Prison calling companies are bad. The prison industrial complex is bad. People in the US and the millionaires/billionaires behind it are bad.
People on both the right and left in the United States should agree with the above. Is that the end of the story though?
No, because there is also an element of slightly greater betrayal beyond it all.
The Chinese Government
All prison calling companies are controlled by the Chinese. All prison calling companies are a single entity in the end, and that entity is ultimately controlled by China.
First we want to make clear that no one (or almost no one) on the US side of this story probably knows about the relation these companies have with the Chinese government. Unless they were skilled at reading DNS records it would just be hard to imagine.
We have suspected this for some time simply because of how poorly designed the UI is of most of the prison calling software vendors out there. It also looks extraordinarily similar. The DNS records of all of these companies point back to the same one or two entities as well.
What all this means is that ultimately the Chinese government:
- writes most of the software before handing it off to American developers to finish the final 10%
- fully control the databases and syncs all the databases back to China
- superadmin privileges to all current running systems
Previous Stories in the News
Some recent articles that discuss these companies and the negative press that has always accompanied this industry:
Some Hints as to How This Stuff Can Happen
How can this be? Here are some points to give you an idea:
- First American counterintelligence skills have always been awful. This is not surprising to anyone at all in the intelligence community.
- Almost no one in domestic law enforcement knows anything about software or how it is built
- The prison calling companies offer enormous incentives, which would be very strange for any police department in the US to turn down, to any law enforcement group
- They operate through a decently well constructed set of front companies. These companies are much more obvious to peel back when looking at the DNS records, but then again you'd probably know how to also build software if you could do that
More Evidence Later
For now, leave us alone on the Chinese evidence side of things. We've raised the accusation, hinted as to how it is possible, and now we will deliver tons of stuff related to a leak of https://telmate.com. That should be enough for now.
If you are at the management level of a prison facility I would almost beg you at this point to consider that charges of treason are now very much in play. US intelligence agencies are not known for their counterintelligence skills but they very much monitor even so-so trafficked blogs like this.