Name: LIMS

Text: Utimaco L I M S ~ ~

Techpaper
Lawful Interception with Umbrella Systems

Utimaco LIMS'~

Table of contents

.............................................................................................3

1

The Challenge

2

Umbrella Systems....................................................................................... 4

3

Abbreviations.............................................................................................. 7

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The Challenge
The sheer number of lawful interception decisions is constantly increasing, as the method
of electronic surveillance of telecommunications services becomes the prominent and
accepted choice of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and government bodies in their
fight against crime and terrorism. Today, most fixed and mobile network operators and
telecommunication service providers have installed systems to enable lawful interception
(LI) for the various voice and data services they offer to their customers. Comprehensive
national laws have been established enabling LEAs to engage communications service
providers (CSPs) to arrange electronic surveillance of specific individuals (also referred
to as targets). In reality, however, the range of different networks, services, and
interception systems together with the increasing number of intercepts pose considerable
challenges for LEAs and monitoring centers. In practice, the sheer complexity of lawful
interception in such a heterogeneous and dispersed LI environment inevitably leads to
errors and delays during the activation of LI decisions or in the collection of interception
data. Furthermore, authorities require an immediate overview of all active intercepts to
facilitate analysis and statistics of nationwide LI activity.

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2

Umbrella Systems

Utimaco has addressed these needs and challenges by developing an umbrella
management system that is capable of interconnecting various LI management systems
via an automated HI1 interface (see also ETSl TS 101 671 for a definition of Hll-H13
interfaces). As shown in figure l ) , the umbrella LlMS is a single interface and
management platform for all monitoring centers. lntercept targets entered at the umbrella
system are provisioned to the various operator LI systems. Delivery of communications
content (CC) is effected directly between the mediation devices or interception access
points of the operator's network and the collection devices of the monitoring center.
lntercept related information (IRI) is first handed over to one mediation device per service
provider participating in the umbrella system. This guarantees that all IRI is logged,
tagged and delivered to the appropriate monitoring center in a standardized format that
enables the monitoring center to correlate CC and IRI with the original intercept.

Figure 1 : Architecture of the Umbrella LI System

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As shown in the diagram, the LI systems of the providers maintain an important role in
the network as they connect to the proprietary interfaces of the various network elements
and incorporate mediation and delivery functions for each type of service.
The use of an umbrella system has various advantages for administrative bodies:
m

Immediate access: Intercept targets can be activated instantly and provisioned
automatically on one or more operator networks. There is no delay due to paper
fax or manual configurations on several systems.
Central database: The central storage and maintenance of all intercept targets
enables full control of all active interception requests. It facilitates security audits
and consistency checks, and allows detailed statistics and instant failure
recognition.
Transparency: Administration and delivery channels between the connected
service provider systems are strictly segregated. This ensures that operator
network personnel have no access to any details of interception decisions in other
networks.
No performance loss: Although the administration function is centralized,
delivery of intercept data is effected directly from the distributed mediation devices
(DF2) and network elements to the monitoring center.
Reliability: The central management of all LI systems enhances the reliability of
the entire LI network. System failures can be detected automatically by alarm
messages so that operators can immediately take appropriate action or require the
administrator of the faulty network to analyze the problem locally. To further
enhance the availability of the system, a redundant management server can be
operated in hot standby mode. Should local failure recovery fail, the system can
instantly switch to the standby server. Automation of the provisioning process
further reduces the risk of human error.
Cost reduction: Automation of the provisioning interfaces (HII) leads to an
acceleration of processes and thus reduces the costs of operation for both the
LEA and the service provider.

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Extensibility: The modular architecture of the Utimaco umbrella system provides
a solid basis for future extensions of the LI system. In fact there is virtually no limit
to the number of client systems that can be connected to the umbrella LIMS.
Similarly, the maximum number of interception targets and the range of supported
communication services can be scaled to need by adding new mediation devices.
Furthermore, LlMS includes a granular access rights management system for
multiple local or remote operators. For instance, it would be possible to have
multiple LEASoperating on the same umbrella LlMS while maintaining individual
security profiles for each LEA.

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3 Abbreviations
CC: Content of Communication
CSP: Communication Service Provider
DF2: Distribution Function for IRI
DF3: Distribution Function for CC
HII, H12, H13: Standardized hand-over interfaces to LEAS
IRI: Interception Related Information
LEA: Law Enforcement Agency
MC: Monitoring Center

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Utimaco LIMS"

Utimaco Safeware AG
Germanusstr. 4
52080 Aachen

Germany
Phone: +49 (241) 1696-0
Fax:

+49 (241) 1696-199

Copyright lnformation

G9 2010 - Utimaco Safeware AG
All rights reserved.
The lnformation in this document must not be changed without the expressed written agreement of Utimaco
Safeware AG.

Utimaco LlMS is a trademark of Utimaco Safeware AG. All other named trademarks are trademarks of the
particular copyright holder. Individual functions may have different characteristics according to the different
capabilities of the operating systems.

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