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agency, ought to be especially sensitive about wiretapping because that is where the law forbidding wiretapping began.
The provision against wiretapping was originally part of the Communications Act. As a result of the omnibus crime law of 1968, the wiretap provisions are now part of the U.S. Criminal Code. Section 2511 of title 18 of the United States Code specifies clearly what kinds of telephone eavesdropping are illegal. In circumstances not involving national security, the law specifically forbids any eavesdropping unless at least one of the parties whose telephone calls are intercepted has consented to the tap, or unless a court order has been obtained. In the present case, it appears that there was neither consent nor a court order.
The seriousness of the matter can be seen from the penalties provided by the law for such activity: A maximum fine of $10,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 5 years.
These facts have left the subcommittee little choice in how it must proceed. We are not interested in acting as prosecutors or persecutors. But the conduct of the public's business by the regulatory agencies which the Congress has set up for that purpose is our concern and our responsibility; we cannot shirk it. Under these circumstances we have no choice but to press for a full explanation of all of the particulars of this incident. For the reasons already outlined, we do not feel that we can continue this inquiry behind closed doors in executive session.
Accordingly, we have asked you gentlemen-Chairman Burch, Mr. Geller, Mr. Paglin, Mr. Shockro, and Mr. Goldsmith-to appear here this morning.
Will you all please stand and be sworn in ?
The CHAIRMAN. We have already received a statement from Chairman Burch and will be hearing from you further this morning. Chairman Burch has been furnished a copy of the transcript of his March 28 appearance before the subcommittee. Since it will probably be necessary to make reference to Chairman Burch's previous statement during the hearing this morning, the subcommittee has voted that the March 28 transcript will be made public and included in the record of these proceedings.
Before hearing further from Chairman Burch, however, we will direct some questions to you other gentlemen who have some knowledge of this matter.
In Chairman Burch's earlier statement, it was learned that Mr. Goldsmith, the security officer at the FCC, and Mr. Paglin, their Executive Director, initially recommended the installation of the monitoring device.
Mr. Goldsmith, I will ask you please to be seated at the witness table. We will hear from the remainder of you gentlemen in due course.
TESTIMONY OF FRED J. GOLDSMITH, SECURITY OFFICER, FEDERAL
Mr. MANELLI. Will you please state your name and position at the Commission?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Fred J. Goldsmith, security officer of the Federal Communications Commission.
Mr. MANELLI. How long have you been employed in that capacity?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. As security officer, I am responsible for maintaining (a) the physical security of the Commission facilities, (b) to provide for the personnel security under the appropriate Executive orders, and (c) furnish such security support as is needed to provide for the protection of Commission property, information, that is either classified or privileged.
Mr. MANELLI. In February of 1970, did you have occasion to receive information from an FCC employee to the effect there was a leak of privileged information from certain offices within the FCC.
Mr. GOLDSMITH. I did. Mr. MANELLI. I would like you, if you can, to avoid specific names of individuals and specific extension numbers. Could you describe generally the nature of the allegations?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. According to the allegation, Commission material, which I would like to refer to as “agenda material," material to be considered by the Commission, was displayed and had become available to someone not connected with the Commission, and this particular action had been observed on a number of occasions.
Mr. MANELLI. That was the allegation?
Mr. GOLDSMITII. Specifically, that an outsider had reviewed this material, discussed it with one of our employees, had made regular visits to this particular employee's office, taken some of this agenda material, placed it on a desk which apparently he occupied, the outsider that is, at regular intervals after normal Commission hours, and with the particular agenda material in front of him, the outsider was observed using the Commission telephone.
Mr. JANELLI. The outsider was in the Commission building, in the office of a particular employee, when these activities you described were taking place?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Yes.
Mr. MANELLI. During your investigation of this leak, did you have occasion in February of 1970 to arrange for a telephone extension leading from the ofiice in question to your office on the eighth floor? Mr. GOLDSMITH. I did.
Mr. MANELLI. The purpose of this was to secretly monitor the conversations taking place on those telephones?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. This is your categorization.
Mr. MANELLI. Would it be correct to say the reason you had an extension brought into your office from this employee's office, the purpose of that
Mr. GOLDSMITH. The purpose was to establish whether or not the allegations I had received up to this time were, in fact, correct.
Mr. MANELLI. You would do that by listening on the phone when it was in use; is that correct?
Mr. GOLDSMITII. By using the extension to the phone in the other office.
Mr. MANELLI. You would use the extension wired into your office? Mr. GOLDSMITH. That is correct.
Mr. MANELLI. Did you discuss your plans or your recommendations for this kind of installation with any Commission officials prior to arranging for the installation?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. I did.
Mr. MANELLI. Would you briefly state who you discussed the prospective installation with, and generally what was the nature of your conversations?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. In my position I am directly responsible to the Executive Director. I advised the Executive Director-after having received the allegations and having established through my own observation that there was such material, in fact, available in the particular office that it was necessary to obtain some confirmation of the particular acts taking place. I recommended to the Executive Director that there be established some means by which the telephone, the use of the telephone by the outsider could be confirmed.
Mr. MANELLI. V'ere you through with your answer? I did not want to interrupt you.
Mr. GOLDSMITH. And that this could be done probably through one or two technical means. The one I felt best-under the circumstances— was to use an extension to the existing Government telephone.
Mr. MANELLI. What were the other alternatives you put out?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. The other alternative possibly would have been to see whether or not a microphone could be used to establish any conversations between the outsider and our employee.
Mr. MANELLI. This was your recommendation to the Executive Director?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Right.
Mr. MANELLI. Did you subsequently visit the office of the Chairman of the Commission and make the same recommendation to him?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. I did not.
Mr. GOLDSMITH. According to the information given me by the Executive Director, he did visit the Chairman's office.
Mr. MANELLI. After you made those recommendations to him, he himself went to the Chairman and talked to him about them?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. That is what I was informed of.
Mr. MANELLI. The extension was actually installed sometime after that; was it not?
Mr. GOLDSMITII. It was.
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Did you say test telephone?
Mr. VIANELLI. How would you know if the phone was in use, did it have lights or did it ring?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. By use of the lights.
Mr. MANELLI. So, if one of the three lights went on you knew it was in use?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. That is correct.
Mr. MAXELLI. Did you limit your monitoring of the phone to the time you would pick up the phone during the day?
Mr. GOLDSMITII. Yes.
Mr. GOLDSMITH. It was the time I was advised originally these visits by the outsider would take place, and it was after normal Commission hours which end at 4:30, the normal hours being 8 to 4:30.
Vr. MANELLI. You actually did at those times pick up the receiver and listen in on the telephone conversations?
Did you, in fact, listen in on the phone conversations? Vr. GOLDSMITI. There were times I did, yes. Mr. VANELLI. Could you tell from the telephone on your desk whether the phone conversation was an incoming or outgoing call? Was there a way to tell?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Not really, that would be difficult to tell.
Mr. MANELLI. Would it be correct to say sometimes you were listening to an incoming call, and sometimes an outgoing call?
Vr. GOLDSVITI. Yes.
Mr. MANELLI. Sometimes you would have the employee on the telephone and sometimes it would be other parties; is that correct?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. No, as a matter of fact, during my particular activity I did not hear the employee on the telephone.
Mr. JANELLI. Did you hear other employees on the telephone who were also on that extension?
Mr. GoldSUITH. No.
Mr. MIVELLI. In the time you have been with the Commission, has there ever been any other occasion, either before or since, when you have made a similar recommendation that an extension phone or a tape recorder be installed ?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. There were no similar circumstances and I made no such recommendations.
Nr. VINELLI. This would be the only time?
Nr. VANELLI. With respect to the problem of leaks, which you are addressing, that problem continues, does it not, at the Commission?
Mr. GOLDSMITIL. Yes.
Mr. MANEL. What would be the reason why, in this particnlar case where you had an allegation of a leak. you made a recommendation of this kind, and you stated this is unique in your time at the Commission. What was special about this particular case?
Vr. GOLDSVITI. Vr. Vanelli, the question of leaks, as you are probably aware of and the chairman is aware of, has been with the Com. mission a great many years, long before I joined the Commission. It had been a constant bothersome problem and it had received the attention of Congress at various times.
In this whole period there had been no information that would permit the pinpointing of someone actually doing this or contributing to the advance release or disclosure of information before it ever reached the decision or consideration stage by the Commission, itself.
Here I had an individual who had witnessed a particular situation where, according to his observations, Commission material in this particular category was being made available to someone in no manner connected with the Commission, and, not only that, but that this had become somewhat of a regular procedure.
So here for the first time we were in a position to followup, to take certain investigative steps, to first of all, ascertain—did this, in fact, happen; are we in fact losing our information through this particular means?
Mr. MANELLI. Did you make any record of the conversations that were coming in over this extension phone!
Mr. GOLDSMITH. No.
Mr. MANELLI. Assuming that you had overheard what you considered to be an incriminating conversation, where somebody was giving out unauthorized information, how had you planned to make use of this?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. The information may have been used as further leads against
Mr. MANELLI. Used as what? Mr. GOLDSMITH. Leads, investigative leads. It may have provided additional names of persons participating in this particular disclosure. It may have furnished the information to point out the actions by our own employee as having been in violation of our specifically stated rules and regulations.
Mr. MANELLI. If you had heard anything of that kind, assuming that you wanted to confront the employee, it would have essentially been a situation of your word against his, would it not; you had no record or tape recording ?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. We are taking a hypothetical situation. It did not happen in this case.
Mr. MANELLI. But it was contemplated when you set this up that that might arise ?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. It was not so much a question of it being necessary to confront him with it as it was providing principally confirmation of the witness' statement.
Mr. MANELLI. I think that is all the questions I have.
Mr. PICKLE. Mr. Goldsmith, the extension phone that was connected, did it go directly from the third floor desk up to your office?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Yes.
From the time it left that office until it reached my office, it went no other place. There was no other
Mr. PICKLE. At no time no other person listened or monitored that telephone?