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Mr. GELLER. Yes, sir.
Mr. GELLER. I must say obviously there is a serious question. I would be an idiot to say there is not a serious issue on the other side. There clearly must be one or we would not be here. I did not research it. What is the good of my researching it after the fact? The present general counsel has done so and concluded what we did was not improper. But we would not be sitting here if it were not a serious issue.
Mr. SPRINGER. It is your opinion the law is not clear whether this is legal or illegal.
Mr. GELLER. I went on the basis that construed 605—construing the word “intercept”—and I believe this was implied consent because this was normal or ordinary to do.
I have not looked at the legislative history and cannot look the committee in the eye and say with assurance this is legal to do. I depend on the General Counsel in that respect.
Mr. SPRINGER. That was your best opinion as a lawyer with how many years of experience at the date you gave this advice?
Mr. GELLER. Since 1919. I gave the advice in 1970, that would be 21 years.
Mr. SPRINGER. Counsel, one other thing. If a person in the agency gives out information not authorized, when a matter is under contest before the Commission, is that a violation of the law, either a misdemeanor or a crime?
Mr. GELLER. Well, it is a violation first of our regulation on employee conduct. If he is an employee, that is clearly a violation and would subject him to any number of penalties up to dismissal. Further, depending on the nature of the information, if it is confidential proprietary information that came to the agency on a confidential basis, and we get a great deal of that, such as financial statementsthat would be a violation and a felony.
Mr. SPRINGER. Is there any other type of information besides that that would be a misdemeanor or felony for revealing?
Mr. GELLER. I think only the 18 United States Code 1905 type of information.
Mr. SPRINGER. A contest of a matter before the FCC is a quasijudicial proceeding; is it not?
Mr. GELLER. Yes, sir.
Mr. SPRINGER. You tell me the violation of that is not a violation of a law?
Mr. GELLER. I do not believe so. It is a violation of our rule, we could discharge an employee for willfully violating our rule. I do not think it is a violation of the statute.
Mr. SPRINGER. Are you sure of that?
Mr. GELLER. I think you would have to ask the present General Counsel.
Mr. SPRINGER. The gentleman is familiar with court rules, are you not, that if an unauthorized person did give out unauthorized information in a case, the Judge would put him in jail for contempt.
Mr. GELLER. Yes.
Mr. SPRINGER. You just do not know. Mr. GELLER. I do not know. Mr. SPRINGER. I will supply the gentleman with the information. That is an indictable matter and he could be indicted by the Federal grand jury for revealing information in a contested case where you are sitting in a Federal court, in addition to contempt.
That is all.
TESTIMONY OF HARRY SHOCKRO, CHIEF OF ADMINISTRATIVE
SERVICES DIVISION, FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
The CHAIRMAN. State your name and address for the record.
Mr. SHOCKRO. Harry Shockro, Chief of Administrative Services Division, Federal Communications Commission.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Manelli.
Mr. MANELLI. As part of your duties, you have some responsibility for dealing with the telephone company; do you not?
Mr. SHOCKRO. Yes.
Mr. MANELLI. You would be the one who would normally get in touch with the phone company to install extra extensions or install service in the FCC Building, right?
Mr. SHOCKRO. Yes.
Mr. MANELLI. This incident we are talking about in 1970, you have heard that the monitoring extension was installed in February of 1970, did you have anything to do with arranging for this installation ?
Mr. SHOCKRO. No, sir.
Mr. MANELLI. Just to save time, you did prepare, did you not, a memorandum for your own use at the time; to make a personal memorandum of the situation?
Mr. SHOCKRO. Yes; a memorandum for the record.
Mr. SHOCKRO. I made a series of little notes as the incidents happened. After the incident was over, I made a memorandum for the record, a complete one.
Mr. MANELLI. In order to avoid asking questions, would you read the memorandum so the reporter can take it and so the subcommittee is aware of what it contains. In the second-to-the-last paragraph, do not mention those extension numbers. You have some extension numbers which I would suggest not be in the record. So skip over those.
Mr. SHOCKRO (reading):
On Thursday, February 12, 1970, Mr. Goldsmith came to my office and closed the door. He informed me he was about to tell me something he wanted no one to hear about. Only the Chairman, Mr. Paglin, he and now I were to know about it.
Mr. Goldsmith then informed me someone was making phone calls from a thirdfloor office after hours. He wanted to stop it and was working with the phone company officials to solve the problem.
I inquired as to whether it concerned commercial long-distance calls, explaining that each month we received an electronic listing which included the number calling and the number called. I mentioned also that sometime we received FTS listings; Mr. Goldsmith said he was not interested in long-distance calls. His interest was in local area calls involving dialing "9" on our equipment to get outside connections. I was puzzled at the time but did not comment. I asked what was expected of me. Mr. Goldsmith replied "nothing, I am telling you only for information."
On Monday, February 16, 1970 at about 5 minutes past 9 on the 8th floor at the entrance to the Commission Meeting Room, he said that he and the Phone company were going to take the action necessary to catch the individual that afternoon. He asked that I should ignore any stranger that he accompanied to the third-floor wire closet. Mr. Goldsmith said, "No, they were going to install an instrument in Room 821." When I asked why on the 8th floor, he informed me that the telephone company people had informed him he could listen in on the equipment from there. I asked again if he had necessary authority to do that. He said, "of course."
On Tuesday, February 16, Mr. Goldsmith phoned to tell me that the people would be in that night to do the work he had spoken to me about. I asked if they would be working on the third floor and he said, "yes."
On Wednesday, February 18, Mr. Goldsmith visited my office at 0800 a.m. to state that the evening before he had been with the men from the C&P Telephone Company.
There is a specific name here.
He named Mr. Angerman as one of those present in the third floor wire closet. Mr. Marshall had walked by and seen them working. Mr. Goldsmith said that if Mr. Marshall or anyone else asked about the work being done, I was to inform them that noise-level checks were being made.
On Wednesday, February 18, 1970, Mr. Goldsmith ran into me in the 8th floor hall at about 1700 PM. He said he had been checking the third floor phones. He mentioned he was getting a good deal of clicking and several of the phones were lighting up. He believed whoever he was checking was using several phones. However, he indicated the difficulty might be in a phone-company connection. He asked me to inform him if anyone on the third floor reported phone trouble.
On Friday, February 20, 1970, a GSA electrician commented that he thought someone on the third floor was tapping a phone. I decided at that time to assure myself that the project had some authorization. I arranged with Mrs. Fitzgerald, to see the Chairman at 2:45 for about one minute. I asked the Chairman if he were aware of the project that the Executive Director and the Security Officer were working on. I referred to it as a phone tap. He hesitated for a minute then said : "Oh, yes, but it's not a phone tap, it's an extension." I informed him I was concerned and wanted to be sure he had authorized it. He said: “Yes," and I replied that was the confirmation I needed.
On another day Mr. Goldsmith contacted me and asked me to come to his office and inquired if there were any way of knowing if long distance calls could be made from a specific phone. I informed him that if the caller dialed “9” first, the record of the call would appear on monthly billing. He asked me to check the monthly billings to see if the following numbers appeared.
I will skip the numbers.
On March 18, 1970 Mr. Goldsmith called me into his office, Room 821 and informed me that he was arranging to remove the extension from the telephone on Friday, March 20, 1970. He said Mr. Angerman would be doing the work and he believed it best to remove it during the regular work day. He said the phone company people would be in about 4 p.m. to make the disconnect.
Mr. MANELLI. When did you say you prepared that statement?
Mr. SHOCKRO. I am uncertain of the date. It was after the date the phone was removed and I wrote it all down. I prepared little notes to myself as the events occurred.
Mr. MANELLI. It would have been in 1970 for sure!
Mr. MANELLI. Do you have anything to add to that statement, any other recollection of the events we are talking about?
Mr. SHOCKRO. Nothing.
The CHAIRMAN. You may reserve it but perhaps you had better ask them now.
Mr. Pickle. The House is in session and apparently a quorum call has been called. I wonder if it would be proper to inquire when we are going to meet again and if this witness could be here for further questioning at that time?
The CHAIRMAN. Well, the Chair has planned to go right on through but we could stop if it is all right with the witness. I want to try to accommodate you.
Mr. Burch is the last witness. We could come back at 2 o'clock. Would that be all right with you?
Mr. PICKLE. Yes, sir.
(Whereupon, at 12:10 p.m. the subcommittee recessed to reconvene at 2 p.m.)
AFTER RECESS (The subcommittee reconvened at 2 p.m., Hon. Harley O. Staggers, chairman, presiding.)
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. When we adjourned at noon, Mr. Shockro was on the stand and Mr. Pickle wished him to appear again to ask him some questions.
If you will proceed, Mr. Pickle, we will be happy to have you do so.
TESTIMONY OF HARRY SHOCKRO, CHIEF OF ADMINISTRATIVE
SERVICES DIVISION, FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION-Resumed
Mr. PICKLE. Did you have any further conversations with any of your officials after the initial instruction; that is, did they tell you you were to say anything about this or were you to be quiet about it? Did you have any instructions other than informing you?
Mr. SHOCKRO. No; other than the initial visit by Mr. Goldsmith where he said it is a matter known only to a few of us.
Mr. PICKLE. In your opinion why would Mr. Goldsmith tell you that-inform you of the proceedings?
Mr. SHOCKRO. I can only assume-I am assuming it is the type of thing he wanted to keep quiet about, in case nothing developed from it-whatever the investigation was.
Mr. PICKLE. Do you know whether this extension was run to any other place, other than this one particular place on the eighth floor? Mr. SHOCKRO. No, sir.
Mr. PICKLE. Do you know whether this type of extension monitoring has ever been done in any other instance?
Mr. SHOCKRO. I have never known of it having been done before or since.
Mr. PICKLE. Would you care to express an opinion as to whether you think there is a difference between monitoring a telephone extension and in wiretapping?
Mr. SHOCKRO. Well, unquestionably, there is a difference, again I am not a lawyer and it would be an opinion. In my opinion, I would think it hinged upon the use made of whatever was gleaned.
For instance, the telephone company monitors lines for noise and volume control, they have been doing it regularly, that would be monitoring in my opinion.
Mr. PICKLE. I have no further questions.
TESTIMONY OF HON. DEAN BURCH, CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL
The CHAIRMAN. Give the reporter your name and official position.
Mr. BURCH. My name is Dean Burch, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Counsel, will you start the questioning?
Mr. MANELLI. I believe Chairman Burch has a statement, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BURCH. I do have a statement and I would like to present it for the record. It may be unduly repetitive to repeat the whole thing.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you wish to summarize it for us?
Mr. BURCH. Rather than summarize, I would rather read the statement.
The CHAIRMAN. How long will it take?
Mr. BURCH. Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, you have asked me to appear today to testify on telephone monitoring activities within the FCC and, specifically, one such occurrence early in 1970. So far as I have been able to determine, it was the only such occurrence that has taken place at the Commission. There have been none since.
The occurrence in question involved the use of an extension on a Commission office phone, to see if we could substantiate eyewitness evidence that an employee and an outside attorney—who once worked with him at the Commission---were using the Commission's phone to leak confidential information about pending agenda items. I have with me all the participants in the action who were consulted at the time. The Commission's General Counsel, Mr. John Pettit, is also present.