Another Obama administration policy has come back to haunt America. In his zeal to sell every technological advantage that America has to foreign powers, Barack Obama sold America’s Local Number Portability Administrator (LNPA) contract to a foreign company with a track record for breaching US national security protocols.
This may sound boring on the surface, but imagine if all cell phone signals in America went down “until further notice” tomorrow, with no promises for when the signals would be back up.
That wouldn’t be as bad as the power grid going down in an EMP attack, but it still presents serious national security risks to the country and it would cause an unknown amount of economic damage to the US.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) is trying to get emergency meetings set up with the Justice Department to deal with the potential ramifications of this major switch, but so far has had no success.
First, what is the LNPA? The Local Number Portability Administrator’s main purpose is to ensure that you get to keep your cell phone number if you switch carriers. The LNPA also administers a phone record database that is responsible for every criminal and national security investigation in the country.
By law, only US citizens are allowed to work on the LNPA and any computer coding associated with it, because of the potential of hostile foreign governments to access the database and compromise our intelligence agencies. So naturally, the Obama administration gave the contract to a foreign-owned company.
A Virginia company called Neustar has held the LNPA contract since 1997. The FCC under the Obama administration decided to put the contract out to bid in 2013 and awarded the contract to Telcordia, a subsidiary of a Swedish telecommunications company called Ericsson. So, after having an American company administer the LNPA database for 20 years, the database will now transition to a completely new foreign company with completely new software. What could possibly go wrong?
As of this writing, Telcordia is already six months behind schedule. The company was caught red-handed employing a Chinese national on its software-writing team, which is a direct violation of the national security terms of the contract. Telcordia was forced to start over from scratch because it could not or would not follow the most basic instructions of the contract.
The means by which Telcordia was awarded the contract are also sketchy. The company Ericsson was caught selling sophisticated telecommunications equipment to Iran in 2011. But rather than fining or penalizing the company for violating US and international sanctions, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave Ericsson a pass. Perhaps the $750,000 speaking fee that Ericsson paid to Bill Clinton earlier that same year had something to do with this decision.
Virginia-based Neustar has maintained that it was frozen out of the LNPA bid process by the Obama administration. (Neustar and Telcordia were the only two companies that bid on the contract.) The FCC never held a public comment period on the sale of the LNPA to a foreign company. Neustar believes this was deliberate, because the public comments would likely have been overwhelmingly against selling the LNPA contract to a non-US company.
To recap, all cell phone signals in America could be wiped out if Telcordia messes up the transition, our national security is at risk because a foreign company with a track record of hiring Chinese nationals and selling equipment to Iran is rewriting the code, and the Clintons got a sackful of money out of the deal. Sounds about par for the course for the Obama administration, doesn’t it?
So far, Rep. Zeldin is the only member of Congress who is sounding the alarm about the Telcordia issue. Former Congressman and now CIA Director Mike Pompeo wrote to the FCC in 2016 urging that Telcordia be investigated to determine whether it was still hiring foreign software coders, but the Democrat-led FCC at the time never responded.
Now that the FCC is under Republican control, we have learned that back in 2013, the FCC never spoke with Executive branch law enforcement or national security officials about the LNPA contract. Obama simply sold the contract to the only foreign company that bid on the project!
Rep. Zeldin has requested an emergency meeting to stave off the transition and keep the LNPA under US-based control until all of the national security concerns are met. Telcordia doesn’t even have a rollback plan in place, in case the transition is botched and all cell phone signals in America are lost! Hopefully the Justice Department will step in and halt the transition before it’s too late. But with the way the Justice Department has been operating lately, don’t get your hopes up.
~ American Liberty Report