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FBI Gets DS3 Backdoor Into Verizon Wireless Network? [Mar. 7th, 2008|08:31 pm]
Wireless Industry News


FBI Gets DS3 Backdoor Into Verizon Wireless Network?
Another whistle-blower exposes surveillance project


Wired's Threat Level blog is reporting that a major wireless carrier
offers the FBI direct, high-speed access to the company's voice calls,
data packets and company records. A whistle-blower who worked as a
network security analyst at the company in question (which the blog
strongly hints is Verizon Wireless), says the company "got squirrelly"
when he asked about a mysterious DS-3 line linking its most sensitive
network to an unnamed third party.
"What I thought was alarming is how this carrier ended up essentially
allowing a third party outside their organization to have unfettered
access to their environment," Babak Pasdar, now CEO of New York-based
Bat Blue told Threat Level. "I wanted to put some access controls around
it; they vehemently denied it. And when I wanted to put some logging
around it, they denied that."

According to Pasdar, the line is not part of the FBI's CALEA program,
which provides specific data when the carrier is presented with a
warrant. Like AT&T's legal troubles, this appears to be another instance
of direct government access to a communications carrier without any
functional legal oversight -- and the exact kind of project the
companies have lobbied to get legal immunity for. The news comes on the
same day the FBI admitted it "improperly accessed Americans' telephone
records, credit reports and Internet traffic in 2006."