Demystifying Lawful Intercept and CALEA TMC

How long do I get to implement a wiretap request?

March 13, 2007
As carriers and service providers new to the world of Lawful Intercept start to implement their LI solutions in order to meet the May 14, 2007 deadline, one question that gets asked repeatedly centers on how fast an individual court order needs to be implemented. While no specific requirement exists, expectations do. And these expectations do not include a “10 day grace period for broadband intercepts” that is rumored to exist.

In seeking and receiving approval for a wiretap (typically a lengthy and intensive process) law enforcement and the court system assume that given the amount of work put into it, that it will start as soon as possible. In fact, the directions given to the carriers on the court order provide both a start and end date and instruct them to implement the intercept “expeditiously”. This is important because the start and stop dates bound the duration of the wiretap and everyday spent waiting for the wiretap to start is one less day law enforcement has to work on the investigation.

Normally with an active solution (see earlier entries) starting the intercept quickly isn’t an issue but as carriers consider “just in time” passive solutions, that include moving probes from one location to another, time constraints may become a consideration. Just in time solutions can prove to be a cost effective solution for carriers, but certain implementation strategies may not meet the intention and desire of law enforcement for an expeditious start to the intercept.

Till next time …

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