Name: Lawful Interception from Aqsacom

Text: Lawful interception is our business
Lawful Interception (LI) throughout the Western World is characterized by the process depicted
in the following figure. The standards-based LI process involves an interplay between the Courts,
who authorize the interception; the Network Operator, who performs the interception under
highly secure conditions; and the Law Enforcement Agency (LEA), who monitors the interception and gathers the interception data as evidence to be used in a legal action.

court order for

Courts, Other

Law Enforcement
Agency (LEA)
Monitoring Center
Local Police, FBI, MI15, other

Formatted intercepted
traffic and supporting
information from Target
sent to law enforcement




Intercepted Target
traffic from
network elements

Configuration for
ordered LI session

Network elements
instructed to collect
Target traffic

Interception Operator
(telephone company, wireless
operator, ISP)

Network (PSTN,
mobile, Internet,
3G, etc.)

Aqsacom plays a vital role in the standards-based LI process by providing the mediation management platform to facilitate the LI procedures. Mediation performs a multi-fold purpose. In particular, Aqsacom’s standards-based mediation management system:
• configures key equipment within the public communications network to intercept the telephone or internet traffic of the target subject(s);
• provides a common interface between the LEA and network operator, regardless of the
types of equipment in the network and for a wide range of supported services (fixed line
telephone, mobile telephone, internet and internet applications, mobile data, 3G, etc.) – this
greatly simplifies the work of the LEA in monitoring interception traffic;
• enables the network operator to invoke the interception through an easy-to-use, common
user interface that interoperates with the diversity of services that the operator might offer;
• future-proofs both the network operator and LEA as new services come on line in response
to market demand.
Aqsacom’s comprehensive approach to LI adheres to established LI standards and many other
requirements, as presented in the following diagram. We now discuss the parts of this diagram
in more detail.
On the standards front, the
Alarms from equipement and services
European Telecommunications
Statistics by equipment and services; LEA
Standards Institute (ETSI), 3GPP,
and other organizations worldFault
wide propose three handover
Access &
Transmission By equipment
inter faces for managing the
By solution
By service
By service
By service
interception data between the
By equipment
network operator and law
enforcement agencies. Here
ETSI/3GPP specifications
the interception instructions
are conveyed to the Aqsacom
system through Handover Interface Hi1; Hi2 and Hi3, respectively, convey the data describing
the interception (e.g., number dialed, email address sent to, time of call, etc.) and content of the
call / message from the network operator to the LEA via the Aqsacom system.

Lawful interception is our business
Enhanced Lawful Interception:
As the deployment and market acceptance of communications services evolve, the interception
requirements of traffic originating from these services must also evolve. Such is especially the
case with the many applications based on Internet Protocol (IP), including Voice-over-IP, email, instant messaging, etc. Comprehensive LI needs to account for the interception of critical information generated by these applications. Examples of such LI information include identification of
parties that communicate through instant messaging, precise location of the different phases of
a mobile call, identification of what users downloaded what streaming files from an illicit source,
where a subject using a Web-based email application sent an email, etc. Aqsacom refers to
these data as Enhanced Interception Related Information (IRI), to be distinguished from the
standards-based IRI.
Security, Confidentiality, Integrity, Authentication, Non-Repudiation:
Due to the nature of LI, security must be taken very seriously to preserve the privacy of the target and the confidentiality of the investigation. Aqsacom therefore adheres to secure standards
at the:
• Access and delivery level in the conveyance of interception data and content to the LEA.
Here secure information flow is assured through standards-based strong authentication, confidentiality, integrity, and non-repudiation. These standards are applied over private dedicated circuits, switched data circuits (ISDN), and secure VPNs through the use of IPSec and TSL.
In addition, secure information flow must be assured between the mediation system, the interception operator, and network elements by using strong authentication for access to any
part of the network.
• Equipment level. Aqsacom assures tight control of all data on the hard disk through encryption of all log and buffered interception data. Access to the mediation management system
is controlled through strong password protection and optional biometric means. All hardware
conforms to standards-compliant, tamper-proof design.
• Maintenance level, Aqsacom applies very strict intervention procedures to guarantee that no
confidential information can be extracted from the mediation management platform or its
components. Furthermore, operational maintenance procedures must not allow administrators to access any interception of confidential data. Even the mediation system’s vendor
cannot access the interception data during debugging, repair or upgrade – in short, no “back
door” access to the interception data is permitted.
All actions and events that take place within the mediation platform must be logged to conform
to traceability requirements. Finally, the mediation software should be certified virus-free and
delivered to the network operator in an authenticated format (e.g., with a secure hash).
AQSACOM develops and markets
real time Lawful Interception,
Mobility Tracking and
Surveillance solutions. With its
core business focused on lawful
interception and related
applications for over eleven
years, AQSACOM provides endto-end turnkey solutions for
fulfilling lawful interception
requirements anywhere in the
world, especially over highly
heterogeneous networking and
services environments.
AQSACOM’s diversified customer
portfolio includes clients from
more than 30 countries, covering
geographical areas as diverse as
Central and Eastern Europe, AsiaPacific, North America, Africa and
the Middle-East.

Fault Tolerance:
Aqsacom assures continuous interception operations regardless of equipment, network, or system fault. Equipment fault tolerance is assured through duplicated platform components (e.g,
RAID arrays for the disk storage, RAM redundancy, back-up CPUs that reside on-line, and hot swappable hardware components). Network faults are mitigated through ample hard disk buffering
of intercepted data and content. System-level fault tolerance is assured through Aqsacom’s replicated system approach, where multiple mediation platforms can operate simultaneously on
line to share the interception process loading and support one another in the event of the failure of any one system.
Disaster Recovery:
Aqsacom supports a comprehensive solution for disaster recovery to ensure continuous interception operations in the event that a complete interception facility becomes incapacitated due to
a catastrophic event (war, terrorism, natural disaster) or more mundane causes (electric and/or
communications line breaks, local fire). The solution calls for a rapid transition to a fully functioning interception facility with replicated interception capabilities. In local disaster recovery, downed mediation systems can be restored or rebuilt through a step-by-step process that implements
a recovery CD.
Statistics Collection and Alarms:
Information is continuously gathered to keep network operators and the LEA apprised of the
demands on the interception system and to ensure that load factors are in conformance with
expected service. In the event of equipment or network failure, the network operator and LEA are
immediately notified by the Aqsacom system through alarms locally and remotely.
AQSACOM Americas
Washington, DC
Tel: +1 202 315 3943

Tel: +33 1 6929 8400

Melbourne, Australia
Tel: +61 3 9909 72 80

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