Phone taps

jo grant (
Wed, 10 Apr 1996 13:52:28 -0400

The thread that runs through so many of the responses regarding phone taps
is *what makes you think what you are doing is important enough for the
government to bother.*

I'll share the following:

At the very end of the 60s the Penal Digest International--later the
Prisoners Digest (Peace & Justice)--was involved in court actions on behalf
of prisoners (and
their families) against both state and federal institutions. There were
times when the feds would show up in court with detailed responses to
questions we had not yet posed to the court. There was no question about
where they were getting their information.
Again and again we were accused of being paranoid to which someone would
responded, "Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean your phones aren't
Years later Freedom of Information produced statistics on phone taps that
had existed in Iowa City during that period. The number was so alarmingly
high-- over a thousand of them in a town with roughly 50,000 people
including the university--that even we found it hard to believe.
Those statistics showed that there were no limits to the money and time the
government was able and willing to spend to listen in. What they invariably
did with the information was to take advantage of any weakness that shows
up. With us it was the fine line we walked working with people who had been
subjected to many years of inhuman treatment that bordered on torture. One
person who was having emotional problems that were compounded because of
his use of amphetamines (We did have rules against drug use) was provided
with a handgun by the local sheriff. The sheriff was assisted by state and
federal authorities who had recruited two undercover agents from prison
populations and released them so our group could be infiltrated. With the
help of one of the undercover agents the handgun was given to this person.
A few days later, in an amphetamine enhanced rage, he killed the women(a TA)
he as living with when she asked him to move out of her apartment.

The informers confessed to their participation in the set-up. There are
court records
substantiating everything. The sheriff was exonerated of any wrong-doing.


Everyone should be aware that the it is possible to hear everything that is
said in a room if there is a phone in the room. Here's a case--from a
* I was asked by someone we both know to pass on the following
information concerning a telephone bugging technique
used by the Dutch Narks a few years ago.
A number of Dutch defence attorneys representing drug cases
discovered a disturbing similarity. In case after case the Narks, who had
court ordered permission to tape phone conversations, claimed that the
targeted phones had been inadvertently left off the hook allowing them to
overhear conversations in the rooms the phones were in.. They did not have
permission to bug the rooms only the phones. Some of these overheard
conversations lasted for days. Well the lawyers compared notes and decided
that maybe once or twice it could happen but not the but not the numbers
they were looking at.
What came out was that the police had developed a method of
activating most but not all telephones while they are in the cradle. It is
a method that requires no physical access to the phone. When a phone is
"hung up" two small electrical contacts are separated. Pick the phone up to
use it and the contacts come together activating the phone. What the police
discovered was that a signal sent down the phone line at certain
frequencies will jump the very very small distance between the two
separated contacts activating the phone while it is in its cradle! This is
NOT the old "harmonica bug" type of technique which required access to the
phone to install a device. Some phones will have a gap too large to bridge
with this signal. Most can be activated this way.
Let me paint a picture for you.. You are being followed. You enter
a building where they know you are acquainted with a person in that
building. They are dying to know what you two are talking about. They call
in the address of the building, perhaps the name of the party you are
visiting. Theres a phone in the apartment you are in and they can get the
number double quick. They can get anything said near that phone before you
even get your
coat off! They love it!
The Dutch attorneys hired an electronics tech to put together the
kind of equipment needed to do the trick. He did it for 45 pounds
The moral? Don't even talk near the phone. Someone wiser than I
once gave me this advice.. the telephone is for calling the doctor.*

jo grant
BookZen - The Free Book Information library
I oppose censorship of the Internet.
Current medical information about abortion, including
referrals for abortion services, is available from your
local Planned Parenthood.

jo grant
BookZen - The Free Book Information library
I oppose censorship of the Internet.
Current medical information about abortion, including
referrals for abortion services, is available from your
local Planned Parenthood.