Tuesday was an interesting day to say the least. Awaiting my grades I decided to spend the day in court, watching proceedings. I could not get into the second court as it was a closed court, so I went into court 5. There I saw the proceedings of a case that included narcotics, the Netherlands (my native nation) and wiretaps.
The interesting part is the issue on infrastructure on evidence of wiretaps (I will not set you to sleep with conversations of wiretaps themselves, as the issue in play is actually a lot more interesting).
If we consider the track of such evidence, like the capturing of the conversation, the collecting and transcribing of this evidence, and then to make available this evidence to prosecution and defence is the actual topic.
The fact that several warrants are needed for one phone number is one thing. Getting this all managed afterwards is more than ridiculous (and the real ball buster). From what I understood, in one specific case it would take 6 full weeks for one person to prepare these files and reports. This comes down to almost 300 man hours. This is just one case and it is just a small pinch of the entire captured data for that case. The Dutch representative was in a state of extreme avoidance to give direct timings to get this all sorted (for several valid reasons).
For me with decades of IT experience takes a look at this from another side. How could ANY system be set into function with this ESSENTIAL need properly addressed before the software was used? Even further, how could such systems be replaced without the proper alignment of passed cases (we are talking many hundreds of thousands of tapped phone calls).No matter HOW this would have been addressed, this as ANY system will be replaced at some point. This is to be expected as infrastructures change and grow. Consider that the Justice system should need an available solution spanning not mere years, but in access of a decade as a case goes from court to appeal and further. (The Bell group case took 13 years).
I can understand that there are reservations of such systems. However, at times they are valid, and at times they would be essential. One should make sure that these systems are properly addressed by parties needed, before forced to commit thousands of man hours to oblige the need of information to both the Crown and defence. A request that, especially in today’s options of automation should be done in 10% of that needed time, with perhaps some additional valid time to burn needed discs (some expected manual labour required).