Technical Committee (TC) Lawful Interception (LI) Activity Report 2022

Chair: Martin Kissel, Telefonica

Responsible for developing standards that support the technical requirements of national and international obligations for law enforcement (including lawful interception and lawful disclosure).

Lawful Interception (LI) and Lawful Disclosure (LD) play a crucial role in the growth and development of the Information Society, by helping law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to investigate terrorism and serious criminal activity.

Bringing together the interests of governments and law enforcement agencies as well as mobile network operators and equipment vendors, ETSI’s committee on Lawful Interception (TC LI) develops standards supporting common international requirements for LEAs, including the interception of content and disclosure of electronic communications related data with supporting standards for warrantry and internal interfaces.

Working in partnership with other ETSI technical bodies, projects and partnerships, it is the primary responsibility of TC LI to develop a suite of standards that allow ETSI standards to support industry compliance to the requirements of national and international law.

The committee’s role in these partnerships is in the development and publication of control and handover interfaces, and of rules for the delivery of technology specific interception or retained data.

In addition, TC LI acts in partnership with bodies inside and outside ETSI in capturing the requirements of users (LEAs - Law Enforcement Agencies), and translating those into requirements to be applied to technical specifications.

TC LI also maintains close liaison with a large number of bodies to make sure that LI and LD requirements are taken into account in their work. Regular interactions occur either through official liaisons statements or through informal reports at TC LI meetings by liaison officers who are delegates who also participate in the group(s) they report from. These bodies notably include:

  • 3GPP SA (Services and System Aspects), especially SA3-LI (Lawful Interception), but also SA3 (Security), SA2 (Architecture), SA5 (Telecom Management) and SA1 (Services);
  • 3GPP CT (Core Networks and Terminals) Plenary;
  • ETSI related groups: oneM2M/SmartM2M, TCs Cyber, ITS and TCCE, ISGs NFV, MEC, ENI, NIN;
  • GSMA;
  • ITU-T SGs 13 (Future networks & cloud) and 17 (Security).

During 2022 the committee continued to revise its suite of LI and RD deliverables. Of particular importance are regular updates for the seven-multipart TS 102 232-1-to-7: ‘Handover Interface and Service-Specific Details (SSD) for IP delivery’:

  • part 1: Handover specification for IP delivery;
  • part 2: Service-specific details for Messaging Services;
  • part 3: Service-specific details for Internet Access Services;
  • part 4: Service-specific details for Layer 2 services;
  • part 5: Service-specific details for IP Multimedia Services;
  • part 6: Service-specific details for PSTN/ISDN Services;
  • part 7: Service-specific details for Mobile Services.

Updates to this multipart TS represent a substantial effort made by the group of TC LI experts to ensure that ETSI continues to publish world-class LI and RD standards.

Other notable publications during the year included two Technical Reports:

  • TR 103 829: ‘IP address retention and traceability’. This report serves as a guide for policymakers, communication service providers, and law enforcement agencies regarding the retention of IP addresses for law enforcement purposes.
  • TR 103 854 V1.2.1: ‘LEA support services; Interfaces for Lawful Disclosure of vehicle-related data: scenarios, examples and recommendations’. This report describes interfaces that consist of requests (from a Law Enforcement Agency system) for vehicle-related data, and the responses (e.g. from an industry system) to those requests. It describes some usage scenarios, and proposes a recommendation for the details of how the LEA/Industry interface could work.

During the year the committee made further progress on a Work Item, originally adopted in October 2019. Technical Specification TS 103 705 ‘Data Structures for Lawful Disclosure’ describes flexible and extensible data structures for Lawful Disclosure, to be used in combination with existing ETSI handover interface standards.

See the full list of TC LI Work Items currently in development here.

In June 2022 the TC LI Chair, SA3-LI Chair and Technical Officer participated once more as speakers at the annual ISS World Europe conference where there is always a dedicated ETSI TC LI session, which also includes the work in SA3-LI and a presentation on ETSI and 3GPP in broad terms. This regular event provides a platform for ETSI and 3GPP LI officials to promote ETSI LI standards and the work of the group and of ETSI in general, as well as 3GPP.