James Bamford’s interview with Amy Goodman about his j recently released book about the NSA. The Book is called the "Shadow Factory"
You should listen to the interview with Bamford. I will link to Democracy Now and to the four part series that Fox was forced to remove from their website about Israeli run datamining companies with access to 80% of Americans communications systems. I will link that four part series below.
October 14, 2008
James Bamford: “The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America”
The Bush administration’s wiretapping program has come under new scrutiny this week. Two influential congressional committees have opened probes into allegations US intelligence spied on the phone calls of American military personnel, journalists and aid workers in Iraq. We speak to James Bamford about the NSA’s spying on Americans, the agency’s failings pre-9/11 and the ties between NSA and the nation’s telecommunications companies. [includes rush transcript]
JAMES BAMFORD: Yeah. There’s two major—or not major, they’re small companies, but they service the two major telecom companies. This company, Narus, which was founded in Israel and has large Israel connections, does the—basically the tapping of the communications on AT&T. And Verizon chose another company, ironically also founded in Israel and largely controlled by and developed by people in Israel called Verint.
So these two companies specialize in what’s known as mass surveillance. Their literature—I read this literature from Verint, for example—is supposed to only go to intelligence agencies and so forth, and it says, “We specialize in mass surveillance,” and that’s what they do. They put these mass surveillance equipment in these facilities. So you have AT&T, for example, that, you know, considers it’s their job to get messages from one person to another, not tapping into messages, and you get the NSA that says, we want, you know, copies of all this. So that’s where these companies come in. These companies act as the intermediary basically between the telecom companies and the NSA.
AMY GOODMAN: Now, Jim Bamford, take this a step further, because you say the founder and former CEO of one of these companies is now a fugitive from the United States somewhere in Africa?
JAMES BAMFORD: Well, you know, this is a company that the US government is getting all its tapped information from. It’s a company that Verizon uses as its tapping company, its eavesdropping company. And very little is known about these companies. Congress has never looked into any of this. I don’t know—I don’t think they even know that there is—that these companies exist. But the company that Verizon uses, Verint, the founder of the company, the former head of the company, is now a fugitive in—hiding out in Africa in the country of Namibia, because he’s wanted on a number of felony warrants for fraud and other charges. And then, two other top executives of the company, the general counsel and another top official of the parent company, have also pled guilty to these charges.
So, you know, you’ve got companies—these companies have foreign connections with potential ties to foreign intelligence agencies, and you have problems of credibility, problems of honesty and all that. And these companies—through these two companies pass probably 80 percent or more of all US communications at one point or another. And it’s even—gets even worse in the fact that these companies also supply their equipment all around the world to other countries, to countries that don’t have a lot of respect for individual rights—Vietnam, China, Libya, other countries like that. And so, these countries use this equipment to filter out dissident communications and people trying to protest the government. It gives them the ability to eavesdrop on communications and monitor dissident email communications. And as a result of that, people are put in jail, and so forth.