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Anyone know what the heck is WITS 2001????

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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-29-07 11:56 AM
Original message
Anyone know what the heck is WITS 2001????
Got a mysterious phone call at 7AM this morning. I was a little pissed off that someone would call that early so I let it ring. After, I checked and there were no messages on the voice mail. I checked caller ID and it said "WITS 2001 703-487-xxxx" (i'll provide the xxxx if this evolves into anything)

I called the number and someone answered the phone saying he was some kind of investigator. It was a little mumbled but my reaction was I thought I was calling a police station. I explained I was just trying to figure out why someon called me at 7AM from this number. He asked me if my name was (I forget the name he asked). I said no and he abruptly said he had the wrong number and hung up on me (no apologies for calling at 7am or anything like that).

So I was a little pissed off and I decided to investigate further. I tried a reverse phone lookup and struck out. Then I did a websearch and found the WITS 2001 website which states:



WITS2001 is the Washington Interagency Telecommunications System contract between Verizon & GSA serving Federal agencies in the National Capital Region.

...

The Washington Interagency
Telecommunications System
(WITS2001) contract is a comprehensive
solutions-oriented vehicle providing
a broad range of voice, data, video
and professional services to federal
users in the Washington, D.C.
Metropolitan Area.



Reference:
http://www.wits2001.com /

Needless to say I was (and am) a little curious about this now. It looks like this "contract" has to do with government agencies and Verizon. It makes me think of all these reports of the phone companies providing access and info to the government about their customers. And even wire tapping... So I called the customer service phone number and asked them to explain what the heck they are and why they called me. The woman said I was only calling one division, and based on the number I gave her, the call came from a different division and she had no idea what it was about. She could only talk about her division. What her division mainly does is, the government will find that a particular phone number doesn't have a dial tone and they'll investigate it (or fix it). She kept asking me my name which I did not give to her.

Why would some government agency be trying to figure out why I (or someone else) doesn't have a dial tone on their phone???

But she did say the call came from a different division so that may not be exactly what they're doing. ONe thing I do know, the call came from DC.

I'm thinking about calling the 703 number again. Before I do that I thought I'd ask if anyone here has any idea what WITS 2001 is, and why I would be getting a call from them at 7am, why the guy would hang up on me...

Anyone have any idea what this call could have been about?

Related questions... Is there any way to find out if you phone is being tapped? Has anyone else here ever gotten a call from WITS 2001?
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-29-07 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hmmm. I'm curious
Like with Ollie North and Fawn Hall's dyslexic transposition on a CreditSuisse accout number during IranContra, I'd think that your '487' may really be an 874. Willing to betcha that gets a 'company' response !
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-29-07 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Caller ID is pretty accurate, it's says 487...
I'll give you the whole number by PM if you want to try calling it. :)
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-29-07 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Thanks but no thanks. Looks like an outsourced gig
that maybe Congress should be looking into (whew, yet another lack of oversight).

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MikeE Donating Member (637 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-29-07 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Some Gov agencies
use a WITS line. If it was some investigator calling, one of your neighbors may have appied for a Federal job and they are doing the routine background investigation and want to ask you if you know the person, blah blah blah.
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-29-07 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Background checks as a form of political harassment along with RFIDS
Edited on Thu Mar-29-07 12:23 PM by EVDebs
http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0805/p11s02-legn.html

can just about ruin your life. Rove's wetdream. BTW, GSA was under investigation by a congressional cmte the other day re political shenanigans...Who'd you piss off in the R party ? Your name isn't Ted Kennedy is it and you're trying to fly again ?
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-29-07 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Had an old teacher (former OSS) who warned us about the former
WAY back in the sixties... He was teaching and writing and shifted off subject one day to issue a very blunt warning about misuse of INTEL against the common citizen. The man was about as straight-arrow mainstream as they come, but he had a brain and he had good skills at observation and critical thought.

He warned some of us way back that this time would be coming.

Wonder if he is still alive or just busy spinning in his grave.
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-29-07 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. thanks, and a question...
interesting... in the scenario you describe, why would they need a WITS line to do that? Couldn't they use a standard phone directory to find the phone numbers of people who live on the same street?

What exactly is a WITs line?

And what other purposes are they used for, besides doing background checks on job applications?
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-29-07 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Ever see that movie The Conversation ? Methinks the technology has vastly improved
since that time; Gene Hackman's character wasn't just using raw technology then either. The NSA's tech is at least five years ahead of the general public's so go figure.

Again, who may you have ticked off ? Do you think this was entirely by accident ?
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-29-07 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. It sounds like this "WITS" is a government communications network...
...that has been outsourced to a private co.

Basically like a phone company, but one
that only provides service to Gov agencies.

That wrong number you got could have come from any
Gov office; the guy who called you isn't actually
working for WITS any more than I am working for Verizon. (my carrier)
It's just the phone company that his work phone uses.

The people who were looking for numbers with no dial tone
are just trying to find lines that are no longer in
use so they can reassign the numbers. Every service provider
has people who do that these days. Finding the dead numbers
is automated, but they need actual people to run down
contact info to confirm that the line is truly no
longer in use.
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MikeE Donating Member (637 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-29-07 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. It's probably just the phone at their desk
a friend of mine calls me from her office and that shows up sometimes. As far as the background investigations, all in all, they are annoying, but everyone goes through them when they apply for a Federal job. They ask your neighbors pretty standard things. Believe it or not, they seem less intrusive now than years ago. And, of course, it's kind of silly. I mean, if you were a serial killer or something, the first thing the neighbors say is, "Oh, he was such a nice guy", or "We didn't notice anything unusual".
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Justice Is Comin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-29-07 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
9. Block your number whenever you call.
It's *67 over here. I would suggest at least that as you make calls.
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-29-07 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
11. GSA has issued a solicitation for new bids
starting January 2008 -hmm so the carrier will change with a new administration, eh?

WITS-3

The contract has a maximum value of $1.8 billion and will be awarded for a base of four years with four one-year options. WITS-3 is a successor to WITS 2001, which expires in January 2008. The incumbents on that contract are Qwest and Verizon.

GSA previously had pulled back the solicitation's release on July 20, two weeks after announcing it would seek a vendor for Washington-area telecommunications services.

Telecom insiders attributed the delay to a dispute between GSA's National Capital Region and headquarters over the geographic scope of the solicitation. A larger coverage area would appease big federal entities with far-flung facilities, such as the Defense Department, but also would limit competition.



http://www.govexec.com/story_page.cfm?articleid=35814&d...
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