BY MARIAM BAKSH NEXTGOV
As the government works to deploy next generation networking technology, policy discussions highlight rifts between agency stakeholders.
The advent of fifth generation networking architecture is going to make it a lot harder for law enforcement to serve and process wiretapping warrants, a senior Justice official said, also expressing concern about the main U.S. policy approach for competing with China in the space.
Beyond faster connections with reduced latency, 5G is expected to greatly enable machine to machine communication, making for a more distributed system of connectivity. This promises huge potential for economic advancement, but also to exacerbate challenges the FBI and other law enforcement entities experience trying to overcome encrypted communication between devices.
“The big challenge as 5G gets increasingly deployed across the country,” said Associate Deputy Attorney General Sujit Raman, is “let’s say you serve a search warrant or a wiretap order. Where physically is that going to happen? Because right now, you just send the wiretap order to Verizon or T-Mobile or whoever. They’ve got a centralized server, they serve it, they create an interface and they produce the data. If there isn’t that centralized architecture going forward, it’s an engineering question, how do you actually make that happen?”
Raman said his colleagues in the investigative agencies are working with all the major U.S. telecommunications companies to answer that question.
He spoke at an event the Internet Governance Forum hosted Wednesday which also featured Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Christopher Krebs and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai.