Spy Agencies Urge Caution on Phone Deal
By ERIC LICHTBLAU SEPT. 28, 2014
WASHINGTON - An obscure federal contract for a company charged with routing millions of phone calls and text messages in the United States has prompted an unusual lobbying battle in which intelligence officials are arguing that the nation's surveillance secrets could be at risk.
The contractor that wins the bid would essentially act as the air traffic controller for the nation's phone system, which is run by private companies but is essentially overseen by the government.
And with a European-based company now favored for the job, some current and former intelligence officials - who normally stay out of the business of awarding federal contracts - say they are concerned that the government's ability to trace reams of phone data used in terrorism and law enforcement investigations could be hindered.
...***** Moderator's Note *****
From the "Executive Summary" of the Chertoff report:
The NPACs are thus an essential part of the U.S. telecommuni- cations system and critical infrastructure. If NPACs were compromised, telephone calls and text messages might not be completed, many search warrants and subpoenas might not be served correctly, and our system for prioritizing communications in a national emergency might not function.
Here's my Executive Summary: Neustar is trying a "Hail Mary" pass, because the ILECs want Telcordia to run the Local Number Portability program. However, it'll be interesting to see just how much information leaks out, about what our law enforcement agencies have been doing with Neustar's help.
Bill Horne Moderator