Back in the early 1970s, when it became clear that AT&T was going to be broken up and that there was an imminent information and technology revolution, Israel understood that it had a highly-educated and highly-worldly population and it made a few calculated economic and diplomatic discoveries,” the source says. . They became highly involved in telecommunications .
Since the late 1990s, federal agents have reported systemic communications security breaches at the Department of Justice, FBI, DEA, the State Department, and the White House. Several of the alleged breaches, these agents say, can be traced to two hi-tech communications companies, Verint Inc. (formerly Comverse Infosys), and Amdocs Ltd ., that respectively provide major wiretap and phone billing /record-keeping software contracts for the US government.
Together, Verint and Amdocs form part of the backbone of the government’s domestic intelligence surveillance technology. Both companies are based in Israel – and are heavily funded by the Israeli government, with connections to the Israeli military and Israeli intelligence (both companies have a long history of board memberships dominated by current and former Israeli military and intelligence officers). Verint is considered the world leader in “electronic interception” and hence an ideal private sector candidate for wiretap outsourcing. Amdocs is the world’s largest billing service for telecommunications , with some $2.8 billion in revenues in 2007, offices worldwide, and clients that include the top 25 phone companies in the United States that together handle 90 percent of all call traffic among US residents. The companies’ operations, sources suggest, have been INFILTRATED BY FREELANCE SPIES EXPLOITING ENCRYPTED TRAPDOORS IN VERINT/AMDOCS TECHNOLOGY AND GATHERING DATA ON AMERICANS FOR TRANSFER TO ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE and other willing customers (particularly organized crime). Source
Another anonymous source – a former CIA operative – says that US intelligence agents who have aired their concerns about Verint and Amdocs have found themselves attacked from all sides. “Once it’s learned that an individual is doing footwork on this [the Verint/Amdocs question], he or she is typically identified somehow as a troublemaker, an instigator, and is hammered mercilessly,” says the former CIA operative.
In the big picture of US government spying on Americans, the story ties into 1994 legislation called the Communication Assistance for Law Enforcement Act CALEA , which effected a sea-change in methods of electronic surveillance. Gone are the days when wiretaps were conducted through on-site tinkering with copper switches. CALEA mandated sweeping new powers of surveillance for the digital age, by linking remote computers into the routers and hubs of telecom firms – a spyware apparatus linked in real-time, all the time, to American telephones and modems. CALEA made spy equipment an inextricable ligature in our telephonic life . Top officials at the FBI pushed for the legislation, claiming it would improve security, but many field agents have spoken up to complain that CALEA has done exactly the opposite. The data-mining techniques employed by NSA in its wiretapping exploits could not have succeeded without the technology mandated by CALEA. It could be argued that CALEA is the hidden heart of the NSA wiretap scandal.
The Act obliges telecommunications companies to make it possible for law enforcement agencies to tap any phone conversations carried out over its networks, as well as making call detail records available . The act stipulates that it must not be possible for a person to detect that his or her conversation is being monitored by the respective government agency.
Right to left Amdocs Pune , Boaz Dotan and Morris Kohn (Cohen)
AMDOCS company was founded in 1982 as an offshoot of Golden Pages, the Israeli phone directory company, which was owned by the Aurec Group headed by Morris Kahn Together with others at Golden Pages, Kahn developed a billing software program for telecom companies and with Boaz Dotan established a company called Aurec Information & Directory Systems to market this product
If a phone is dialed in the US, Amdocs Ltd. likely has a record of it, which includes who you dialed and how long you spoke. This is known as transactional call data. Amdocs’ biggest customers in the US are AT&T and Verizon, which have collaborated widely with the Bush Administration’s warrantless wiretapping programs.Transactional call data has been identified as a key element in NSA data mining to look for “suspicious” patterns in communications.
Over the last decade, Amdocs has been the target of several investigations looking into whether individuals within the company shared sensitive US government data with organized crime elements and Israeli intelligence services .
Beginning in 1997, the FBI conducted a far-flung inquiry into alleged spying by an Israeli employee of Amdocs, who worked on a telephone billing program purchased by the CIA . According to Paul Rodriguez and J. Michael Waller, of Insight Magazine, which broke the story in May of 2000, the targeted Israeli had apparently also facilitated the tapping of telephone lines at the Clinton White House (recall Monica Lewinsky’s testimony before Ken Starr: the president, she claimed, had warned her that “a foreign embassy” was listening to their phone sex, though Clinton under oath later denied saying this).
According to the Insight report, FBI investigators were particularly unnerved over discovering the targeted Israeli subcontractor had somehow gotten his hands on the FBI’s “most sensitive telephone numbers , including the Bureau’s ‘black’ lines used for wiretapping.” ” Some of the listed numbers, ” the Insight article added, “were lines that FBI counterintelligence used to keep track of the suspected Israeli spy operation. The hunted were tracking the hunters.” Rodriguez confirmed the panic this caused in American Intel”It’s a huge security nightmare,” one senior US official told him. No charges, however, were made public in the case. (What happened behind the scenes depends on who you talk to in law enforcement: When FBI counterintelligence sought a warrant for the Israeli subcontractor , the Justice Department strangely refused to cooperate, and in the end no warrant was issued. FBI investigators were baffled.)
London Sunday Times reporter Uzi Mahnaimi quotes sources in Tel Aviv saying that during this period e-mails from President Clinton had also been intercepted by Israeli intelligence . Mahnaimi’s May 2000 article reveals that the operation involved “hacking into White House computer systems during intense speculation about the direction of the peace process.” Israeli intelligence had allegedly infiltrated a company called Telrad, subcontracted by Nortel, to develop a communications system for the White House. According to the Sunday Times, “Company managers were said to have been unaware that virtually undetectable chips installed during manufacture made it possible for outside agents to tap into the flow of data from the White House.”
In 1997, LAPD was investigating Israeli organized crime : drug runners and credit card thieves based in Israel and L.A., with tentacles in New York, Miami, Las Vegas, and Egypt. The group also had access to extremely sophisticated counter-surveillance technology and data, which was a disaster for LAPD. According to LAPD internal documents, the Israeli crime group obtained the unlisted home phone , cell phone, and pager numbers of some 500 of LAPD’s narcotics investigators, as well as the contact information for scores of federal agents. It turned out that the source of much of this black Intel could be traced to a company called J&J Beepers, which was getting its phone numbers from a billing service that happened to be a subsidiary of Amdocs.
Verint started as Comverse Technology’s Comverse Infosys business unit, which was created in 1999 although it was also incorporated in Delaware in February 1994 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Comverse Technology. Comverse Technology, Inc., originally founded in Israel .Comverse Technology was founded by three Israels Jacob “Kobi” Alexander Boaz Misholi , Yechiam Yemini
On July 31, 2006, Alexander, who holds Israeli citizenship, was charged by United States Department of Justice authorities with multiple charges of fraud (including securities fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud), all relating to the timing of Comverse’s stock option grants. He fled to Israel but was arrested when on a trip to Namibia in September 2006 All three founders of Comverse Infosys /Verint have links with the Israel Millitary intelligence and Mossad related Unit 8200
According to former CIA officer Giraldi and other US intelligence sources, software manufactured and maintained by Verint, Inc. handles most of American law enforcement’s wiretaps . Says Giraldi: “Phone calls are intercepted, recorded, and transmitted to US investigators by Verint , which claims that it has to be ‘hands on’ with its equipment to maintain the system.” Giraldi also notes Verint is reimbursed for up to 50 percent of its R&D costs by the Israeli Ministry of Industry and Trade. According to Giraldi, the extent of the use of Verint technology “is considered classified,” but sources have spoken out and told Giraldi they are worried about the security of Verint wiretap systems. The key concern, says Giraldi, is the issue of a “trojan” embedded in the software. A Trojan in information security hardware/software is a backdoor that can be accessed remotely by parties who normally would not have access to the secure system.Allegations of massive Trojan spying have rocked the Israeli business community in recent years.Boaz Guttmann, a veteran cybercrimes investigator with the Israeli national police, says . ” Trojan horse espionage is part of the way of life of companies in Israel. It’s a culture of spying.”
This is of course the culture on which the US depends for much of its secure software for data encryption and telephonic security. “There’s been a lot discussion of how much we should trust security products by Israeli telecom firms,” says Philip Zimmerman, one of the legendary pioneers of encryption technology.Among the ranks of the International Association for Cryptological Research, which meets annually, there is a higher percentage of Israelis than any other nationality. The Israeli-run Verint is today the provider of telecom interception systems deployed in over 50 countries.
Carl Cameron, chief politics correspondent at Fox News Channel, is one of the few reporters to look into federal agents’ deepening distress over possible trojans embedded in Verint technology . In a wide-ranging four-part investigation into Israeli-linked espionage that aired in December 2001, Cameron made a number of startling discoveries regarding Verint, then known as Comverse Infosys. Sources told Cameron that ” while various FBI inquiries into Comverse have been conducted over the years,” the inquiries had “been halted before the actual equipment has ever been thoroughly tested for leaks.” Cameron also noted a 1999 internal FCC document indicating that “several government agencies expressed deep concerns that too many unauthorized non-law enforcement personnel can access the wiretap system .Much of this access was facilitated through “remote maintenance.”
Immediately following the Cameron report, Comverse Infosys changed its name to Verint, saying the company was “maturing.” (The company issued no response to Cameron’s allegations, nor did it threaten a lawsuit.)
Meanwhile, security officers at DEA, an adjunct of the Justice Department, began examining the agency’s own relationship with Comverse/Verint. In 1997, DEA transformed its wiretap infrastructure with the $25 million procurement from Comverse/Verint of a technology called “T2S2”– “translation and transcription support services” – with Comverse/ Verint contracted to provide the hardware and software, plus “support services, training, upgrades, enhancements and options throughout the life of the contract,” according to the “contracts and acquisitions” notice posted on the DEA’s website. This was unprecedented. Prior to 1997, DEA staff used equipment that was developed and maintained in-house.But now Cameron’s report raised some ugly questions of vulnerability in T2S2. The director of security programs at DEA, Heidi Raffanello, was rattled enough to issue an internal communiqué on the matter, dated Dec. 18, 2001, four days after the final installment in the Cameron series.
American law enforcement was not alone in suspecting T2S2 equipment purchased from Comverse/Verint. In November 2002, sources in the Dutch counterintelligence community began airing what they claimed was “strong evidence that the Israeli secret service has uncontrolled access to confidential tapping data collected by the Dutch police and intelligence services,” according to the Dutch broadcast radio station Evangelische Omroep (EO). In January 2003, the respected Dutch technology and computing magazine, c’t, ran a follow-up to the EO scoop, headlined“Dutch Tapping Room not Kosher.”(English Translation)
NSA’S WARRANTLESS WIRETAPPING ACTUALLY MEANS ISRAELI WARRANTLESS WIRETAPPING.”