Interesting article about mass communications intercept gear and its availability.
[i]Crashing the Wiretapper’s Ball
By Thomas Greene
02:00 AM Jun, 01, 2006
CRYSTAL CITY, Virginia – The dingy hotel corridor was populated with suits, milling about and radiating airs of defensive hostility. They moved in close-knit groups, rounding a stranger or a rival group conspicuously, the way cats do. They spoke in whispers. They glanced nervously over their shoulders as they took calls on their cell phones, then darted swiftly into alcoves.
They were government officials, telephone company honchos, military officers, three-letter-agency spooks and cops, all brought together by salesmen dealing in the modern equipment of surveillance. It was my job to learn what they were up to.
They’d gathered for the ISS World Conference, a trade show featuring the latest in mass communications intercept gear, held in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Crystal City, Virginia. Situated conveniently between Reagan National Airport and the Pentagon, Crystal City is an artificial place dominated by conference centers and hotels, set up to accommodate the endless, and often secret, intercourse between the U.S. military and its myriad itinerant contractors, lobbyists, consultants and trainers. They rotate in and out, civilians using the airport, military personnel taking the subway from the Pentagon, with Crystal City as the intersection in a figure-eight circuit of constant activity…[/i]