« ForrigeFortsett »
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Not as far as I knew or was aware of.
Mr. PICKLE. It did not go to any other official or employee in the FCC at any time!
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Not during the period the extension was on. No, sir.
Mr. PICKLE. When you make reference to the extension, do you consider that wiretapping ?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. I do not.
Mr. GOLDSMITH. The reason-I am not an attorney—the reason I do not consider it a wiretapping activity is that the phone that we are talking about is a telephone of the Federal Communications Commission; it is a Government telephone, it is being used for Government business.
Now, having a telephone which is categorized as a Government telephone, then I am in fact the user of a Government phone. It would appear to me I may then place such extensions as may be necessary under these particular circumstances on this phone which, in fact, is not a private telephone.
Mr. PICKLE. Is it your testimony that because it is a Government phone, this permits you then to listen in on any extension, or to set up any kind of technical means to monitor conversations?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. It was my opinion, certainly at the time I made that recommendation.
Mr. PICKLE. Do you believe that the wiretapping law passed by the Congress envisioned the use of any extension phone, and that that would not be considered wiretapping just because it was the property of the Government?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. I did not, in all candor, connect it in any manner with the Omnibus Act at the time. This was in 1970, this transpired in early 1970, and I was ignorant to a considerable degree
Mr. PICKLE. Are you saying-
Mr. PICKLE. Are you saying the principal difference between an extension and wiretapping is that, if it is a Government telephone, it can be an extension and thus not be classified as wiretapping?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Again I must give you my own interpretation, that is all I can say. That is, if you have your own private telephone at home and you, for whatever reason, would feel that you would want someone to listen in when someone else is using your telephone and you have an extension on the second floor, and someone is using your telephone on the ground floor, it is my understanding, you may permit someone to listen to your telephone on the second floor.
Mr. PICKLE. Are you comparing this particular instance with a private individual's extension in his own home?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. No, sir; I am comparing it to the person to whom the telephone is titled to. In one case the telephone is titled to you, in the other it is titled to the head of a Government agency.
Mr. Pickle. Do you consider the widespread use of monitoring an extension line as being legal and proper ?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. As a general principle?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Again, it depends on the specific circumstances that would prevail whether or not I would consider this to be right or wrong.
If I have my own telephone and there are circumstances, I would consider it appropriate.
Mr. PICKLE. If you had a series of extensions on a telephone and one individual happened to pick up, or to listen in, it might be argued that was not wiretapping, but when a specific installation was made upon order of the Commission to go from one direct place to another direct room, you do not consider that wiretapping, and you think that is an extension?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Without any of the employees knowing about it, except the ones installing it!
Mr. GOLDSMITH. That is correct.
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Why was it done after hours in this particular fashion?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Because it was installed for an investigative purpose and the very nature of the installation was such that we were first trying to establish would the allegation of wrongdoing be proved out. There was first of all the matter of the allegation and second, the persons involved.
The CHAIRMAN. I can understand your statement that you were going on the belief it is not illegal. But the fact is it was installed by the telephone company and you did not want anybody else to know about it, and the employee whose phone was tapped did not know about it. It seems to me that is the direct thing here—I am just saying this, if this is true, we have to stop it in Government. If we do not, I believe we have the “Big Brother” for sure. The only thing I am interested in is that this stops.
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Mr. Chairman, as I mentioned, what I thought at the time--and I mentioned about my ignorance with certain of the other respects of the Omnibus Crime Act and other possible implications here. I said at the time this particular action was taken in February of 1970, I had no feeling or no reason at all to consider that this was anything other than an extension that could be installed.
The CHARMAN. The act is very clear, it says in so many places,
Willfully intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any wire or oral communication is an infringement of the act
Willfully uses, endeavors to use or procures any other person to use or en. deavor to use any electronic, mechanical or other device to intercept any cral communication when such device is affixed to, or otherwise transmits a signal through, a wire, cable or other like connection used in wire communication; or
Such device transmits communications by radio or interferes with the transmission of such communication; or
Such person knows or has reason to know that such device or any component thereof has been sent through the mail or transported in interstate or foreign commerce; or
Such use or endeavor to use (A) takes place on the premises of any business or other commercial establishment the operations of which affect interstate or foreign commerce; or (B) obtains or is for the purpose of obtaining information relating to the operations of any business or other commercial establishment the operations of which affect interstate or foreign commerce; or
Such person acts in the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the United States.
And then proceeds to disclose this information.
Mr. SPRINGER. Mr. Goldsmith, would you tell roughly what is the purpose of your job as security officer for the Federal Communications Commission?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. My job is to assure that physical facilities, as well as the necessary personnel actions are receiving the requisite protection under existing regulations and laws, physical as well as in the area of personnel security which would cover clearances for access to defense information.
In addition to that, to provide then whatever investigative needs mrevist within the Commission or may be required by the Chairman.
Mr. SPRINGER. Did you say a few minutes ago that there came knowledge to you or someone under you
Mr. GOLDSMITH. It came directly to me.
Mr. SPRINGER (continuing). That there was a person, an employee of the Federal Communications Commission who was revealing confidential or unauthorized information to an individual outside the FCC
Mr. GOLDSMITH. That is correct.
Mr. SPRINGER. That that person personally had knowledge and so told rou that they saw that take place?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. He had observed, he heard certain conversations where the very fact of having taken notice of this confidential material had been acknowledged by the parties.
Mr. SPRINGER. May I ask you this-was any of this information disclosed, was that pursuant to any matter pending before the FCC which was in contest?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. To the best of my knowledge the agenda items that were available during that period dealt with, in a number of instances, matters that were in contest.
Mr. SPRINGER. You are not a lawyer?
Mr. SPRINGER. Do you know, as a matter of fact, whether or not the person, if he did that, is guilty of a misdemeanor or a crime?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. I would have to leave this to the General Counsel.
Mr. SPRINGER. I will ask the General Counsel at a later time. Pursuant to that, you reported this information to the Executive Director?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Yes, sir.
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Yes.
Mr. GOLDSMITH. The Executive Director was equally concerned that here this particular
Mr. SPRINGER. Did he pass on the information to anyone else that you gave to him? Of your own knowledge, do you know this?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Well, he passed on a recommendation of what action should be taken. That was passed on to the Chairman.
Mr. SPRINGER. To the Chairman. And the action that was taken then was on your recommendations?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. It was.
Mr. SPRINGER. Was this recommendation by the Executive Director in turn passed on to the Chairman?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Yes, sir.
Mr. SPRINGER. Would you have felt that this would have been inconsistent with your duties as security officer-I withdraw that question.
Are you familiar with the regulations of the Commission with reference to separation from the Federal Communications Commission?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. I am not sure I understand the question.
Are you familiar with the regulations of the Commission with reference to when an employee may be separated and on what grounds he may be separated ?
Mr. GOLDSMITII. Yes, sir.
Mr. SPRIXGER. If what you have told the committee were true, that the employee was disclosing information unauthorized, and which was in contest before the Commission, to an unauthorized person, an outsider, under the Commission's regulations, is that grounds for separation?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Sir, the Commission's rules and regulations provide a graduated list of steps that may be taken against any employee who violates the specific rules and regulations, which include the disclosure of official information, and goes from reprimand all the way to dismissal. So separation is included.
Mr. SPRINGER. It is included in that?
Mr. SPRINGER. Was any consideration given by you to recommend-
Mr. SHOUP. Mr. Goldsmith, between the start of your employment in 1967 until February 1970, when this extension was installed, was there any similar action taken? Was this the first time this happened, to vour knowledge?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. This was the only time.
Mr. Surocr. Is it your opinion that no other extension would have been or could have been installed without your knowledge ?
Mr. GOLDSVITIT. To the best of my knowledge, I should have known about it. I knew of no other installation.
Mr. SJIOUP. Could anyone else within your security staff
Mr. GOLDSMITH. No, that I would have known. There was no such action in any way connected with the Executive Director's office.
Mr. Shoup. Following the removal of this extension after some 5 weeks until this date, to your knowledge has an extension for this purpose been installed?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. It has not.
Mr. Shoup. What was the reasoning behind the noninstallation, the nonuse of this? Do you attribute this to a change of interpretation of the law or the fact, as you stated, at this particular time it was the first instance you had information of a violation?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. This was the only time I am aware of where the information had come to us in this form and with such detail, that an individual was pinpointed as participating in an improper act.
Mr. Shoup. When you made your recommendations to the Executive Director, did he voice to you the possibility that this was an illegal wiretapping?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. No, sir.
Mr. SHOUP. Did he indicate to you that the Chairman indicated that?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. That the Chairman indicated this was illegal?
Mr. Shoup. Was the Executive Director's recommendation identical to yours—did he concur with your recommendations?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. He concurred with my recommendations at one point prior to actually having the extension installed, there was also a consultation with the then General Counsel.
Mr. Shoup. The installation then came at the direction of the Executive Director?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Yes, sir.
Mr. MANELLI. Mr. Goldsmith, going back to the information you originally received, would it be correct to state that that information was--that did not have the appearance of being unusually reliable; in fact I think, based on some of your files, it would appear that information would be somewhat suspect. Would you characterize it that way?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. No, sir. I would not. But I have found it over approximately 25 years of having been in matters relating to intelligence and security that when you are dealing with an individual's career or life or anything like that, it is encumbent on you to check out any and all information first. In this case there was the added aspect of the individual, the witness who appeared to be very much interested in being some type of an amateur investigator. And while “suspect” is a little too strong, perhaps I had some questions as to the complete accuracy and everything I was being told by the witness.
Mr. MANELLI. You mean by the person who came in with the information ?
Mr. GOLDSMITH. Who was a witness to improper acts.