LIMA Lawful Intercept11 December 2023Read more
The SMS service provided by mobile operators is still quite popular. However, because of its basic functionality, its usage is surpassed by other messaging services like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage with features like longer texts, pictures, videos, emoticons, and group chats.
To make the service more valuable and competitive, smartphone manufacturers, carriers, and the cell phone industry developed the Rich Communication Services (RCS) protocol. The protocol allows the exchange of group chats, video, audio, and high-resolution images, plus read receipts and real-time viewing.
Google currently offers its RCS chat service worldwide via its Android Messages app to all users who install and use it as a default texting app. With Google’s rollout of RCS as Android’s primary texting platform for Android Messages, many Android phones already come with Android Messages installed. A partnership between Google and Samsung allows RCS features to work seamlessly between the Samsung Messages and Android Messages apps, the default SMS apps on their devices.
RCS messages can be send to any phone number as opposed to Whatsapp or iMessage, which require the app to be installed on the other phone as well. Messages are send directly to the phone and not via a third-party messaging platform.
If a telecom provider supports RCS, Google uses the provider to handle the messages. This allows a provider to store messages and provide them to government agencies when requested.
LIMA Lawful Intercept supports the interception of RCS messages by integrating into the operator platform. Because RCS services offered by operators tend to have a central platform that serves multiple countries, LIMA supports a multi-tenant setup. The supported design ensures that no target information is sent across country borders. LIMA LI for RCS is currently in operation at operators in Europe.
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