FC: U.S. phone eavesdropping software open to spying --Fox News

by way of <karee@tstonramp.com> carey@tstonramp.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. 

-BB
---

From: Brad Jansen <bjansen@freecongress.org>
To: "'McCullagh, Declan'" <declan@well.com>
Cc: "'Matthew Gaylor'" <freematt@coil.com>
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:
 > Contact:
 > December 13, 2001
 > Steve Lilienthal
 > 	
 > 202-204-5304
 > 	
 > slilienthal@freecongress.org
 > 							
 > 					Dean Reaction To Fox News Report On
 > CALEA 	
 >
 > 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 
technical
 > standards are lower and less secure now under the Communications
 > Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) than they had been. Dean 
said:
 >
 > "We are exercising our `I told you so rights' on this," said Dean, 
Vice
 > President for Technology Policy. "From the beginning, both the 
political
 > Right and Left warned Congress and the FBI that they were making a 
huge
 > mistake by implementing CALEA. That it would jeopardize the security 
of
 > private communications, whether it's between a mother and her son or
 > between government officials. The statement just issued by law 
enforcement
 > agencies has confirmed our worst fears."
 >
 > 							- 30 -
http://foxnews.com/story/0,2933,40824,00.html

FNC
Carl Cameron
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

complete transcript.

Part 3 of 4

BRIT HUME, HOST:  Last time we reported on an Israeli-based company 
called
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
 may
have been tipped off to what they were doing by information leaking out 
of
Amdocs.

In tonight's report, we learn that the concern about phone security 
extends
to another company, founded in Israel, that provides the technology that
 the
U.S. government uses for electronic eavesdropping.  Here is Carl 
Cameron's
third report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  The company is 
Comverse
Infosys, a subsidiary of an Israeli-run private telecommunications firm,

with offices throughout the U.S.  It provides wiretapping equipment for 
law
enforcement.  Here's how wiretapping works in the U.S.

Every time you make a call, it passes through the nation's elaborate 
network
of switchers and routers run by the phone companies.  Custom computers 
and
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 
authorized by
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 
to
compromise, and may have undermined the whole wiretapping system.

Indeed, Fox News has learned that Attorney General John Ashcroft and  
FBI
Director Robert Mueller were both warned Oct. 18 in a hand-delivered 
letter
from 15 local, state and federal law enforcement  officials, who 
complained
that "law enforcement's current  electronic surveillance capabilities 
are
less effective today than they  were at the time CALEA was enacted."

Congress [probably means Comverse --DBM] insists the equipment it 
installs 
is secure.  But the  complaint
about this system is that the wiretap computer programs made by  
Comverse
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  
closely
with the Israeli government, and under special programs, gets  
reimbursed
for up to 50 percent of its research and development costs by  the 
Israeli
Ministry of Industry and Trade.  But investigators within the  DEA, INS 
and
FBI have all told Fox News that to pursue or even suggest  Israeli 
spying
through Comverse is considered career suicide.

And sources say that while various F.B.I. inquiries into Comverse have  
been
conducted over the years, they've been halted before the actual  
equipment
has ever been thoroughly tested for leaks.  A 1999 F.C.C.  document
indicates several government agencies expressed deep concerns that  too 
many
unauthorized non-law enforcement personnel can access the wiretap  
system.
And the FBI's own nondescript office in Chantilly, Virginia that  
actually
oversees the CALEA wiretapping program, is among the most agitated  
about
the threat.

But there is a bitter turf war internally at F.B.I.  It is the FBI's  
office
in Quantico, Virginia, that has jurisdiction over awarding contracts  
and
buying intercept equipment.  And for years, they've thrown much of the
business to Comverse.  A handful of former U.S. law enforcement 
officials
involved in awarding Comverse government contracts over the years now 
work
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 
Justice
Department.  




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