NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Until recently, police who wiretapped wireless calls could only intercept the phone conversation. Pager messages, text and photos were out of their reach. Now, technology is making it a bit easier for cops to keep up with tech-savvy criminals.

Last month, VeriSign, a provider of digital trust services, unveiled its NetDiscovery Service Bureau solution, which will allow the lawful intercept of packet data on GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access) wireless networks. The solution is part of a broader effort by the Global Lawful Intercept Industry Forum (GLIF) to promote the development and adoption of technology standards for lawful interceptions of advanced wireless data services, such as Internet access, text messaging and photo transmissions.

Crime fighters suspect that criminals are heavy users of wireless technologies, having already turned pagers and other earlier generations of wireless devices into tools of their trade, according to a VeriSign executive. As evidence, VeriSign pointed out that 60 percent of wiretapping now occurs on wireless networks.

"Just like voice networks, wireless data technologies need a simple, non-disruptive and cost-effective intercept solution," said Raj Puri, vice president of NetDiscovery Services for VeriSign Telecommunication Services. "We have the ability to access virtually any packet data network and by using mediation equipment deployed in our network, VeriSign can provide a secure, reliable, cost-efficient solution that enables carriers with GPRS or CDMA 1x technologies to comply with all lawful intercept requirements without impacting network performance."

VeriSign demonstrated its NetDiscovery service last month at the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association's annual meeting in New Orleans, La.