Index Home About Blog
Date: Fri, 22 Jul 1994 00:45:31 -0700
From: (John Higdon)
Subject: Re: Reading the TELECOM Digest May Be a Crime

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: This time around dear readers, I decided
> to save the best for first. Let's all have a good laugh to start this
> issue at the expense of the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company
> Security Department. They must really think they are hot stuff.   PAT]

While this refers to an incident circa 1976, it should be noted that
Pac*Bell's security department continues its tradition of ultra-silly
behavior and attitude even to this day.

A couple of years ago I was involved in consultations with the
defendant in a "telephonic misconduct" case. At one point it was
necessary to visit the local FBI office to review the physical
evidence that the bureau was intending to use against the alleged
wrongdoer. In addition to the agents, the head of security for Pacific
Bell was on hand, presumably to protect the interests of his company
during my pawing of the evidence.

Among the many harmless-looking items was a street map of the south
Bay Area. My curiosity could no longer be suppressed, so I asked,
"What is the significance of this particular item?" With that, I waved
the map in the air. Mr. Security immediately rushed over, grabbed the
map out of my hand and announced, "that is a map that has been marked
to REVEAL Pacific Bell central office locations!"

"May I see it, please?" One of the FBI agents motioned for Mr.
Security to return the map to my hands, at which time I opened it and
spread it out on the table. Then I proceeded to deliberately and
obviously run my finger to a dozen or so points on the map saying,
"There is no mark here; no mark here; no mark here...", etc. Mr.
Security's eyes were becoming as big as saucers. "No, this is not a
map of central office locations. What marks there are on this map are
not designating them at all."

Mr. Security came unglued. "How do YOU know where the central offices
are located? Those locations are SECRET!" I explained to him that not
only were the buildings themselves plainly marked with gigantic
Pac*Bell logos, but the complete listing of exchange areas with maps
and CO locations was available to any equipment vendor or service
reseller. At the same time, I informed him that another piece of
evidence, the test number directory, was also available to the public.
That dude had one long face.

There are some telco people who apparently missed what happened in 1984!

John Higdon  |    P.O. Box 7648   |   +1 408 264 4115     |       FAX: | San Jose, CA 95150 | 10288 0 700 FOR-A-MOO | +1 408 264 4407

Index Home About Blog