Tuesday, January 29, 2013

CALNET 2: Statewide Telecommunications and Network Division

CALNET 2:  The Achilles Heel of Untold Proportions

January 23rd 2013:
Why does this agency have so much meaning to the larger story in Contra Costa County where the CNET Scandal unfolds where the dirty DUI's ruined custody battles and where attorneys plied their scams on unsuspecting spouses - Butlarama leads in all  directions but the data on this system is just as useful which is why I called the Eiko Sugihara number many times and why not after all I'm an arson victim and what happened to her almost happened to me in 2004 on NB 680.  Why not since I've also seen pictures of the Piedmont Lumber fire on a then San Francisco Police Officers camera in June 2010 but months later I've got a PGE High Performance Engineer standing next to same cop in my office days after the PGE San Bruno Fire who never said he worked for PGE.

Incorporate Your Business For FreeThe telephone system is a critical weakness that would allow a person to peer into the mechanics of an  extended investigation.  In 2001 one of my contract opportunities was to convert AT&T (then PacBell) call detail record from EBCDIC (see below) tape to the new format.  It was an easy project and perfect match to my skills.

Details on this program can be found at the Statewide Telecommunications and Network Division and you can learn for yourself but my concerns is the detail records are of a concern.   I have nothing negative about this agency.  They do their job as mandated by preparing, processing and managing as required.  My concern is the intrinsic value of millions of call record are being overlooked.  If anything belonged in a vault this would be it.   We are consumed with allocating the costs to the originating caller which maps to the department which is rolled up to the general ledger.  I know its boring stuff but call detail in the wrong hands has endless uses.

Get it done 

When I was contracted by the County to fix their problem it was straight forward.  Develop a replacement application that would process the new format. Failure meant the general ledger would remain open but yikes, holy moly! retirement calculations might be delayed so this is really important!

Fire the American keep the Visa holder  
The original budget was $50,000 with a three month development window but was finished it in three weeks.  The side bar to this project was a tech contracting firm called Hall-Kinion who had three H1-b visa placements at the county.  At the same time one of my programming friends was rejected by the county.  Apparently his 20 years of succesfully programming at Bank of America wasn't good enough as they letter stated he was unqualified.  The person that got the job was an H1-b visa holder placed by Hall-Kinion who was sending me to fake interviews was the same firm I'd filed a discrimination case with EEOC.  They spotted me in the Hallway one day and shortly thereafter I was terminated from Hero to Zero heading the welfare office so I could feed my kids - things had gotten that bad.  Three for the visas and zero for the american programmer.  I am not anti-immigration but we need a throttle.



Program Overview 


Manage the discounted billing program by negotiating pricing with AT&T who intern compiles the call record details each month to agencies they've contracted with.    

The system in a nutshell - gather data from the telecommunications providers, collate records, manage pricing and security.


  • Call Detail: posted on secure servers - good idea 
  • Nearly every call is captured - helps with charging department based in number assignment
  • The high speed network captures IP addresses - data mining experts get a kick from your clicks
  • But is the data compiled here or in India or both 
When I left the (fired for building a money saving application) the CD's were placed in a desk.


What is in the data:  An Analogy and Perspective

I suppose that if the Governor called the President who called a Senator who then called his favorite lobbyist, who then called his buddy,  who got the pricey contract then we'd be thinking up some conspiracy.  

The reality here is you had access to 500 Million records of calls between agencies, attorneys, investigators, contract administrator and perhaps calls to the attorneys defending the cities, their witness, the juror pools, the clerks, and worst of all the witnesses you'd have advantages so great as your adversaries would be absolutely clueless you had Intel of that magnitude.  The call detail records paint a story that unless you've worked with data for 20 years you cannot see it.  The programmers know very well the bank account rounding errors passed from the bank to their personal account.  

Another giant Outsourcing Risk - but who really cares? some do but often it's profit over national security.  



What is a DBA?


This stands for Database Administrator - a person who posses the skill to manipulate data, execute stored procedures, can manage security, login's, users plus is highly skilled with Extract, Transact and Load (ETL), can move large blocks of data, works with BIG data and could easily move 100 Million rows anywhere in the world.  Is not subject to extortion, has lived here for entire life, loyal to his country, has family, and few other snippets but the point should be obvious if you got this far.

The Data Consumers are: 
The District Attorney's Office, State Attorney General Offices, The Legislative Branches, The Governors Office, The US Attorneys Office, The Federal Reserve, and California Department of Justice

And you thought Cookies were a bad thing!  

What is EBCDIC?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EBCDIC
Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code (EBCDIC) is an 8-bit character encoding used mainly on IBM mainframe and IBM midrange computer operating systems.




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