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From: (Floyd Davidson)
Newsgroups: comp.dcom.isdn,
Subject: Re: ISDN security (was Re: 64 vs 56k per channel)
Date: 6 May 1998 01:00:09 GMT

Jeffrey Rhodes  <> wrote:
>Tyler Hopper wrote:
>> I respectfully disagree. Both RBOCs and IXCs which use my company's
>> equipment can access hundreds of thousands of circuits with a couple of
>> clicks of a mouse. Monitoring traffic over the link at that point is
>> child's play.
>to determine whether a circuit is in use or idle? RBOCs and IXCs do not
>arbitrarily listen into phone conversations, faxes, analog modems or
>digital communications. In the course of maintaining circuits, as you
>note, this may occur, but it usually requires someone to physically
>touch something more than a mouse.
>> They do it many times every day and it's perfectly legal
>> in terms of provisioning and maintenance. Yes, monitoring for any other
>> reason is illegal.
>Please enlighten me as to how a child can play with a mouse at your
>company to monitor a phone conversation in the network. Newt wants to
>know, too ;-)

The best way I know of to put such a discussion in perspective is this:

  Do NOT EVER say anything on a telephone, send anything by FAX,
  or put any data on a digital or modem circuit, that you cannot
  tolerate showing up on the front page of tomorrow's local
  newspaper.  It is not that it is likely to happen, but there is
  nothing preventing it either...

In the course of maintaining circuits, technical staff does
arbitrarily monitor any or all of the above, and for anyone with
six months experience it is indeed child's play.  For a person
with years of experience and a deviant bent of mind, it is even
worse.  Ideally that should never happen, but it does.

I have _literally_ seen a transcript of a man essentially
confessing to a murder in a telephone conversation printed on
the front page of a newspaper.  He went to jail...


Floyd L. Davidson                      
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)

From: (Floyd Davidson)
Subject: Re: Toll Office Observation
Date: 10 Jul 1999 03:58:20 GMT

Frank Heisler <> wrote:
> wrote:
>: I'm aware that end offices have a capability to monitor conversations
>: for the purpose of ensuring quality. Do toll offices have a similar
>: feature?
>Yes it would stand to reason, but the monitoring capabilities would be
>integrated into the Trunk Interfaces.  I highly doubt such things are done
>on the toll offices rather, the trunks are tested as prescribed by the
>telco based on more conclusive tests than "sounds good to me Zeke!" that
>might occur on end offices... ;)

Just as certain as it is true that more conclusive tests are
indeed done, it is also certain that monitors are at various
times attached to trunks, and left there.  It is not uncommon to
walk down a aisle and hear voice conversations from various
pieces of test equipment that have been left plugged into
various monitor jacks.

Rarely is anyone interested in anything that can be heard.  But
don't kid yourself if you think you can discuss a planned bank
robbery, a murder, or sex without the chances that someone will
in fact hear it and listen.  The simple rule of thumb is that
you *NEVER*EVER* want to say anything on a telephone that you
can't live with seeing quoted verbatim on the front page of
tomorrow's newspaper.

As an example, I know of one case where a fellow literally
discussed over a cell phone a murder he had committed, at that
discussion was indeed quoted verbatim in the local newspaper (in
several articles over a period of a few days).  That fellow is
now where he belongs, in jail.  (The newspaper was/is monitoring
cell phone calls, and nothing was ever said.  One reason for
that is because the police also had a wiretap on the same call,
and it might (or might not) have been illegal.)


Floyd L. Davidson                
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)

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