Communications Providers and Lawful Intercepts

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Communications Providers and Lawful Intercepts


Last week, a team from attended ITEXPO Anaheim, a conference showcasing communications solutions for the enterprise, resellers and service providers.


As part of pre-conference events, Joel Maloff, our SVP of Strategic Partnerships and Alliances, led a session on how communications providers can work with law-enforcement agencies on intercepts and why this kind of collaboration is vital. His talk focused on two areas—how providers should respond to authorized requests for information, and how law enforcement can often assist providers to resolve serious cases of phone fraud.


Both the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) and other U.S. laws that require response to subpoenas and court orders, compel telephony companies to provide data on customer accounts under investigation by law enforcement. In rare cases, a live intercept of calls (previously called a wiretap, though there are no wires on digital calls these days) can also be requested.


As explained in a follow-on session by the Assistant District Attorney for Los Angeles, Antonella Nistorescu, having access to electronic data can be crucial to understanding and solving crimes. Nistorescu specializes in gang violence, including murders, and attempts to bring perpetrators to justice. Access to call logs, cell-phone data, instant and text messages, and social-media accounts can help the pieces fall into place. A seemingly innocent looking defendant may be shown to be someone quite different in their own words, if law enforcement has access to their call logs and other electronic data.


As a communications service provider and corporate citizen of our country, we at feel it is important to protect the confidentiality of our customers and also assist legitimate law enforcement when proper authorization is issued.


The next ITExpo conference will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in January, 2016. We expect coordinators will include a similar session on the role of law enforcement as it pertains to communications service providers. Anyone involved in the communications industry will find these sessions invaluable, if for no other reason than to make contact with resources they may need in the future!


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