Two Strange Deaths in European Wiretapping Scandal

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Two Strange Deaths in European Wiretapping Scandal

Postby Rigorous Intuition » Sat Aug 19, 2006 8:01 pm

<!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Two Strange Deaths in European Wiretapping Scandal</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br>By Paolo Pontoniere and Jeffrey Klein, New America Media. Posted August 19, 2006.<br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em><br>European investigators are tracking the mysterious deaths of two security experts who had uncovered extensive spyware in their telecommunications firms.</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--><br><br>Just after noon on Friday, July 21, Adamo Bove -- head of security at Telecom Italia, the country's largest telecommunications firm -- told his wife he had some errands to run as he left their Naples apartment. Hours later, police found his car parked atop a freeway overpass. Bove's body lay on the pavement some 100 feet below.<br><br>Bove was a master at detecting hidden phone networks. Recently, at the direction of Milan prosecutors, he'd used mobile phone records to trace how a "Special Removal Unit" composed of CIA and SISMI (the Italian CIA) agents abducted Abu Omar, an Egyptian cleric, and flew him to Cairo where he was tortured. The Omar kidnapping and the alleged involvement of 26 CIA agents, whom prosecutors seek to arrest and extradite, electrified Italian media. U.S. media noted the story, then dropped it.<br><br>The first Italian press reports after Bove's death said the 42-year-old had committed suicide. Bove, according to unnamed sources, was depressed about his imminent indictment by Milan prosecutors. But prosecutors immediately, and uncharacteristically, set the record straight: Bove was not a target; in fact, he was prosecutors' chief source. Bove, prosecutors said, was helping them investigate his own bosses, who were orchestrating an illegal wiretapping bureau and the destruction of incriminating digital evidence. One Telecom executive had already been forced out when he was caught conducting these illicit operations, as well as selling intercepted information to a business intelligence firm.<br><br>About 16 months earlier, in March of 2005, Costas Tsalikidis, a 38-year-old software engineer for Vodaphone in Greece had just discovered a highly sophisticated bug embedded in the company's mobile network. The spyware eavesdropped on the prime minister's and other top officials' cell phone calls; it even monitored the car phone of Greece's secret service chief. Others bugged included civil rights activists, the head of Greece's "Stop the War" coalition, journalists and Arab businessmen based in Athens. All the wiretapping began about two months before the Olympics were hosted by Greece in August 2004, according to a subsequent investigation by the Greek authorities.<br><br>Tsalikidis, according to friends and family, was excited about his work and was looking forward to marrying his longtime girlfriend. But on March 9, 2005, his elderly mother found him hanging from a white rope tied to pipes outside of his apartment bathroom. His limp feet dangled a mere three inches above the floor. His death was ruled a suicide; he, like Adamo Bove, left no suicide note.<br><br>The next day, Vodaphone's top executive in Greece reported to the prime minister that unknown outsiders had illicitly eavesdropped on top government officials. Before making his report, however, the CEO had the spyware destroyed, even though this destroyed the evidence as well.<br><br>Investigations into the alleged suicides of both Adamo Bove and Costas Tsalikidis raise questions about more than the suspicious circumstances of their deaths. They point to politicized, illegal intelligence structures that rely upon cooperative business executives. European prosecutors and journalists probing these spying networks have revealed that:<br><br> * The Vodaphone eavesdropping was transmitted in real time via four antennae located near the U.S. embassy in Athens, according to an 11-month Greek government investigation. Some of these transmissions were sent to a phone in Laurel, Md., near America's National Security Agency.<br><br> * According to Ta Nea, a Greek newspaper, Vodaphone's CEO privately told the Greek government that the bugging culprits were "U.S. agents." Because Greece's prime minister feared domestic protests and a diplomatic war with the United States, he ordered the Vodafone CEO to withhold this conclusion from his own authorities investigating the case.<br><br> * In both the Italian and Greek cases, the spyware was much more deeply embedded and clever than anything either phone company had seen before. Its creation required highly experienced engineers and expensive laboratories where the software could be subjected to the stresses of a national telephone system. Greek investigators concluded that the Vodaphone spyware was created outside of Greece.<br><br> * Once placed, the spyware could have vast reach since most host companies are merging their Internet, mobile telephone and fixed-line operations onto a single platform.<br><br> * Germany's Federal Intelligence Service, BND, recently snooped on investigative journalists. According to parliamentary investigations, the spying may have been carried out using the United States's secretive Bad Aibling base in the Bavarian Alps, which houses the American global eavesdropping program dubbed Echelon.<br><br>Were the two alleged suicides more than an eerie coincidence? A few media in Italy -- La Stampa, Dagospia and Feltrinelli, among others -- have noted the unsettling parallels. But so far no journalists have been able to overcome the investigative hurdles posed by two entirely different criminal inquiry systems united only by two prime ministers not eager to provoke the White House's wrath. In the United States, where massive eavesdropping programs have operated since 9/11, investigators, reporters and members of Congress have not explored whether those responsible for these spying operations may be using them for partisan purposes or economic gain.<br><br>As more troubling revelations come out of Europe, it may become more difficult to ignore how easily spying programs can be hijacked for illegitimate purposes. The brave soul who pursues this line of inquiry, however, should fear for his or her life. <br><br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.alternet.org/story/40485/">www.alternet.org</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Two Strange Deaths in European Wiretapping Scandal

Postby StarmanSkye » Sat Aug 19, 2006 9:28 pm

WoW ...<br>This is BIO.<br><br>Thanx fer the Heads-uP, Jeff!<br><br>No doubt, story developing (not that the US general public would ever know about it)...<br><br>American news media:<br>What an oxymoronic hoot.<br>S <p></p><i></i>
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Adomo Bove and Costas Tsalikidis

Postby Rigorous Intuition » Sat Aug 19, 2006 10:41 pm

<br><!--EZCODE IMAGE START--><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v226/JeffWells/subalbum1/AdomoBove2.jpg" style="border:0;"/><!--EZCODE IMAGE END--> <!--EZCODE IMAGE START--><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v226/JeffWells/subalbum1/AdomoBove.jpg" style="border:0;"/><!--EZCODE IMAGE END--><br><br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.legnostorto.it/legnostorto/statiche/articolo_24_7_2006_11352.aspx">link to Italian story</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br><br><!--EZCODE IMAGE START--><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v226/JeffWells/subalbum1/costas.jpg" style="border:0;"/><!--EZCODE IMAGE END--><br><br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4838552.stm">BBC story: Death Muddies Greek Spy Prope</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Adomo Bove and Costas Tsalikidis

Postby greencrow0 » Sat Aug 19, 2006 11:29 pm

Thanks for this, Jeff. It dovetails neatly with the attack on christopher Bolyn and burglary of Mike Ruppert's office.<br><br>GC <p></p><i></i>
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Re: ...

Postby phineas » Sun Aug 20, 2006 1:27 am

If you use an internet phone service like <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Vonage</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> remember that "the FCC requires broadband providers and others that offer Internet telephone service to comply with the new wiretap laws".<br><br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://today.reuters.com/news/articleinvesting.aspx?type=governmentFilingsNews&storyID=2006-06-09T173518Z_01_N09176061_RTRIDST_0_TELECOMS-WIRETAPS-COURT-UPDATE-2.XML" target="top">Reuters article</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br><br>-and about the Greek tapping:<br><br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>"The phone calls in question were "conference called" to 14 mobile phones with prepaid cards".</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--><br><br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://betabug.ch/blogs/ch-athens/288" target="top">betabug.ch/blogs/ch-athens/288</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br><br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/02/phone_tapping_i.html" target="top">www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/02/phone_tapping_i.html</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>CARO, Mich. - Three Texas men were arraigned Saturday on terrorism-related charges after police found about 1,000 cell phones in their minivan...</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--><br><br>(-just thinking out loud here...) <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=phineas@rigorousintuition>phineas</A> at: 8/19/06 11:45 pm<br></i>
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Re: ...

Postby Uncle Scam » Sun Aug 20, 2006 2:08 am

Good thinking phineas, Interesting speculation... <br>I'll keep that in mind. <p></p><i></i>
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Ever wonder...

Postby FourthBase » Sun Aug 20, 2006 6:26 am

These were obviously two spook-related hits. We're reading about these deaths and the masses are going to assume the best/least problematic scenario or at most "have doubts". Whereas we read about them and, based on our uncommon common sense and familiarity with the patterns of unwritten history, we are basically privy to the real general context of the deaths as if we were actually part of the intelligence rumor mill, as if we'd heard through the grapevine that they were hits and take that fact to be self-evident. And we're right, of course. Probably. No details, but only the people directly responsible would have details. So in essence we have developed cynical but realistic mindsets that naturally tend to declassify covert operations. Do you think this means anything to the covert operators? <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Ever wonder...

Postby greencrow0 » Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:25 am

<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>Do you think this means anything to the covert operators?<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> <br><br>Take it one step further...they know that we know...and<br><br>they want us to know.<br><br>they want us to know as a warning not to <br><br>snoop around.<br><br>gc <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Ever wonder...

Postby FourthBase » Sun Aug 20, 2006 1:11 pm

I seriously doubt they want us to know.<br>We haven't figured it out by "snooping".<br>We just know, matter-of-factly.<br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Ever wonder...

Postby Rigorous Intuition » Sun Aug 20, 2006 1:26 pm

<!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>"Do you think this means anything to the covert operators?"</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--><br><br>Generally, we don't have privileged information. We're not whistleblowers or insiders. We've just recognized certain patterns of force which we've found useful as templates to interpret events.<br><br>Regardless of what we know, or think we know, the covert operators seem to do as they please. I don't think knowledge alone is enough to threaten them (and in fact, knowledge alone can be debilitating), so I think they must find efforts to <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>know</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> what's going on rather amusing. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Ever wonder...

Postby FourthBase » Sun Aug 20, 2006 1:50 pm

Hmmm, good points Jeff.<br><br>But I wonder if they'd be threatened if a certain percentage of people began to know, if "common knowledge" of their M.O. reached a tipping point. Then it might not be so amusing? <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Ever wonder...

Postby Dick Decent » Sun Aug 20, 2006 5:59 pm

Surely these are the root philosophical unknowables upon which the whole idea of the RI site is based.<br><br><grins><br><br>Decent x <p></p><i></i>
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Re: "instigation to commit suicide by unknown individua

Postby Gouda » Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:11 pm

Old Italian neologism for <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>suicided</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->: "instigation to commit suicide by unknown individuals." Or known unknown individuals. <br><br>My italian spies have informed me that no less than 4 italian "Procuras" have been converging their previous wiretapping and/or Abu Omar rendition investigations due to Bove's instigated suicide, and they are honing smack-dab in on the CIA/SISMI/Telecom/Pirelli coordinated abduction of Abu Omar, and much more. <br><br>Italian investigators love to surveill telephone conversations which somehow get themselves published in the dailies. I like that (when it serves justice.) Thus, interesting stuff surfacing from these investigations, as garnered from italian media and published transcripts of intercepted phone calls mostly pulled from a badly translated July 26 2006 <!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=it&u=http://www.repubblica.it/2006/07/sezioni/cronaca/sismi-mancini-4/dipendenti-pirelli/dipendenti-pirelli.html&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=1&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3D%2522Due%2Bdipendenti%2BPirelli%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26sa%3DG"><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>la Repubblica</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--></a><!--EZCODE LINK END--> article:<br><br>* Ed Luttwak (CSIS) is connected.<br>* A Berlusconi deputy/undersecretery was involved.<br>* Bove's implicated boss, Tavaroli, was receiving 15,000 euros per month from the CIA for his tapping yields which were very hot product on the black intel market. <br>* Condi in there too?<br><br>Of course it would not stop there. <br><br>And great updates here from blogger "de Gondi"<br><br>Recent SISMI scandal background leading up to the death of Bove:<br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2006/7/21/181440/185">www.eurotrib.com/story/2006/7/21/181440/185 </a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br><br>On Bove:<br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2006/7/24/41816/5846">www.eurotrib.com/story/2006/7/24/41816/5846</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr><br>The Naples' Public Minister, Giancarlo Novelli, opened an investigation for "instigation to commit suicide by unknown individuals." Within hours investigative police sequestered material in Bove's offices in Rome and Naples, as well as his home. The Rome PM Pietro Saviotti immediately re-entered from vacation to co-ordinate investigations in Rome. In an exceptional move the Milan Procura issued a statement denying that Bove had ever been subject to investigation or interrogated by Milan magistrates. This followed news reports that Bove had been suspected in many recent cases of wire-tapping espionage.<br><br>Back from front page<br><br>Contrary to initial reports that cast doubts on his activity and personality, <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Adamo Bove has played a crucial investigative role in the major criminal cases that have emerged these past months</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->.<br><br>Adamo Bove is remembered as a brilliant investigative cop who caught two major Camorra bosses in the 90's- Francesco "Sandokan" Schiavone and Mario Fabbrocino. As a leading expert on electronic surveillance, data processing and telecommunications, he was hired by Telecom to manage their Radar software system, an anti-fraud program for the mobile phone network. Bove realized that the system had a flaw that allowed hackers to enter the Telecom system without leaving a trace. He denounced the fact to the Milan magistrates and began a top-secret investigation to unmask eventual conspirators within his own office. According to reports he invited his collaborators to invent ways to break into the Telecom system and steal telecommunication tables and tapes. His internal investigation in collaboration with the Milan PMs lead to the under-reported wiretapping scandal that involves the SISMi and two long-standing friends of Marco Mancini, Giuliano Tavaroli and Emanuele Cipriani. Tavaroli occupied the key national position to which were passed all authorized requests by magistrates to make wiretaps.<br><br>Tavaroli resigned recently and is presently under investigation by the Milan Procura for delinquent association finalized at violating privacy.<br><br>Paolo Biondani of the Corriere reports Sunday that two reporters, unnamed, who worked for the SISMi had privileged access to illegally taped transcripts, or transcripts that had been ordered destroyed by the magistracy.<br><br>Biondani reports (today confirmed in detail by the Repubblica) that according to testimony by Bove's ex-colleagues in Milan, <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>it was Adamo Bove who helped the Milan magistrates identify and reconstruct the mobile phone traffic during the kidnapping of Abu Omar in Milan on February 17, 2003. It was this crucial investigative work that led to arrest warrants for 26 American agents and many of their Italian accomplices.<br></strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br>Moreover Bove was able to identify the mobile phones used by the SISMi agents under investigation and recently arrested. His work was particularly difficult as he not only had to identify the SISMi phones, but to crack through protective screens and scramblers, and do so without raising suspicion not only in the SISMi but among possible infiltrators in his own team.<br>...<br><br>According to initial reports, Bove was troubled and prone to depression recently. Other reports assert he feared being incriminated for his role in the wiretapping scandals. Or already was. He confided that he felt he was being tailed and spied. Coming from a top investigator his reported sensations are not to be dismissed. Perhaps this is no more than a whirlwind of words that accompanies a major case. Or yet another smear campaign, an action so commonly undertaken in Italy in the course of the past decades. <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>The Italian language has a reflexive verb, suicidarsi, "to kill oneself," which has far more rhetorical impact when used in its rare transitive form, suicidare, as in "Roberto was suicided by the Mafia." "Instigation to suicide" may just be a new variation on an old theme.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br>The Telecom Wiretapping Scandal may soon dwarf all other closely related cases as it hints at vast political collusion under the preceding government. It appears that not only did private companies and reporters linked to the SISMi throughout Italy were able to steal information on citizens, but illegal operators were able to cancel compromising evidence linked to organized crime. It's this legacy that Bove has left investigators. Let us hope there will be no other victims.<br>...<br><br>An article today in the Repubblica details the probable CIA inflitration of Telecom-Pirelli. Written by Ferruccio Sansa who was heard as a testimony as a probable informant of Marco Mancini. Welcome back. He's done some great scoops in the past.<br><br>Also in the Repubblica, an interview with the twin brother of Adamo Bove. <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>He reveals that Adamo was investigating the people who were tailing him. He considered them amateurs, most likely from a private company.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> The brother, Guglielmo, prefers to await the magistrates' conclusions before making any statements on his death. He remarks that his brother was very much contraried by seeing his name revealed in the press (Cipriani in the Repubblica interview) as associated with possible wrong doings.<br><br>Adamo was already working at Telecom when Tavaroli was hired as his superior. F<!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>rom cross-reading it appears Tavaroli had relations with CIA agents. It is Bove who unmasked Tavaroli's game.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br>The Corriere publishes today nearly complete transcripts of the conversations between Mancini and Pignero in Via Toamcelli. More details on [Jeff] Castelli's [CIA's Rome station chief - Gouda] list of names and Pollari's clumsy defense.<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> Finally, cooperation between tire company Pirelli's security service, Bove's Telecom superiors and other private security services - plus the appearance by Edward Luttwak: <br><br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.eurotrib.com/comments/2006/7/26/01917/1457/33?mode=alone;showrate=1#33">www.eurotrib.com/comments/2006/7/26/01917/1457/33?mode=alone;showrate=1#33</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>The SISMi scandal continues to unfold. Yesterday it was revealed that Pirelli employed a CIA station chief formerly stationed in Mogadiscio, John Paul Spinelli. Pirelli and Telecom are closely linked through the same ownership. It appears that employees of Pirelli and Telecom may have been involved in the Abu Omar kidnapping, along with employees of Cipriani's private security companies. Cipriani received regular payments from Telecom for tens of millions of euros through a series of societies abroad.<br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Excerpts of Pio Pompa's intercepted phone calls indicate frequent and friendly conversations with Edward Luttwak of the Washington based CSIS. According to reports in the Repubblica, Luttwak was kept abreast of developments and probable disinformation campaigns in the Abu Omar kidnapping case.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br>Edward Luttwak is a regular fixture on Italian television as some sort of expert. He spent many years of his childhood in Italy as a refugee and speaks fluent Italian.<br><br>The CSIS has always been a favoured conduit for undercover operations and disinformation campaigns in Italy as well as South America. A favourite think tank of the Reagan and the Bush père administrations, it earned its brownie points with the Billygate scandal. That scandal tipped the scales in favour of Reagan. <hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> <p></p><i></i>
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Always assumed Vodaphone existed for this function

Postby MinM » Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:43 am

Image
Rigorous Intuition » Sat Aug 19, 2006 7:01 pm wrote:European investigators are tracking the mysterious deaths of two security experts who had uncovered extensive spyware in their telecommunications firms

Just after noon on Friday, July 21, Adamo Bove -- head of security at Telecom Italia, the country's largest telecommunications firm -- told his wife he had some errands to run as he left their Naples apartment. Hours later, police found his car parked atop a freeway overpass. Bove's body lay on the pavement some 100 feet below.

Bove was a master at detecting hidden phone networks. Recently, at the direction of Milan prosecutors, he'd used mobile phone records to trace how a "Special Removal Unit" composed of CIA and SISMI (the Italian CIA) agents abducted Abu Omar, an Egyptian cleric, and flew him to Cairo where he was tortured. The Omar kidnapping and the alleged involvement of 26 CIA agents, whom prosecutors seek to arrest and extradite, electrified Italian media. U.S. media noted the story, then dropped it...

About 16 months earlier, in March of 2005, Costas Tsalikidis, a 38-year-old software engineer for Vodaphone in Greece had just discovered a highly sophisticated bug embedded in the company's mobile network. The spyware eavesdropped on the prime minister's and other top officials' cell phone calls; it even monitored the car phone of Greece's secret service chief. Others bugged included civil rights activists, the head of Greece's "Stop the War" coalition, journalists and Arab businessmen based in Athens. All the wiretapping began about two months before the Olympics were hosted by Greece in August 2004, according to a subsequent investigation by the Greek authorities.

Tsalikidis, according to friends and family, was excited about his work and was looking forward to marrying his longtime girlfriend. But on March 9, 2005, his elderly mother found him hanging from a white rope tied to pipes outside of his apartment bathroom. His limp feet dangled a mere three inches above the floor. His death was ruled a suicide; he, like Adamo Bove, left no suicide note.

The next day, Vodaphone's top executive in Greece reported to the prime minister that unknown outsiders had illicitly eavesdropped on top government officials. Before making his report, however, the CEO had the spyware destroyed, even though this destroyed the evidence as well.

Investigations into the alleged suicides of both Adamo Bove and Costas Tsalikidis raise questions about more than the suspicious circumstances of their deaths. They point to politicized, illegal intelligence structures that rely upon cooperative business executives. European prosecutors and journalists probing these spying networks have revealed that:

* The Vodaphone eavesdropping was transmitted in real time via four antennae located near the U.S. embassy in Athens, according to an 11-month Greek government investigation. Some of these transmissions were sent to a phone in Laurel, Md., near America's National Security Agency.

* According to Ta Nea, a Greek newspaper, Vodaphone's CEO privately told the Greek government that the bugging culprits were "U.S. agents." Because Greece's prime minister feared domestic protests and a diplomatic war with the United States, he ordered the Vodafone CEO to withhold this conclusion from his own authorities investigating the case.

* In both the Italian and Greek cases, the spyware was much more deeply embedded and clever than anything either phone company had seen before. Its creation required highly experienced engineers and expensive laboratories where the software could be subjected to the stresses of a national telephone system. Greek investigators concluded that the Vodaphone spyware was created outside of Greece...

Declan McCullagh ‏@declanm: UK's Vodafone admits spy agencies have "direct access" taps in its network: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/i ... hones.html … Will AT&T and Verizon be as forthcoming?

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Re: Two Strange Deaths in European Wiretapping Scandal

Postby elfismiles » Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:13 pm

Vodafone Code-a-phone Sock-Puppet-Muppet
Post by elfismiles » 06 Jan 2014 23:36
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