System of mobile traffic monitoring in offices created in Russia

The Russian-based InfoWatch has developed a system that will allow employers to intercept and analyze the content of mobile communications of their staff in corporate offices, according to the Kommersant newspaper.
InfoWatch CEO Natalya Kasperskaya, it will be a computer-operated system with no human involvement in decryption of communications recorded at the companies` premises, so the use of the system will not lead to a breach of the constitutional right to secrecy of correspondence, reads the report. But, as noted, experts have questioned the legality of even an experimental use of such technology.
”It`s sort of a femtocell [equipment to enhance cellular signal], which will be installed at the customer`s corporate offices, connecting to mobile networks. All voice traffic passing through it will be captured, converted to text using speech recognition systems, and then analyzed by keywords for the transmission of confidential information,”said Zecurion CEO Aleksei Rayevskiy.
In turn, Kaperskaya confirmed the development of a prototype of this system, however, refusing to name the device manufacturer.
”It is planned that the hardware device installed in the company, will be integrated with the core of a cellular network, so that it was trusted by the base station of the mobile operator. Then the base station will intercept voice traffic from mobile phones that are within its range,” said Kasperskaya.
”Customers will be advised to choose an operation mode of sampling only corporate SIM cards,” she said. In this case, calls from/to the rest of SIM cards belonging to employees or the company`s visitors and partners coming to corporate offices will be rejected by the system and forwarded to the standard base stations of mobile operators.
However, according to a source in one of Russia`s federal cellular operators, the device can operate in a network ”of any mobile operator and without its knowledge.”
The decision of InfoWatch ”is inconsistent with Art. 23 of the Russian Constitution, which guarantees the right to privacy and the secrecy of telecommunication,” said Aleksei Rayevskiy.
”Secret wiretapping of cell phones in workplaces is deemed illegal in all cases because it can be used to monitor calls from phones that are not the property of the employer,” says the managing partner of the consulting agency Yemelyannikov, Popova and Partners, Mikhail Yemelyannikov. During incoming calls, a warning must be voiced about the traffic monitoring for those users who are not company employees, he says.

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