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[coldwarcomms] re: any insights? no pun intended

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  • Albert LaFrance
    Tim, Another person I discussed this with pointed me to an item in Saturday s Washington Post: BEGIN QUOTE FBI Spying Probe Came Up Empty Associated Press
    Message 1 of 1 , May 9, 2000
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      Tim,

      Another person I discussed this with pointed me to an item in Saturday's
      Washington Post:

      BEGIN QUOTE

      FBI Spying Probe Came Up Empty

      Associated Press
      Saturday, May 6, 2000; Page A12

      The FBI investigated an allegation that Israeli spies had penetrated the
      White House and other government telephone systems, but more than a year of
      extensive work found no evidence of any breach, two senior federal law
      enforcement officials said yesterday.

      The two officials, who requested anonymity, said the FBI had identified no
      one to arrest during its investigation. One said the investigation is now
      inactive.

      "There was extensive investigation, and there are just no facts to support
      the allegation," one of the officials said. This official said the
      investigation had "100 percent complete support from the Justice Department
      and every other government agency" that would be needed to check such an
      allegation.

      The probe is technically not closed, this official said. But it was
      described as being in the "pending inactive state because the allegation is
      so serious and in case something develops."

      At the White House, a senior official said the White House had no
      indication that its phone system was compromised.

      Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy, said, "I don't listen even
      to the phone conversations of my wife." He called the allegation outrageous
      and said, "Israel does not spy on the United States."

      A former civilian intelligence analyst for the Navy, Jonathan Jay Pollard,
      was convicted during the 1980s of extensive spying for Israel. Israel has
      sought unsuccessfully since then for a presidential pardon of Pollard.

      On Capitol Hill, Republican sources said the allegation centered on a
      telecommunications contractor.

      © Copyright 2000 The Associated Press

      END QUOTE

      Assuming the AP's sources are correct, I'm wondering if the Insight article
      may have begun with a small grain of truth, and become exaggerated
      intentionally and/or through journalists' misunderstanding of telecom
      technology.

      Specifically, the mention of a telephone billing software makes me think
      the original investigation may have focused on a possible compromise of
      White House call-accounting data (numbers dialed, duration of call), which
      would certainly be serious but not as dramatic as real-time monitoring of
      conversations.

      ...Albert
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