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Did Telcos Hire "Scapegoat" To Give NSA Phone Records?

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 03:07 PM
Original message
Did Telcos Hire "Scapegoat" To Give NSA Phone Records?
Did Telcos Hire "Scapegoat" To Give NSA Phone Records?
By Paul Kiel and Justin Rood - May 19, 2006, 3:42 PM

A new Business Week article may help explain how AT&T and BellSouth can say they didn't help the NSA, despite the spy agency having millions of their records showing the call details of Americans using their networks.

The magazine reveals a hidden corner of the telecommunications world: a small group of companies who specialize in granting the government access to telecommunications records, conversations and real-time data on behalf of the telecom giants.

That's right: the government now makes so many requests for wiretaps, phone records and call information that an industry has sprung up to handle the load.

Rather than respond themselves to requests from the FBI and others, a telco can sign up with one of these companies, give them access to their call records and equipment, and let that third party do all the hard work.

more at:
http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/000698.php
and:
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_22/b398...
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populistdriven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. Another article on NeuStar
A Stock Worth Spying On

http://www.forbes.com/home/businessinthebeltway/2006/05...

WASHINGTON, D.C. -

Surveillance of domestic telephone call records from millions of Americans may put a strain on the White House press staff and the confirmation of CIA director nominee Gen. Michael Hayden, but not necessarily for a fast-growth technology company that handles law-enforcement requests for customer calling.

NeuStar (nyse: NSR - news - people ), a Sterling, Va.-based company that raised $605 million in a June 2005 initial public offering, holds the exclusive contract through 2011 to keep electronic records of nearly 200 million phone numbers in North America. AT&T (nyse: T - news - people ), Verizon (nyse: VZ - news - people ), and BellSouth (nyse: BLS - news - people )--the three companies at the core of the domestic eavesdropping saga involving the National Security Agency--are all customers of NeuStar.

Verisign, the communications company that manages the Internet's dot-com and dot-net domain name suffixes, also assists Internet companies with information requests from law enforcement agencies.

Large international telecom companies, frequently the target of requests by the NSA, for customer data, can call on NeuStar for crucial information, such as identifying which local network a phone call originates from--a simple task made difficult by the de-regulation of phone service. Every time the company dips into its registry of phone numbers, it collects an estimated $1 fee.

~snip~
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MGKrebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
6.  "it collects an estimated $1 fee."
for every record??? Jeeezuusss! This is costing more than a friggin' fence around the whole country would cost!

And are we to believe that the law says the telco's can't release this info to the government without certain permissions, but they can release it to other companies who CAN release it to the government without those permissions?

Or are the telco's throwing these new companies under the bus?
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The Witch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. Is this at all related to the cell phone records scandal that Aravosis
unearthed at Americablog?

I wonder at his timing in breaking that. Did he know this was coming?
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. Apparently the records brokers figured they were untouchable...

Since the flap over the sale of cell phone records, that story has been mighty quiet.

The telcos made noises to the effect of "if they are obtaining them for sale, then something illegal is going on" but had demonstrated a studied incuriousity in getting to the root of the illegal activities.

Figure, if someone knew they were being used by the feds to break the law in getting at this information, then they knew they'd be untouchable if they were also passing the info along for sale.

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BR_Parkway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-20-06 07:39 AM
Response to Reply #2
26. And the House passed legislation against this that was scheduled for the
Senate - that got pulled off the calendar the day the scandal broke. No one is sure where it got stuffed.
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MGKrebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
3. I give us about 2 hours to discover that Carlyle or
some other Bush Family Crime Syndicate member runs these companies.
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Career Prole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. NeuStar officers here...
http://money.cnn.com/quote/insiders/insiders.html?mode=...

Good a place as any to start, I guess. :evilgrin:
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-20-06 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #9
27. Scrubbed, but here's the Management Team
http://www.neustar.biz/info/management.cfm

Executive Profiles
Jeffrey E. Ganek
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Ganek has served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at NeuStar since December 1999. Prior to joining NeuStar, he was Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Communications Industry Services (CIS) at Lockheed Martin, an advanced technology company. CIS, which was acquired from Lockheed Martin in 1999 to form NeuStar, provided clearinghouse services to the telecommunications industry. Ganek holds a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's degree in public policy and management, both from Carnegie Mellon University.

Michael Lach
President and Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Lach has served as President at NeuStar since January 2004 and as Chief Operating Officer since joining the company in March 2002. Prior to joining NeuStar, he served as President of Network Services and Systems at Winstar Communications, Inc., a telecommunications company. Lach holds a bachelor's degree with distinction in industrial engineering from Purdue University.

Jeffrey Babka
Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Babka has served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since joining the company in April 2004. Prior to joining NeuStar, he was Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer at Indus International, a publicly held service delivery management software company, where he led the Indus team in two acquisitions and the raising of $40 million in new investor financing while executing a financial turnaround. Babka holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Dayton and a master of business administration degree from Manhattan College. He is a graduate of the Stanford University Executive Program and obtained his Certified Public Accountant certification in Ohio in 1974.

Mark D. Foster
Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer

Mr. Foster has served as Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at NeuStar since November 1999. Prior to joining NeuStar, he was an independent consultant for Communications Industry Services (CIS) at Lockheed Martin. Foster is also the lead inventor of local number portability and is heavily involved in the industry technical, policy and regulatory discussions leading to the adoption of local number portability. He holds a bachelor's degree in physics and computer science from the California Institute of Technology.

Wayne Charity
SVP, Systems Development & Engineering

Steve Cory
SVP, Operations

Joe Franlin
SVP, Customer Relations

Reza Jafari
Senior Vice President and Managing Director, International

Jerry Kovach
SVP, External Affairs

Martin Lowen
SVP and General Counsel

John Malone
SVP, Sales and Business Development

John Spirtos
SVP, Corporate Development & Marketing

Christine Walker
SVP, Customer Service Delivery

Market Group Leaders
Mark Barber
VP, Cable Market Group

Bob Nichols
Vice President, Wireline Market Group and Business Development

Mark Smith
VP, Mobile Market Group

Tim Switzer
VP, Federal Market Group

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rzemanfl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-20-06 08:01 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. If you apply for Social Security Disability, your confidential
medical records go to Lockheed-Martin, who "scans them" for our "government."
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-20-06 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. Lockheed-Martin is also prime contractor on the NSA Groundbreaker Project
Edited on Sat May-20-06 10:40 AM by leveymg
that privatized the Agency's IT function.

LM is also the vendor of the District of Columbia's traffic surveillance camera system. It's not just about illegal turns and speeding.

LM and its corporate partners ARE the NSA, and it's everywhere. The Military-Industrial complex is TIA.
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Divine Discontent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
4. The Timing of their Press Release was VERY Noticeable
it didn't escape my field of vision that these giant companies took SEVERAL days to come out and say, "hey wait, no we didn't ever give any records to the NSA!", if that was MY company, and I was CEO, I'd have had a report the NEXT day saying what HOG WASH... of course, they figured out, well, hey, we just say we didn't do this, because really, we didn't... They know they're fucked, and they're begging the Bush White House to protect them from the lawsuits that could be in the billions if HONEST were to win, but we know that's not always what happens with the blind eyes of justice we so are foolish to believe. justice comes after death imho.


www.cafepress.com/warisprofitable <----- Check this out! Best in 06 & 08 Dem wear, and Anti-Bush!
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madmark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 03:53 PM
Response to Original message
5. if they gave all their records to a third party and authorized the third
party to release the records its the same thing as if no third party existed.
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LiberalArkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
8. The question is "Who has access to their SS7 links"
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Catrina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Choicepoint, Nexis Lexis maybe? Read what Greg Palast wrote
about these data mining companies. John Aravosis' story was about being able to buy anyone's phone records from internet sites, which he did. Gen. Clark's records were sold to him for around $100.

We had several threads on this a few months ago ~ one of the biggest data mining companies is Choicepoint which is littered with Republicans ~

One question I haven't seen answered is how they get access to the records. They have records on every American and were collecting records on people S. American countries also.

They are supposedly now in the process of collecting the DNA of every single American citizen ~ They were hired by Katherine Harris to supply the infamous felon list during the 2000 Election.

They made the news again last Fall when over 100,000 people's IDs were stolen from them (I wonder about that) and they failed to notify anyone about it. Congress held hearings over that which means that Congress knew about them and their nefarious business but didn't seem at all worried about it.

How is it possible for a company to steal every single American's ID and then sell it to the government, or anyone else (Insurance Cos, Mortgage Cos etc.) for profit?

I don't know if they bought the records from the phone companies and then sold them to the NSA. I do think someone ought to be asking about this and Choicepoint and other such companies should be sued. I did not want my property in their hands. Why do they have the right to steal it?

I did read somewhere that the law that forbids the telecoms from selling info, doesn't cover private companies. This is why the criminals running this country, including Congress, are allowing this loophole to exist.

It's totally scary to think that they could be doing this without the public's knowledge ~ but imo, if the telecoms gave the info to them, or sold it, rather than directly to the NSA, it doesn't matter ~ although there may not be a law against it?
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dragonlady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. There's another great book: No Place to Hide
Author is Robert O'Harrow. It details the work of the humongous data corporations like Choicepoint. Highly recommended if you are strong enough not to faint from knowing how much data they have on you.
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Catrina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-20-06 03:49 AM
Response to Reply #15
24. Thanks, I will definitely look for it, and recommend it to everyone I
can ~ this is truly scary ~ and the media as always, will not tell the public about it so it's up to us to spread the word ~ they count on our being uninformed. Knowledge is power, and when I call my phone company, I will ask about this ~ and we should call Congress and let them know we know ~

I told a few friends about what I had discovered re. Choicepoint and they were shocked. Every single decision like this should be made by the PEOPLE! What has happened to this country?
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
21. What are "SS7 links"?
:shrug:
If you can explain it to me, I may be able to track down the answer.
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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 05:38 PM
Response to Original message
10. "Yep, their customers include AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth"
Predictably underhanded
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Divine Discontent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. totally!
and something bothers me that there are so FEW comments to this newstory, come on folks, you should be commmenting about this and not the stupid "English is our national language" debate... that's what they WANT us to debate! DAMMIT!



www.cafepress.com/warisprofitable <----- Check this out! Best Dem 06 & 08 stickers & Anti-Bush too!
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Up2Late Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 07:53 PM
Response to Original message
13. WOW! Is this it? Or is this just the first layer of deniability?
It will be interesting to see how Nuestar's stock does in the next few mounts.
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 09:51 PM
Response to Original message
14. Neustar... Velly Intelesting...
Edited on Fri May-19-06 09:52 PM by drm604
Neustar's home page neustar.biz

Whois of the domain neustar.biz

Registrant Name: NeuStar, Inc.
Registrant Organization: NeuStar, Inc.
Registrant Address1: Loudoun Tech Center
Registrant Address2: 45980 Center Oak Plaza
Registrant City: Sterling
Registrant State/Province: Virginia
Registrant Postal Code: 20166
Registrant Country: United States
Registrant Country Code: US
Registrant Phone Number: +1.5714345757
Registrant Facsimile Number: +1.5714345758

Sterling, Virginia? Hmm... Doing some Googling, I discovered this post which claims that Neustar has registered the domain whitehouse.us.

Going to http://whitehouse.us we see

This .US domain name was recently registered with NeuStar, Inc. This site is currently under construction. Please try back at a later date.

which would seem to confirm it.

A Whois of whitehouse.us proves it. It shows the administrative, billing, and technical contacts all as being "Neustar" and at the same address etc. as the neustar.biz Whois record above. But... the "Registrant" info is different!

Domain Name: WHITEHOUSE.US
Domain ID: D665758-US
Sponsoring Registrar: .US RESERVE
Domain Status: serverTransferProhibited
Domain Status: inactive
Registrant ID: 10092-FEDEOP
Registrant Name: Carlos Solari
Registrant Organization: Whitehouse - Executive Office of the President
Registrant Address1: 1800 G Street
Registrant Address2: 10th Floor
Registrant City: Washington
Registrant State/Province: DC
Registrant Postal Code: 20502
Registrant Country: United States
Registrant Country Code: US
Registrant Phone Number: +1.2023950960
Registrant Facsimile Number: +1.2023956436

The registrant organization is "Whitehouse - Executive Office of the President"??? Is this some joker trying to masquarade as the Whitehouse? The registrant name is "Carlos Solari".

A little Googling came up with this. http://magazine.wlu.edu/web/page/print/414.html

Carlos Solari '79 had one of the most sensitive and fascinating positions in the White Housebut he can't say much about it. Not because he's modest, although he is; not because he's shy, because he's a friendly sort. Rather, it's because he was the chief information officer in charge of computer security for the past two and a half years, and, well, discretion comes with the job. A biology major, he's a prime example of how a scientific education can prepare a student for just about anythingsuch as careers in the military, the FBI and a presidential administration.

According to the Whois, the domain "whitehouse.us" was registered Mon Nov 15, 2004 (for 99 years!). So the question is, was Solari working for the White House when the domain was registered? The article at magazine.wlu.edu isn't dated so that "two and a half years" statement doesn't help much, but this page http://www.gcn.com/print/24_4/35135-1.html is dated 02/21/05 and states

Carlos Solari, who spent the last 2 1⁄2 years as White House CIO, left last week to return to industry.

The registration date of Nov 2004 fits withing the 2 1/2 year period before 2/21/05 so it looks like Solari worked for the White House when he and Neustar registered whitehouse.us.

Why was Neustar registered as the administrative, billing, and technical contact for a domain registered by a White House employee?

It appears that, at the very least, Neustar is a government contractor that specifically is involved with White House information systems. Hmm...
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Oh please make this it's own post
This is VERY important information. Great catch. :thumbsup:
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. Done.
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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Dadgum! I'm awarding you tanyev's Medal of Freedom.
Nice work.

:patriot:
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. Wow tanyev's Medal of Freedom.
That's one of the better ones you can get... isn't it?
Dadgum!
Thank You
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-20-06 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #14
23. How do you spell "front company"?
Spooky.
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Gidney N Cloyd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-20-06 07:34 AM
Response to Reply #14
25. Ho. Lee. Sh*t.
Maybe I've seen too many spy movies but I don't like guys named Carlos poking into my stuff...
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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
18. Wow, I am impressed...
I am not a night person, I prefer mornings,

But you all on this thread are cooking with some hot coals...

I can't wait to see what you have by morning!

Peace and good night...
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-19-06 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Neustar Profits Triple
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Stalwart Donating Member (180 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-20-06 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #20
30. Big Bucks
NeuStar is just one player in the game and some of the players are big.

They are all in business to assist telecommunications providers in meeting the requirements of CALEA. An explanation of CALEA is here:
http://www.askcalea.net / and http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/cybercrime/usamay2001_4.h...

Neustar is making money. Others are making money. Add it all up and they are collectively grossing many millions. In marketing their services they say that it can cost a telecommunications company several hundred dollars to process a single CALEA request. Obviously, the service companies can do it for less.

Lawful authorization for the government to obtain telecommunication information used to be a court order issued based on probable cause. Now lawful authorization in based on other things and reasons. Regardless of that fact and the 4th amendment, there remains a cost to process each request regardless of its nature. The companies providing the service claim to do it for less than the telecommunications companies can do it.

The service providers, who are many but can be counted, are hauling in big bucks from the telecommunications industry. How much? There is a government reporting requirement under 47 U.S.C. Sec. 1010 to be found at: http://www.techlawjournal.com/agencies/calea/47usc1001....

"On or before April 1, 1996, and every 2 years thereafter, the Comptroller General of the United States, after consultation with the Attorney General and the telecommunications industry, shall submit to the Congress a report--.......shall include the findings and conclusions of the Comptroller General on the costs to be incurred by telecommunications carriers to comply with the assistance capability requirements of section 1002 of this title after the effective date of such section 1002 of this title, including projections of the amounts expected to be incurred and a description of the equipment, facilities, or services for which they are expected to be incurred.

The last report should have been submitted on April 1st 2006.

Interesting to know what that cost is to the telecommunications industry and evaluate it in relationship to prior years costs.


Conclusion based on the money that the service providers are making or the government is reporting regarding telecommunications industry cost?

A. Technology is enabling the good guys to go after the bad guys in new and better ways and more often to fight crime.

or

B. Technology is enabling the bad guys to go after the good guys in new and better ways and more often to commit crime.

The service providers get big bucks either way but they are in business to grow. Real crime rates like murder, etc are relatively static or even dropping. So where is the growth?

Surveilance of the non-criminal. What a great potential market.









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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-21-06 02:30 AM
Response to Original message
31. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-21-06 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Just to clarify something.
Every version I've found of the Memphis coroner story says that he was alive when found wrapped in wire and a bomb. I can't find any mention of him being murdered. He's been charged in the incident because it's believed that he staged the incident and attached the bomb and barbed wire to himself, possibly due to mental illness. As far as I can tell, he's still alive.

http://tinyurl.com/jvnys
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suffragette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-21-06 10:28 PM
Response to Original message
33. This paragraph caught my eye.
NeuStar actually has an advantage over its competitors: it's not just an FBI-friendly third party, it's a major routing company. According to their web site, "Nearly every telephone call placed is routed using NeuStar's system, and every telecommunications service provider is one of NeuStar's customers."

So, by "every telecommunications service provider" are they talking about the major telecomms? Or additional companies?

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