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Enhancing Border Security with Lawful Intelligence

Digital display of maps, data & a secure ID folder

National border crossings provide unique touchpoints for lawful intelligence operations. Controls at a country’s points of ingress and egress require travelers to present identification, submit to search, and respond to questioning from officials without special legal authorization. That unusual access to information reflects the importance to national security of identifying any risks associated with a specific individual, such as outstanding arrest warrants, status on international watch lists, or visits to specific countries in a given timeframe.

When an alert is raised, additional data must be assembled about the subject of interest to provide a holistic picture of their status and threat profile. Based on this initial assessment, authorities may wish to place the traveler in custody immediately, or they may collaborate with law enforcement and intelligence agents to release and monitor the suspect of interest in-country and collect additional intelligence, including by lawful interception. In either case, immigration officials require powerful, real-time data fusion solutions with the ability to query against disparate data sets and generate actionable insights.

SS8 Lawful Intelligence Implementation for Border Security

To help address the specialized needs of border security, SS8 has enhanced its solution (see below) to support this use case, bringing together the full spectrum of information about individuals of interest, including data intercepted from communications service provider (CSP) networks. This architecture enables sophisticated risk assessment based on a comprehensive collection of information that can be queried and analyzed as a cohesive whole.

SS8 enhanced border security solution schematic

SS8’s enhanced End-to-End Border Security Solution, including SS8 Xcipio and IntellegoXT

On the right side of the diagram, open APIs provide query access to external and previously siloed datasets including biometric data, advanced passenger information, risk assessment details, and more. SS8’s Xcipio acts as the solution’s mediation engine, handling the provisioning of CSP networks for lawful interception. At the core of the solution is SS8’s Intellego XT, providing real-time monitoring and control of these data sets and helping investigators form a composite view of subjects of interest. Intellego XT’s MetaHub enables operators to perform flexible, multidimensional queries against those datasets as a single unit, reducing complexity and allowing analysts to focus on insights instead of procedure.

The SS8 platform can be used by border security to centralize all information about a traveler and highlight existing red flags, such as criminal records in a foreign country. It can also reveal new ones, such as the existence of multiple passports or suspect patterns of behavior. For example, consider the current heightened interest by authorities in people repeatedly entering and exiting Turkey because of its shared land border with Syria.

Furthering Lawful Investigations In-Country

Immigration and border control officials can also use SS8’s solutions to properly execute warrants or other legal authorizations, enabling additional lawful intelligence that escalates in 3 tiers. The first of these is traditional lawful interception data such as voice and SMS communications records. With increasing threat levels, additional data such as location information can be extracted to identify where a suspect of interest has been, with whom, and where they are presently.

The most robust legal authorizations allow access to the full spectrum of data including open-source intelligence (OSINT), facial recognition platforms, number plate recognition systems, CCTV cameras, bank records, credit reports, and more. This information can fuel additional insights and is made possible when immigration officials are able to make real-time decisions on the potential risk level of a traveler and involve the appropriate authorities immediately. This collaboration draws together the expertise and capabilities of border security, law-enforcement, and intelligence agencies for better mutual outcomes.

Enhancing Intelligence with Flexible Extensibility

In the example of a traveler returning from Turkey, lawful intelligence measures may draw on a wide variety of methods to identify whether the subject crossed into Syrian territory. Conventional lawful interception methods such as call data record analysis and 2D location intelligence may provide critical information, but SS8’s platform can collect, monitor, analyze, and visualize many additional data sources, such as financial transactions, facial recognition software, fingerprints, and CCTV feeds for a single, complete view of the evidence. After identifying a potential security risk with an individual in-country, these composite deep datasets facilitate tracking them and their interactions with others.

SS8’s end-to-end solution also includes advanced intelligence-gathering capabilities to future-proof deployments. Its vertical location technology leverages both device and network data to provide 3D positioning intelligence, helping investigators identify where a target is in a tall building or underground structure. Its Enhanced Protocol Extraction Engine (E-PXE) provides visibility into encrypted communications, such as those sent by OTT applications. Intellego XT uses E-PXE technology to generate metadata from these encrypted payloads, then applies deep-packet inspection and heuristic analysis to identify details such as the application being used, communication type (e.g., text, voice, video), and endpoint device information and IP address.

Pulling together a rich data universe on subjects of interest and providing the means to derive robust, real-time intelligence from it, SS8’s platform elevates border-security capabilities to optimize the speed and accuracy of traveler risk assessments and jump-start domestic lawful intelligence investigations.

About Rory Quann

Rory Quann headshot

Rory Quann is Head of International Sales at SS8 Networks and brings with him over 10 years of experience in the Lawful Interception and Data Analysis industry. Prior to joining SS8 in 2013, Rory worked for BAE System Applied Intelligence where he was focused on large scale Government deployments of Intelligence Solutions. Rory has held multiple positions in the Lawful Intelligence space ranging from Deployment Engineer, System Consultant, and Sales Engineer with focus being on Country-wide Passive deployments. Rory is a Certified Microsoft MCSA Engineer and EMC Certified deployment Engineer. You can learn more about Rory on his LinkedIn profile by clicking here.

About David Anstiss

David Anstiss Blog Head Shot - SS8 Networks

David Anstiss is Director of Solution Engineering at SS8 Networks. He has been with SS8 since 2015 and has significant experience in critical network architecture technology and advanced data analytics. He currently works as part of the Technical CTO Group under the leadership of Dr. Cemal Dikmen and is responsible for leading engagement with both intelligence agencies and Communication Service Providers (CSPs) around the world. He has been instrumental in helping them transition to 5G, defining system requirements to meet regulatory compliance. As a member of ETSI, he represents SS8 to ensure the adoption of cloud-native infrastructure is met with industry best practices and to guarantee that compliance of lawful interception is maintained. Learn more about David here on his LinkedIn profile.

About SS8 Networks

As a leader in Lawful and Location Intelligence, SS8 helps make societies safer. Our commitment is to extract, analyze, and visualize the critical intelligence that gives law enforcement, intelligence agencies, and emergency services the real-time insights that save lives. Our high performance, flexible, and future-proof solutions also enable mobile network operators to achieve regulatory compliance with minimum disruption, time, and cost. SS8 is trusted by the largest government agencies, communications providers, and systems integrators globally.

Intellego® XT monitoring and data analytics portfolio is optimized for Law Enforcement Agencies to capture, analyze, and visualize complex data sets for real-time investigative intelligence.

LocationWise delivers the highest audited network location accuracy worldwide, providing active and passive location intelligence for emergency services, law enforcement, and mobile network operators.

Xcipio® mediation platform meets the demands of lawful intercept in any network type and provides the ability to transcode (convert) between lawful intercept handover versions and standard families.

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