Prior Publisher

The Association of Digital Forensics, Security and Law (ADFSL)


Communication technologies are commonplace in modern society. For many years there were only a handful of communication technologies provided by large companies, namely the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and mobile telephony; these can be referred to as traditional communication technologies. Over the lifetime of traditional communication technologies has been little technological evolution and as such, law enforcement developed sound methods for investigating targets using them. With the advent of communication technologies that use the Internet – Internet-based or contemporary communication technologies – law enforcement are faced with many challenges. This paper discusses these challenges and their potential impact. It first looks at what defines the two technologies then explores the laws and methods used for their investigation. It then looks at the issues of applying the current methodologies to the newer and fundamentally different technology. The paper concludes that law enforcement will be required to update their methods in order to remain effective against the current technology trends.


Australian Communications and Media Authority. (2010b, July 14). The Integrated Public Number Database (IPND). Retrieved November 3, 2010, from http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB /STANDARD.PC/pc=PC_1754

Australian Communications and Media Authority. (2010c, July 15). VoIP for Service Providers. Retrieved October 21, 2010, from http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_310067

Australian Communications and Media Authority. (2010a, August 26). Disclosure of customer details under Part 13 of the 1997 Tcomms Act FAQs. Retrieved October 21, 2010, from http://acma.gov.au /WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_1790

Black, U. (2002). Voice over IP, 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Cherry, S. (2005). Seven myths about voice over IP. IEEE Spectrum, 42(3), 52-57. Council Directive (CE) 2006/24/EC on the retention of data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available electronic communications services or of public communications networks and amending Directive 2002/58/EC.

Davidson, J., Paters, J., Bhatia, M., Kalidinidi, S., & Mukherjee, S. (2007). Voice over IP Fundamentals, 2nd ed. Indianapolis, IN: Cisco Press.

Dryburgh, L. & Hewett, J. (2005). Signaling System No. 7 (SS7/C7): Protocol, Architectures, and Services. Indianapolis, IN: Cisco Press.

Electronic Frontiers Australia. (2006a, October 12). Protections of Communications: Telecommunications Act 1997 (C'th). Retrieved August 11, 2010, from http://www.efa.org.au/Issues/Privacy/ta.html

Electronic Frontiers Australia. (2006b, October 12). Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Bill 2006. Retrieved August 11, 2010, from http://www.efa.org.au/Issues/Privacy/tia-bill2006.html

Electronic Frontiers Australia. (2006c, October 19). Telecommunications Interception & Access Laws. Retrieved August 11, 2010, from http://www.efa.org.au/Issues/Privacy/tia.html

European Telecommunications Standards Institute. (2009). ETSI TS 102 657 V1.4.1 (2009-12) Lawful Interception (LI); Retained data handling; Handover interface for the request and delivery of retained data. Sophia-Antipolis, Cedex, France: ETSI.

Grubb, B. (2010a, July 23). No Minister: 90% of web snoop document censored to stop 'premature unnecessary debate'. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved August 13, 2010, from http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/no-minister-90-of-websnoop-document-censored-to-stop--premature-unnecessary-debate-20100722- 10mxo.html

Grubb, B. (2010b, November 6). Govt wants ISPs to record browsing history. ZDNet. Retrieved August 13, 2010, from http://www.zdnet.com.au/govt-wants-isps-to-record-browsing-history- 339303785.htm

LeMay, R. (2010, June 11). Govt may record users' web history, email data. Retrieved August 13, 2010, from http://delimiter.com.au/2010/06/11/govt-may-record-users-web-history-emaildata/

Sicker, D.C., & Lookabaugh, T. (2004). 'VoIP Security: Not an Afterthought.' Queue, 2(6), 56-64.

Wallingford, T. (2005). Switching to VoIP. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly.

Privacy Act 1988.

Telecommunications Act 1997.

Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979.

El-Jalkh, Antoine v R [2009] NSWCCA 139 2009, New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal.

Zahrooni v R; Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW) v Zahrooni [2010] NSWCCA 252 2010, New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal.

R v Wilkinson (No. 5) [2009] NSWSC 432 2009, New South Wales Supreme Court.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.