Will 2016 be a Pivotal Year for Lawful Disclosure Systems?

Graham Ring, Managing Director, CTG – UK, Technical Staff

As data disclosure laws emerge, Communication Service Providers (CPSs) and law enforcement agencies seek solutions that support lawful acquisition, retention, and disclosure of data.

Mobility, telephones, the internet, and social media are continually accelerating the way we communicate with people around the world. As we expand the ways in which we communicate, we also expand our own data footprint. Phone calls, text messages, GPS data, search history, and more are all stored in the databases of CSPs in countries across the globe.

In recent years, countries including the United Kingdom and the United States have enacted legislation that allows law enforcement agencies to access this communications data for “people of interest” in the course of a criminal investigation. This data supports law enforcement agencies in their efforts to build a case and can be submitted as evidence in a court of law. 

In order to access this data, law enforcement agencies must have a case need and follow specific legal channels in requesting this information. One way that some agencies are accessing this information is through new lawful disclosure data management systems developed in response to this legislation. These relatively new systems were developed to support law enforcement requests of this data in a secure, web-based manner, and in turn, the efficient and rapid fulfillment of these requests by CSPs. 

In their relatively short time on the market, these solutions have demonstrated benefits to both law enforcement and CSPs. For law enforcement, these lawful disclosure systems support effective request workflow, efficient management of requests, ensure compliance with laws and regulations, and provide evidential materials that can be used both in a court of law and for further analysis during an investigation. For CSPs, these solutions provide effective and structured workflow management, cost savings gained through efficiency, and structured fulfillment processes that adhere to legislation and regulations. Finally, these secure data communication environments help ensure the privacy of individuals. 

Despite the clear benefits of these systems to both law enforcement and CSPs, the market has only begun to emerge and remains primarily in geographical areas where related laws are in place. However, CTG believes 2016 will be a pivotal year for this market and these solutions and services, such as CTG’s Disclosure Management Services, as more and more countries move forward in their own adoption of data acquisition, retention, and disclosure laws.

CTG’s Disclosure Management System (DMS™), was the first to offer a comprehensive "self-service facility" to law enforcement in the U.K. when they passed laws in 2012. Today, DMS™ is used by all U.K. law enforcement agencies and was recently implemented in the U.S. by a major telecommunications provider.

CTG helped a major U.K. telecommunications company automate the intake and response to Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) requests, reducing manual efforts by 90 percent and resulting in more than £1.6 million in productivity savings in one year.



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