French provide geolocation capability to Gaddafi spies

Rating: BBC finds Amesys info in Tripoli spy centre

An explosive TV report from courageous BBC news reporter, Orla Guerin, inside Colonel Gaddafi’s Homeland Security Headquarters in Tripoli accidentally exposes the role played by France’s Amesys in helping the Libyan spy operation. The report aired on the BBC News yesterday (August 29th 2011) clearly shows Amesys’ log and details of a presentation on the walls of the Libyan centre. It is clear from the bulletpoints from the presentation that Amesys technology was providing the Libyans with a cellular geolocation capability that could be used to track suspects. Separately, the report showed Trust’s ISDN software. GoMo News has long suspected that ISDN engineers’ sets (butt phones) can be used to hack mobile phones.These are the presentation bulletpoints taken from a chart hanging on the wall in the Tripoli spy centre: -

Possibility to locate any person owning a cell phone in the country, even in idle mode

Accuracy around 200 feet, option down to 30 feet resolution

Refresh rate is every minute

Archiving of all these position data in the central database for further analysis or investigation

The chart clearly has an Eagle and the Amesys logo on it.

It all points to a capability to track a handset’s owner to within at least 200 feet in Libya, even when the suspect is not talking. And store the results in a database.

Ms Guerin then shows documents to the camera which she claims provide the names of foreign nationals and in several cases the telephone numbers of people in the UK.

As Ms Guerin walks around the centre,  she leans some documents on a software box which clearly has the Trust logo (a well-known make of ISDN adapters).

It has long been suggested that because of the very close relationship between the GSM mobile phone system and ISDN – the landline version of digital phone lines – it is possible to track mobile phone numbers.

The tool to do so is commonly referred to as a ‘butt-phone’ (no idea why) and is the tool given to telephone engineers to help them install or maintain ISDN lines.

GoMo News is speculating that the same facilities offered by a butt phone could be achieved with a PC ISDN adapter and suitable ISDN software.

UK citizens can view the BBC News item by going onto the BBC’s iPlayer facility. Outside the UK, the footage appears to have been published by SBS/World News in Australia.

GoMo News was unable to reach Amesys in France for comment.

Inside Colonel Gaddafi\’s homeland security HQ

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
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