Legislation-Aware Privacy Protection in Passive Network Monitoring

Legislation-Aware Privacy Protection in Passive Network Monitoring

Georgios V. Lioudakis (National Technical University of Athens, Greece), Francesca Gaudino (Baker & McKenzie, Italy), Elisa Boschi (Hitachi Europe, France), Giuseppe Bianchi (University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy), Dimitra I. Kaklamani (National Technical University of Athens, Greece) and Iakovos S. Venieris (National Technical University of Athens, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-975-0.ch022
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Abstract

Passive network monitoring is very useful for the operation, maintenance, control and protection of communication networks, while in certain cases it provides the authorities with the means for law enforcement. Nevertheless, the flip side of monitoring activities is that they are natively surrounded by serious privacy implications and, therefore, they are subject to data protection legislation. Chapter 22 investigates the challenges related to privacy protection in passive network monitoring, based on a joint technical and regulatory analysis of the associated issues. After introducing the issue and its special characteristics, the chapter provides background knowledge regarding the corresponding legal and regulatory framework, as well as some related work. It then delves into the description of the legal and regulatory requirements that govern network monitoring systems, before providing an overview of a reference monitoring system, which has been designed with these requirements in mind.
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Passive Network Monitoring

Opposed to active monitoring that involves the injection of test packets in the network and the consequent measurement of their qualitative characteristics, the approach for communications network monitoring referred to as passive concerns the inspection of the actual network traffic using special software and/or hardware equipment. Enabling factors for the recent surge of passive network monitoring have been the availability of high-performance capturing devices, such as network probing cards, and storage systems of large capacity, as well as the development of intelligent methods for traffic analysis and knowledge inference.

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