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Would you explain the technical aspects of that or if you wantMr. KASTENMEIER. Well, actually, if the gentleman from Massachusetts would yield, we had asked Mr. Mack of Western Electric to come and explain something about the M220 observing system.
Mr. DRINAN. All right. I yield back to the chairman, and we welcome this gentleman.
Mr. KASTEN MEIER. If very briefly you could explain that, Mr. Mack, it would justify your being here this morning.
Mr. MACK. Now the question
Mr. CAMING. He has been very helpful, I might say, in preparing me for today's presentation.
Mr. MACK. The question is the need to record voice, essentially. Could you, Mr. Drinan, state the question again so I can make certain I
Mr. DRINAN. Would you just tell us that the usefulness of the M220 and that if this is used would it preclude the necessity of actually monitoring the conversation until A.T. & T. finds out the name of the caller?
Mr. MACK. Right.
Mr. CAMING. There certainly, in the modes of operation of the MTTU-oh, is that the one you are referring to?
Mr. MACK. You said M220.
Mr. DRINAN. This was described in part on June 11, 1974, to the Government Operations Committee, and I have here a memo, which, frankly, is very specialized.
What I want to find out is whether or not there is some way of circumventing the problem of the possible violation of Federal law by using ultrasophisticated devices which in no way cut into the conversation of human beings.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. I believe Mr. Drinan is referring to the remote observing system which was explained during that hearing in part. That is an M220? Is that not what it is called?
Mr. CAMING. I know what the difficulty is because I was there, if I may interrupt, and I am afraid the designation is understandably confusing. That is probably the technical designation for Tel-Tone equipment. The minute you mentioned the committee hearing, I knew
Tel-Tone is equipment which permits us to remotely access for service observing purposes, plant repair bureaus, and service business offices to which calls are made, and instead of hard wiring, as we have in the past, the interconnection between the place being observed where the calls come in at random and the service observing bureau, is done remotely by dialing up first a security access telephone number of, say, 7 or 10 digits, and if you were in Washington, you could access a Baltimore plant repair bureau. Then a special tone comes back. Another security code must then be emitted within, say, 5 seconds. That then permits you to randomly monitor the plant repair calls to the telephone company or the business office calls at Baltimore.
That is the equipment to which reference was made at that hearing. And then they do actually overhear the contents of those business calls.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. May I just interrupt to ask one question in terms of the language? The term "observing" is employed both officially and
as a matter of testimony. I am wondering whether "observing” has a special meaning.
What does "observing" mean in terms of electronics?
Mr. CAMING. "Observing" is really used in the telephone industry as a word of art in two senses. One is the so-called service observing. That is, the official service observing whereby we statistically, for quality control purposes, monitor at random up to the start of conversation by a select group of people in service observing bureaus. That is what the statute referred to in the proviso when they say "known as service observers." These are at special locations. Mr. Lehman was to one with Mr. Mooney, I believe, and there they merely observed the quality of the calls, outgoing DDD calls, incoming calls, and the like.
Now there is the term "supervisory observing," which is done either by the telephone company or by certain business subscribers who sign prescribed agreements to comply with certain tariff preconditions for observing on the quality of service of individual employees who are apprised of that observing. And that is done for quality control of the individual employee.
The service observing is purely done by the telephone company to get the tone of the office. There is no identity of individuals or any specific unit of operation.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. There is no visual connotation whatsoever?
Mr. CAMING. There is observing done and we do use that term. Observing, for example, within a traffic room by our service assistant in the old days, or walking behind the operator, or by a group chief operator walking behind and watching girls today at TSPS boards and how they operate. We could usually call that observing or visual observing.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. Well, thank you. Going back to the question posed by Mr. Drinan, Mr. Mack, is not the remote service observing of the Tel-Tone system's M220 essentially for overhearing rather than for-well, let me ask you, for what purpose is such an instrument used for?
Mr. MACK. I think that-I believe that Mr. Caming really stated it. That purpose is to centralize the operation of the observing, and in this case we are talking about oral observation.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. It appears, if I understand your explanation, which, perhaps, you have not had an opportunity to give, this is a system which can be employed for wiretapping if you know the code, for wiretapping in a rather indiscriminate manner by unauthorized people, people other than phone company people or people authorized by law.
Built into the system is the susceptibility for such equipment being used for overhearing or substituted for wiretapping in a much more sophisticated sense.
Is that not true?
Mr. CAMING. May I respectfully answer that because that was the question I discussed at length and I refer you to the hearings of June 11 and our written answers thereto on Tel-Tone which appear, Mr. Lehman, on page 177 and before that-which describes this equipment. It cannot be used for wiretapping in any sense of the word, and also, it would be the most cumbersome way of doing it.
What this does-see, we do have bureaus-service bureaus, for official service observing for statistics which are presented to the FCC, the State regulatory body, and for us to determine the quality of our service. It is purely anonymous, random monitoring, as I adverted to in our earlier testimony before the Long committee.
Now, all you can do if you-first of all, you cannot access this from an ordinary Touch-Tone telephone. When we first used it on a trial basis in a couple of companies and the equipment is made in the State of Washington by the Tel-Tone Corp.-it was accessible byif you had stolen the codes which were closely guarded, it would then be accessible by the ordinary Touch-Tone telephone.
We immediately took measures of the following nature to insure against it. There are two security access codes which are changed with regularity. The first in 2-week periods; I think the second now at once a quarter.
In addition, these are very carefully held in a service observing location.
Third: You have to use special equipment now which is not the ordinary Touch-Tone telephone.
Fourth: Even if you access the line, what would you get? You would get random calls to the plant repair bureau or the business office. This equipment cannot be diverted to any other use. It is not. It has to be set up for this. And it is spelled out in detail in the answers both at 177 and the prior testimony which Mr. Lehman and Mr. Mooney might like to glance at.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. Yes, we can do that. Mr. Drinan, do you have any further questions?
Mr. DRINAN. Just one last question. I assume that the FBI is going after the people who make these blue boxes and the black boxes. They have a little organization somewhere to make this sophisticated equipment. Now, there must be one or more organizations. I assume that the men in blue are looking for the men with the blue boxes.
Mr. CAMING. I think that is very well stated. I don't really think that they are to any degree primarily with respect to blue boxes as such.
Mr. DRINAN. Maybe black boxes.
Mr. CAMING. Or any other type of such equipment, primarily because the telephone company wanting to insure the integrity of our evidentiary gathering proceedings and to confine the overhearing only to evidence of toll fraud and not other crime has always independently gathered this minimal amount of evidence, and we present the whole package to them-so at that time the fraud section would in the Department of Justice or U.S. attorney's office be prepared to prosecute, or in a State level, say, county prosecutor, and will, like the U.S. attorney in Milwaukee, who is a good friend of mine.
Mr. DRINAN. Well, what I meant is, how many of these things are out there, and there must be one or more persons manufacturing them, and what is the Department of Justice doing about just killing the production?
Mr. CAMING. Well, as I say, we ourselves are about the only body that can really-except if you get it through an informant-get the initial indications of use.
Now, we have had several big cases, and we have enjoyed the cooperation of the Department of Justice. We've had several big cases recently, and they are all being prosecuted for fraud by wire, where we have had manufacturing-we had one up in Minnesota which covered about six States with manufacturing and distributing. We had one recently in Montana, which involved as variegated a group as manufacturers, distributors, a druggist, a housewife, two members of the military.
We have recently had one in Oregon and Arizona. In each case, these have been prosecuted with the full cooperation of the U.S. attorney, and the FBI, and in the Bremson case, for example, in Minnesota, there were multistate raids coordinated to make the arrests, but we did gather the evidence, and we are extremely concerned about the proliferation of people who seem to find this a very lucrative way to make money.
For example, you can make one of these for $50, and in the right circles, whether it's organized crime or unscrupulous businessmen, get, as I mentioned, $3,500, and they are getting it.
Mr. DRINAN. Well, one last point. It would seem to me that it is so sophisticated, it would be very easy to catch and apprehend and deter the manufacture thereof, though maybe that is another case where the Department of Justice is not doing too well these days.
Thank you very much.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. Thank you, Mr. Caming, for your appearance here today, and your colleagues, Mr. Connor and Mr. Mack, both of whom we did not have to much access to, but perhaps at a later date, there will be additional reasons to ask for your help; also to others who may be here this morning from A.T. & T., I want to express the subcommittee's appreciation. It has been very helpful indeed.
Mr. CAMING. It has been a pleasure.
Mr. KASTEN MEIER. The Chair would like to announce that Mr. Wiggins was to have been here this morning, but because of the death of our colleague, and very close friend from California, Congressman Pettis, Mr. Wiggins is attending the funeral in California and could not be here, so until we reconvene at a later date on this subject, the subcommittee stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 12:50 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned, subject to the call of the Chair.]
TUESDAY, MARCH 4, 1975
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:10 a.m., in room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Robert W. Kastenmeier [chairman of the subcommittee] presiding.
Present: Representatives Kastenmeier, Danielson, Drinan, Pattison, Railsback, and Wiggins.
Also present: Bruce A. Lehman, counsel; Timothy A. Boggs, professional staff member; and Thomas E. Mooney, associate counsel.
Mr. Kastenmeier. This morning the subcommittee will conduct another in its series of hearings on surveillance legislation.
We will be hearing this morning from three distinguished Members of Congress who are cosponsors of various antisurveillance bills pending in the subcommittee. They are Hon. Edward Biester of Pennsylvania, Hon. Barry Goldwater, Jr., of California, and Hon. Parren Mitchell of Maryland.
All three are among the 71 House cosponsors of the Bill of Rights Procedures Act. The subcommittee heard testimony from the chief House and Senate sponsors of this bill, Congressman Charles Mosher and Senator Charles Mathias, at its first hearing on February 6.
The Bill of Rights Procedures Act prohibits interception of any communication by electronic or other device, surreptitious entry, mail opening, or the inspection and procuring of bank, telephone, credit, medical, business, or other private records without a court order based on probable cause that a crime has been or is about to be committed.
In addition, two of our witnesses today have cosponsored legislation to limit military surveillance of civilians, and Congressman Mitchell has also cosponsored a bill to prohibit wiretapping performed with the consent of one party to a conversation unless accompanied by a court order.
At this time it is a great personal pleasure for me to welcome as our first witness not only a former colleague on the Judiciary Committee, but a colleague who served on this very subcommittee, and whose service was very deeply appreciated by this chairman for I guess about 4 years.
The Chair greets Congressman Ed Biester of Pennsylvania. Congressman Biester.