Scary – NSA assassinates whistleblowers?

29 Aug

Two telecom security experts who dared to be whistleblowers about extensive illegal wiretapping built into the nation’s phones, probably by American NSA orders have mysteriously committed suicide without leaving a note.

Costas Tsalikidis

BBC Article about Costas Tsalkidis “suicide”

Costas Tsalkidis was a telecom expert working for Vodaphone in Greece.

In February of 2005, Vodafone Greece found itself in the Greek headlines (not much mentioned in American Media) after it was revealed that head government ministers as well as leading public and even private figures had their Vodafone cell phones illegally wiretapped for six to eight entire months during and after the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

Costas apparently knew about the illegal wiretapping. He had told his wife that it was a matter of “life and death” that he leave Vodaphone. On March 9th, 2005 he was found hanged in his apartment. No suicide note left. The very next day, Vodafone Greece officials informed the Greek prime minister’s top aides that its phones had been bugged for at least eight months. In the official story, Greek customers complained with difficulty sending text messages. An debugging investigation by Ericsson engineers uncovered the problem:

Behind the bugging operation were two pieces of sophisticated software, according to Ericsson. One was Ericsson’s own, some basic elements of which came as a preinstalled feature of the network equipment. When enabled, the feature can be used for lawful interception by government authorities, which has become increasingly common since the Sept. 11 terror attacks. But to use the interception feature, operators like Vodafone would need to pay Ericsson millions of dollars to purchase the additional hardware, software and passwords that are required to activate it. Both companies say Vodafone hadn’t done that in Greece at the time.

The second element was the rogue software that the eavesdroppers implanted in parts of Vodafone’s network to achieve two things: activate the Ericsson-made interception feature and at the same time hide all traces that the feature was in use. Ericsson, which analyzed the software in conjunction with Greece’s independent telecom watchdog, says it didn’t design, develop or install the rogue software…..

[the prepaid phones that could pick up the calls] were in contact via phone calls and text messages with various overseas destinations, namely the U.S., including Laurel, Md., the U.K., Sweden and Australia, according to the ADAE preliminary report. Some of these calls and messages were initiated and received directly from the 14 interceptor phones and some were relayed via a second group of at least three other prepaid phones that also were in contact with the 14 interceptor phones.

-Wall Street Journal June 21, 2006

The Laurel, MD intercept is interesting. I happen to live in that area, and just east of Laurel is the NSA headquarters and Fort Meade.

To top off the scandal that hardly found any publicity within US media, Vodaphone destroyed the spyware from its network before Greek intelligence officials could conduct an official investigation. It seems readily apparent that Costas knew about the scandal and was executed before he could cause too much damage. By whom? Most likely American NSA.

The second suicide is disturbingly difficult to find news stories about. A search through Italian newspapers finds plenty of articles about him, but outside of Italy I could find almost no mention of him.

One article I found in english about Adamo Boves “suicide”

One of many Italian articles I found about Adamo Bove suicide and the Italian Wiretapping scandal

“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.”

It’s VERY scary to me that a google search for Adamo Bove will turn up only a few results and only on blogs and small independent news sites. I could find not ONE single mention of him in the english-speaking mainstream media. I am not sure if it is really a coincidence that he is not mentioned, but perhaps an intentional blackout of any American and British media mention of him and the Italian wiretapping scandal.

Anyway, if I ever turn up a ‘suicide’ let it be known it was NOT a suicide.

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2 Responses to “Scary – NSA assassinates whistleblowers?”

  1. kelly_bean August 31, 2006 at 12:14 am #

    wow…

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Quora - June 10, 2013

    Is it possible that “double agent” employees of PRISM associated tech companies could be responsible for mass information harvesting without the knowledge of the companies executives?

    A good example might be the Vodafone / Greece wiretapping scandal when unauthorised wiretapping software was installed on Ericsson AXE exchanges without the knowledge of Vodafone senior management. There is also the case of Adam Bove who worked for Hea…

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