FC: U.S. phone eavesdropping software open to spying --Fox News
by way of <email@example.com>
Fri, 14 Dec 2001 13:39:34 -0800
Amazing how the gubbies only care when its their own shit that gets
monitored. When _THEY_ feel vulnerable its a problem; When we feel
vulnerable its a conspiracy.
From: Brad Jansen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "'McCullagh, Declan'" <email@example.com>
Cc: "'Matthew Gaylor'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Lisa Dean: Reax to Law Enforcement Letter re: CALEA
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2001 12:28:33 -0500
FYI (story below)
FBI makes bad worse
> For Immediate Release:
> December 13, 2001
> Steve Lilienthal
> Dean Reaction To Fox News Report On
> Free Congress Foundation's Lisa S. Dean offered this reaction to the
> report delivered on Fox News tonight that said local law enforcement
> agents delivered a letter to the FBI stating that the wiretap
> standards are lower and less secure now under the Communications
> Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) than they had been. Dean
> "We are exercising our `I told you so rights' on this," said Dean,
> President for Technology Policy. "From the beginning, both the
> Right and Left warned Congress and the FBI that they were making a
> mistake by implementing CALEA. That it would jeopardize the security
> private communications, whether it's between a mother and her son or
> between government officials. The statement just issued by law
> agencies has confirmed our worst fears."
> - 30 -
Friday, December 14, 2001
This partial transcript of Special Report with Brit Hume, Dec. 13, was
provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click here to order the
Part 3 of 4
BRIT HUME, HOST: Last time we reported on an Israeli-based company
Amdocs Ltd. that generates the computerized records and billing data for
nearly every phone call made in America. As Carl Cameron reported, U.S.
investigators digging into the 9/11 terrorist attacks fear that suspects
have been tipped off to what they were doing by information leaking out
In tonight's report, we learn that the concern about phone security
to another company, founded in Israel, that provides the technology that
U.S. government uses for electronic eavesdropping. Here is Carl
CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The company is
Infosys, a subsidiary of an Israeli-run private telecommunications firm,
with offices throughout the U.S. It provides wiretapping equipment for
enforcement. Here's how wiretapping works in the U.S.
Every time you make a call, it passes through the nation's elaborate
of switchers and routers run by the phone companies. Custom computers
software, made by companies like Comverse, are tied into that network to
intercept, record and store the wiretapped calls, and at the same time
transmit them to investigators.
The manufacturers have continuing access to the computers so they can
service them and keep them free of glitches. This process was
the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA.
Senior government officials have now told Fox News that while CALEA made
wiretapping easier, it has led to a system that is seriously vulnerable
compromise, and may have undermined the whole wiretapping system.
Indeed, Fox News has learned that Attorney General John Ashcroft and
Director Robert Mueller were both warned Oct. 18 in a hand-delivered
from 15 local, state and federal law enforcement officials, who
that "law enforcement's current electronic surveillance capabilities
less effective today than they were at the time CALEA was enacted."
Congress [probably means Comverse --DBM] insists the equipment it
is secure. But the complaint
about this system is that the wiretap computer programs made by
have, in effect, a back door through which wiretaps themselves can be
intercepted by unauthorized parties.
Adding to the suspicions is the fact that in Israel, Comverse works
with the Israeli government, and under special programs, gets
for up to 50 percent of its research and development costs by the
Ministry of Industry and Trade. But investigators within the DEA, INS
FBI have all told Fox News that to pursue or even suggest Israeli
through Comverse is considered career suicide.
And sources say that while various F.B.I. inquiries into Comverse have
conducted over the years, they've been halted before the actual
has ever been thoroughly tested for leaks. A 1999 F.C.C. document
indicates several government agencies expressed deep concerns that too
unauthorized non-law enforcement personnel can access the wiretap
And the FBI's own nondescript office in Chantilly, Virginia that
oversees the CALEA wiretapping program, is among the most agitated
But there is a bitter turf war internally at F.B.I. It is the FBI's
in Quantico, Virginia, that has jurisdiction over awarding contracts
buying intercept equipment. And for years, they've thrown much of the
business to Comverse. A handful of former U.S. law enforcement
involved in awarding Comverse government contracts over the years now
for the company.
Numerous sources say some of those individuals were asked to leave
government service under what knowledgeable sources call "troublesome
circumstances" that remain under administrative review within the