Conversing on Comverse

NOVEMBER 14, 2018 By Jon Swimm

In 1994, during the Clinton administration, a new law called Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) was passed. The public was told that CALEA would increase public safety by providing new tools for the FBI and CIA. Ironically, they claimed that CALEA would help to prevent future terror attacks like the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In reality, it may have helped assist in the events that occurred on September 11, 2001.

The key to CALEA is centralizing and expediting the business of wiretapping, making it easier for law enforcement to eavesdrop on communications. This allowed US law-enforcement officials who wished to wiretap someone to contact one central department that oversees all wiretapping. With a centralized system, just one company provides software for the entire system. “Comverse Infosys, a subsidiary of an Israeli run private telecommunications firm with offices throughout the US provides wiretapping equipment for law enforcement.” (Fox News)

Every time you make a call it passes through the nation’s elaborate telecommunications network run by the phone company’s custom computers and software made by companies like Comverse, the parent company of Comverse Infosys. All company computers are tied into one network in order to intercept, record and store the wiretapped calls, and at the same time transmit them to investigators. The software manufacturers have continued access to the computers, so they can service them and keep them free of glitches. This very process was authorized by the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). I’m sure a few alarm bells are ringing.

Senior government officials told Fox News in December 2001 that “while CALEA made wiretapping easier, it led to a system that is seriously vulnerable to compromise and may have undermined the whole wiretapping system.” The complaint is that the wiretap computer programs made by Comverse Infosys had a built in back door, making it possible for wiretaps to be easily intercepted by unauthorized parties, like Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad.

Now you may think that this is just a coincidence. Well, maybe if you don’t know about the history and networks behind the Iran-Contra affair, Israeli spy rings and the history of the version of PROMIS software with a backdoor installed by Mossad to gain direct access to US governmental departments’ computer systems. By the way, the PROMIS version with the Mossad backdoor predates the adoption of Comverse Infosys software used for wiretapping. The last company you should purchase wiretapping software from, if you remotely cared about the security of the United States, would be an Israeli one.

It was known at the time of contract that Comverse worked closely with the Israeli government. Under special programs, Comverse received reimbursements for up to fifty percent of its research and development costs by the Israeli Ministry of Industry and Trade. There should have been alarm bells ringing in the mind of any competent intelligence official. Yet we didn’t see any intelligence officials warn the public of this particular security threat. We could conclude that the people occupying positions in the intelligence agencies aren’t interested in bringing public security concerns to light, or maybe they’re afraid. Maybe both.

Carl Cameron of Fox News reported that investigators within the DEA, IMS and FBI had all told Fox News that ‘to pursue or even suggest Israeli spying through Comverse is considered career suicide.’ Cameron also stated that ‘while various FBI inquiries into Comverse have been conducted over the years, they’ve been halted before the actual equipment has ever been thoroughly tested for leaks. A 1999 FCC document indicates several government agencies expressed deep concerns that too many unauthorized non law enforcement personnel can access the wiretap system. And the FBI’s own nondescript office in Chantilly, Virginia that actually oversees the CALEA wiretapping program is among the most agitated about the threat. But there is a bitter turf war internally at the FBI. It is the FBI’s office in Quantico, Virginia that has jurisdiction over awarding contracts and buying intercept equipment, and for years they’ve thrown much of the business to Comverse.’

Cameron also reported that a handful of former US law enforcement officials involved in awarding Comverse government contracts now work for the company. Numerous sources admit some of these individuals were asked to leave government service under what knowledgeable sources called “troublesome circumstances”.’ The same individuals ‘remain under administrative review within the Justice Department.’

US counterterrorism investigators into the September 11, 2001 attacks said ‘that on a number of cases suspects that they had sought to wiretap and surveil immediately changed their telecommunications processes. They started acting much differently as soon as those supposedly secret wiretaps went into place.’ Clearly an indication that those individuals the counterterrorism investigators sought to wiretap were tipped off by someone.

I have attempted to find out more information on exactly who at the FBI offices at Quantico, VA was responsible for selecting Comverse as a subcontractor on multiple occasions. I haven’t had much success, but I did find that the FBI’s Operational Technology Division has jurisdiction in making those decisions. Not knowing exactly how to get to the exact reason why this decision was made, I decided to look into Comverse for potential clues.

I didn’t have to look far. As a subcontractor selling US taxpayers software with built in backdoors, Comverse CEO Jacob ‘Kobi’ Alexander is a greedy, corrupt schemer not content enough with making millions due to preferable treatment from the FBI. His greed and corruption know no bounds. Alexander overreached setting up a stock options scheme that he and a couple of his executive friends used as a “secret slush fund.”

The FBI uncovered the scheme and filed charges against Alexander for fraud related to stock options. According to the New York Times ‘in the last two weeks of July ‘2006’, just before charges were filed, Mr. Alexander wired about $57 million from accounts in the United States to an account in Israel,’ where Alexander also has citizenship. It looks as if Alexander may well have tipped himself off thanks to Comverse’s backdoor technology.

The ever so shifty Alexander had a calculated plan to evade justice and ride off into the sunset, fleeing to Namibia where no extradition agreements are in place with the United States. Luckily, Federal prosecutors froze the remaining $46 million in the US accounts.

According to court testimony of an FBI prosecutor reported by Haaretz on 3rd October 2006, Alexander offered a $2 million bribe to an executive to take the blame for Alexander’s crimes. “The manager refused and then Alexander raised his offer to $5 million. When that was rejected, he offered the executive: “Take whatever sum you want.” The executive refused again.”

This gives us some insight into the mindset of Alexander. He isn’t opposed to bribing people to get what he wants. So, it isn’t a great stretch to think that someone within the FBI was indeed bribed by Alexander to ensure Comverse obtained multiple government contracts. This of course isn’t the only possibility.

Alexander founded Comverse along with his brother-in-law Yechiam Yemini, a Columbia University computer science professor. Yemini is clearly the brains behind the technology developed. Being a professor of computer science at Columbia University, Yemini would have access to influential networks inside the United States. Networks that I have previously highlighted with Columbia University as a key node connecting many important figures.

Another point of note is that the FBI sought to recruit computer scientists from Columbia as their Computer Science Faculty is one of the most prestigious in the world. The FBI also has fellowships with Columbia University.

So, we have a Comverse-Columbia connection and Fox News’ Carl Cameron reported that ‘a handful of former US law enforcement officials involved in awarding Comverse government contracts over the years’ went on to ‘work for the company’ and some of these same individuals ‘remain under administrative review within the Justice Department.’ I have been unable to identify specific individuals this statement is referring to. From this statement we can assume that job positions within Comverse have been used as part of bribes or offered to US law enforcement officials for their assistance helping Comverse acquire government contracts.

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