Author: Ferrica D’Souza

Open Li

Open Li

17 June 2022

In the recent years, with the advancement of technology, legislatures around the world have created and introduced laws defining the legal framework and authority for their respective governments to perform interception.

The Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Act (TICSA) was passed in New Zealand in November 2013. Under this Act, the police have the responsibility for maintaining a register, on behalf of all the surveillance agencies, about network operators and their compliance with the obligations set out in the Act, which includes the capability for lawful interception following (for example) the issue of a warrant by a court. Similar implementations are required by majority of countries around the world to prevent crime and fraud.

What is interception?

Interception is the acquisition of communication content and data through the use of any electronic, mechanical or any other device. Legal or lawful interception (LI) is obtaining communications network data from a lawful authority for the purpose of analysis or evidence.

In New Zealand, under the TICSA, to intercept in relation to telecommunication, “includes hear, listen to, record, monitor, acquire or receive the telecommunication while it is taking place on a telecommunications network; or while it is in transit on a telecommunications network.” Surveillance agencies can only undertake an interception when acting under a lawful interception power or authority.

By law, internet service providers (ISPs) and telecommunication companies must be able to intercept and relay network traffic to law enforcement, in real time and by specific standards when presented with a warrant. LI solutions are important for their usefulness in providing real time data and interception in preventing, detecting, deterring, and prosecuting criminal acts.

How do I know if I am compliant?

Many network operators have a regulatory requirement to incorporate lawful interception capabilities into their networks so that Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) can commission authorized electronic surveillance of specific network users.

Under TICSA all network operators must register their information with the New Zealand Police Registrar. A network operator is defined in the legislation as “a person who owns, controls, or operates a public telecommunications network; or a person who supplies another person with the capability to provide a telecommunications service.”  It is the responsibility of the network operator to know if the company is compliant. A designated officer may require certification and/or testing to be carried out.

Companies in breach of lawful intercept obligations face fines upward of $50,000 per day.

Basic requirements of a lawful interception solution

The details of LI solutions differ between the different types of interceptions but there are some basic requirements that every LI solution must have. A LI solution must provide transparent interception of only the specific traffic, and the subject must not be aware of the interception. During an interception operation, the telecommunication users must not be affected in any way by degrading their provisioned service. Additionally, in every interception there are minimum data that must be collected and recorded in order for the intercept to be used later as evidence in a legal proceeding. Therefore, in every type of interception there is a need to determine the presence, identity, and location of the parties of the specified communication.

A key aspect of a LI solution is the requirement that interceptions be undertaken and delivered to the requesting agencies in real-time and encapsulated in a standard format that includes appropriate labelling and meta-data that can withstand scrutiny in court. The intercepted communications must also be delivered over an encrypted channel. The encapsulation format and delivery handovers are defined in sets of standards documents issued by telecommunications governance bodies; the most common of these standards are those published by the European Telecommunications standards Institute (ETSI). Majority of the European and the Asia-Pacific countries follow ETSI requirements. ETSI is a standardization organisation in the field of information and communications. ETSI’s main goal is to remove all deviations from global standards and to focus on a defined set of requirements while ensuring interoperability among standards.

OpenLI Lawful interception solution  

About OpenLI

OpenLI is the world’s first open-source LI software solution and provides network operators with a low-cost alternative for complying with the LI requirements in their jurisdiction. The OpenLI software has been developed by the WAND Network Research group at the University of Waikato. For more information visit our website.



WaikatoLink and the University of Waikato are working with councils to help keep New Zealand’s waterways clean and native wildlife safe.

Regional councils are responsible for maintaining the quality of lakes and rivers in New Zealand. This requires monitoring potentially harmful contaminants such as fertiliser runoff from farms and heavy metals from construction, which can impact native wildlife and the health of local communities. Right now, councils collect a single manual sample that provides a snapshot of water quality at that moment. However, many high-impact contaminants such as nitrate or phosphate fluctuate rapidly, meaning a single manual sample (possibly taken at a time when the contaminant level is particularly low, or particularly high) may not be a good indicator of overall health.

DGT are cheap disposable sensors that provide councils with much richer water quality information, enabling proactive and targeted environmental management practices. DGT provide information on average concentrations over a full deployment, rather than a ‘snapshot’ at time of sampling. This enables DGT to capture a measure of contaminant concentrations that more closely matches the impact that the contaminant has on the environment. The University of Waikato has used DGT for research purposes for several years.

Now, WaikatoLink and the University are working together to help councils and landowners adopt DGT. We will improve the knowledge foundation that forms the basis of environmental management practices, so New Zealand’s rivers and lakes (as well as the native plants, fish and invertebrate species living in them) are well looked after.

DGT for nitrate monitoring are available for purchase from WaikatoLink via Waikato Scientific Instruments. For more information contact Doug Hillyer at

First Watch Ltd

First Watch Ltd

First Watch logo

Founded as a partnership between WaikatoLink and Combined Technologies (CTEK) Automation Engineering Ltd in 2019, First Watch has developed the first cybersecurity platform to prevent attacks on the Operational Technology (OT) networks of industrial control systems that run food processing plants, utilities and other critical infrastructure.

First Watch’s solutions including a patent protected software platform and professional support services provide protection to industrial and key infrastructure sectors

Under the leadership of Managing Director, Bob Stokes, First Watch works together with its partners in each country to successfully deliver leading cybersecurity solutions and services to its customers. First Watch’s expert team is committed to helping your organization manage cyber risk, giving you the support and tools to succeed.

First Watch raised $3.2 million in its seed round of equity funding in May 2020 and a second round of $3.5 million equity funding in November 2021.

These funds are enabling the company to continue enhancing its patented platform which protects endpoints and equipment at the core of industrial networks and also build on early sales successes in New Zealand through expansion into Australia.

Industrial cybersecurity is a multi-billion-dollar market, which is growing rapidly as cyber hackers increasingly target industrial plants which are complex, difficult to maintain, and often have ageing infrastructure.

The First Watch platform can be rapidly deployed into complex industrial environments, providing immediate value to customers with deep insights into the status of their network and assets, and providing real-time cybersecurity protection for critical assets and computers.

For more information see or e-mail

Battery monitors

Batteries are everywhere: from handheld consumer devices to grid storage and electric vehicles (EVs). They’re helping manage the hundreds of thousands of TeraWatt hours (TWh) worth of energy consumed globally every year.

But with use comes wear….as a battery ages the available energy it can store drops. Imagine a petrol car with a 60L tank that reduces to 50L, then 40L, then 20L … You’re filling up but not getting as far. Welcome, to EV range anxiety.

Unfortunately, monitoring this drop in tank size over time is difficult. In an EV you could drive a set course every day in perfect conditions with perfect weather until you run your battery out. But what about when you don’t want to deplete the battery? Like in a backup power environment?

The University of Waikato’s Prof. Jonathan Scott has developed a new tool designed to predict the changing capacity of a battery over time, and thus also the effective remaining lifetime of a battery. The new method is much more sensitive than existing techniques. Our technology is underpinned by new approaches to battery testing no one else has achieved before, coupled with new models of battery behaviour no one else has previously discovered.

We’re currently commercialising this under the brand eisgage [pronounced ice-gauge]

We’re partnering with battery makers, power component suppliers, and end users.

For more information, contact Commercialisation Specialist Anna Henning at

Waikato Scientific Instruments – 18 months Post Launch

Waikato Scientific Instruments – 18 months Post Launch

Waikato Scientific Instruments Logo

The Syp Fluid Sampler is the first product from Waikato Scientific Instruments, a WaikatoLink brand formally launched in May 2021. Syp collects and preserves up to 58 discrete fluid samples over long deployments (12+ month) and is used by research institutes around the world to enable frequent sampling in remote locations, such as caves in the Peruvian Andes or Scottish Highlands.

Our customers use the geochemical data Syp provides to develop high-fidelity climate models that fill gaps in current models from before records began. These models are critically important in understanding how our climate behaves and reacts to changing conditions.

Since our launch 17 months ago, WSI has sold 13 Syp Fluid Sampler units to research institutes such as Vanderbilt University, University of California, and the University of Basel. We’re proud to support global, cutting edge climate research and look forward to introducing new research instrumentation to the Waikato Scientific catalogue.

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