls but ensuring that illegal access is precluded and privacy or network security is not risked. Message encryption creates another difficulty. Due to message encryption, the safety of the user is determined, but it is quite difficult for law enforcement agencies to decode encrypted messages. Moreover, with most of the communication taking place on the Internet, it is quite difficult to monitor all messages and calls these days.

Suggestions

Many of the problems associated with interception of mobile networks can be solved by installing legal interception nodes in almost all modules of fixed line telecommunications system. These nodes turn on all mobile units within a defined range for interception. This way, law enforcement agencies are able to monitor all data packets being transferred to or from that particular mobile unit. Moreover, law enforcement agencies never have direct access to any sort of telecommunications hardware in order to protect system security and privacy of the user. Interception is done by the telecommunications service provider. The information gathered is then passed on to law enforcement agencies.

Lawful Intercept has given rise to many arguments related to the privacy of the user. Many people believe it to be unethical or immoral. However, in order to ensure safety and security of the people from crime networks, it is necessary that law enforcement agencies should be allowed to intercept various messages passing through various channels of communication. Installing lawful interception can be a costly affair for telecommunications service providers. Therefore, it should be made sure that the security and privacy of people is not compromised in order to intercept telecommunications messages. Thus, each data packet should be sent via different channels depending on the traffic. These packets should be assembled only when they reach the user.

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