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Re: [coldwarcomms] any insights? no pun intended

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  • Dave Emery
    ... While I am in no way in a position to confirm or deny the story, based on my knowlage of telephones and certain WH practices, I consider the possiblity
    Message 1 of 43 , May 8 2:36 PM
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      On Mon, May 08, 2000 at 09:41:54AM -0400, Goldsmith, Tim wrote:
      > I was wondering if the regulars on this list had any insight into the story
      > of the White House secure phone lines being tapped via a remote location in
      > the Washington area? Anything I read in INSIGHT magazine, I want to
      > corroborate with other sources ;)
      >
      > Thanks in advance.

      While I am in no way in a position to confirm or deny the story,
      based on my knowlage of telephones and certain WH practices, I consider
      the possiblity that the Isrealies were able to intercept some of the
      non secure WH traffic flowing out from the WH switch to the public
      network is quite realistic. And I think it is indeed very possible that
      they were able to intercept certain internal telco signaling traffic
      that might have allowed them to track calls to and from certain
      White House lines, possibly including the President - this would
      have allowed them to spot such things as late night calls to a single
      women at the Watergate from the President's line and wiretap her
      line using readilily available technology from the basement of the
      Watergate.

      It is certainly true that a great amount of relatively sensitive
      telephone traffic flows into and out of the White House phone system
      over clear lines, even though there are many many STU III phones provided to
      secure sensitive conversations, faxes etc.. This occurs because the
      people on the outside placing or receiving calls don't have a STU III phone,
      or aren't near it, or hate the voice quality of a secure call or are off
      somewhere with a non secure mobile phone, or simply didn't bother to use
      the secure capability because they didn't think that anything sensitive
      would be talked about until they were in the middle of a conversation
      when switching to secure would be an annoying interruption. And of
      course a great many personal conversations have potential blackmail
      or scandal value even though nothing classified is even thought about.
      The only way WHCA could ensure that nothing sensitive was discussed
      over a clear line would be to hire a staff of people to monitor all
      the clear calls and reprimand those who were indiscreet, and you can
      certainly guess that no low paid grunt is about to tattle on a
      senior assistant to the President of the United States or even the
      President himself.

      Certainly the clear WH calls routed to ordinary phones on the
      PSTN have to reach the PSTN somewhere, and a determined intelligence
      agency with money and human contacts inside the DC area telcos stands a
      pretty good chance of finding out where the WH calls join the network
      and how they are labled and indentified within the civilian telco
      switches. And armed with this information it might be possible to induce
      the civilian telco switches or T1 line interconnects (DACS) to route a
      copy of interesting traffic off to some other line where it could be
      recorded or rerouted under secure encryption to somewhere else.
      Certainly there have been many reports of phone phreaks and hackers
      accessing such remote observation capabilities on Telco switches in the
      past, and if a 19 year old kid can do it, one imagines that talented and
      bright professionals with money and determination certainly can too...
      It is certainly even possible that if the traffic could be
      be isolated to a particular fiber, that actually tapping the fiber might
      have been useful.

      Basicly as the Insight article points out, a lot of this
      depends on human weaknesses, carelessness, bribe or blackmailablity and
      so forth. In theory there are controls and cross checks but all it
      takes is a backdoor to a switch to be left open carelessly long enough
      for a few small changes to the code and database to be implemented
      and unfortunately these kinds of security lapses happen all the time
      in real organizations with real fallible people.

      --
      Dave Emery N1PRE, die@... DIE Consulting, Weston, Mass.
      PGP fingerprint = 2047/4D7B08D1 DE 6E E1 CC 1F 1D 96 E2 5D 27 BD B0 24 88 C3 18
    • Craig Scott
      Yeah,  Whistler    modeled after Joe Engrassia....one of the original Phone Phreaks ...and blind ________________________________ From: Charles Fargis
      Message 43 of 43 , Feb 5, 2009
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        Yeah,  "Whistler"   modeled after Joe Engrassia....one of the original "Phone Phreaks"...and blind




        ________________________________
        From: Charles Fargis <lackey91@...>
        To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thursday, February 5, 2009 4:33:39 PM
        Subject: RE: [coldwarcomms] Re: any insights? no pun intended

        Loved the blind guy who counted heartbeats in the tunnel.
        Akroyd wasnt bad either.
        I remarked to my wife when we saw "War Games" how most of the people in the
        theater
        didnt know there was a building on springs across the street in a big hole
        in the ground.
        Still operational today unlike Garden City which is now condos and such.
        Sniff Sniff



        -----Original Message-----
        From: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com [mailto:coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com] On
        Behalf Of Craig Scott
        Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2009 3:47 PM
        To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] Re: any insights? no pun intended



        Great movie w/ Bob Redford: SNEAKERS.....moral of the story:  Too Many
        Secrets.......

        ________________________________
        From: kemartinatsnetnet <kemartin@snet. <mailto:kemartin%40snet.net> net>
        To: coldwarcomms@ <mailto:coldwarcomms%40yahoogroups.com> yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thursday, February 5, 2009 2:19:43 PM
        Subject: [coldwarcomms] Re: any insights? no pun intended

        Thank you. Very well put.

        One exception to your comment "In a democratic society".

        This is actually a "republic".

        And one statement. Some things are still better not said.

        -Ken

        --- In coldwarcomms@ <mailto:coldwarcomms%40yahoogroups.com>
        yahoogroups.com, John Young <jya@...> wrote:
        >
        > No question that those with access to classified information
        > are well-trained to not release it. Still, keeping secrets is hard
        > to do when agencies who manage the secrets fairly regularly
        > leak information which helps protect their budgets and careers.
        > How else would the public know what their tax money is used
        > for if now and then there were no dramatic disclosures of how
        > beneficial it is to carefuly manage leaks of secrets and to be
        > sure punish those who are not authorized to stage manage
        > leaks.
        >
        > In a democratic society the conflict between secret keepers
        > and the public will forever be a tussle of mutual suspicion.
        >
        > Whistleblowers serve an important role in this tussle, but
        > more important are the skeptics of secrecy, from the President
        > down to the most ill-informed citizen, all of who are regularly
        > betrayed by those they are induced to trust -- blindly.
        >
        > Anyone who has served in a secretkeeping organization-- mil
        > com, edu, church -- knows well the practice, call it preaching,
        > of revealing what is known to those not authorized to know it,
        > the bragging of what one knows but cannot tell -- though always
        > exaggerated, the hectoring of those with loose lips -- and looser
        > morals, the warnings of treason and threat to the nation,
        institution,
        > company, family, church, the rigamarole orchestrated as if a
        > buffoonish opera, which insiders are ever reminded, pays quite
        > well to keep outsiders out of the loop.
        >
        > National security is the biggest racket ever, some say it has
        > become a diabolic church of black magic. Stupendously
        > expensive and wasteful of the world's hard-earned capital.
        > Telling the truth about how deeply entrenched it is within
        > democratic nations would indeed be treasonous to it
        > beneficiaries.
        >
        > Best to prate about the virtues of self-censorhip, of patriotism,
        > of holding tongues. Jesus weeps at what is done in the name
        > of security and salvation.
        >
        > Saith a disbeliever.
        >

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