An obscure federal contract for routing phone calls and text messages has drawn a strong bid from a European-based company, prompted a lobbying battle in which intelligence officials argue that surveillance secrets could be at risk.

The contractor that wins the bid would essentially act as the air traffic controller for the nation's phone system, which is run by private companies but is essentially overseen by the government. A small Virginia company, Neustar, has held the job since the late 1990s, but a private phone-industry panel has recommended to the Federal Communications Commission that an American division of Ericsson, the Swedish-based technology company, get the work instead.

Ericsson is a Swedish technology firm, but its supporters in the contract debate point out that the network's operation would be handled by an American-based division, Telcordia Technologies, and that it would be run more cheaply than Neustar without any harm to the system's operations

Alles bij de bron; NYT [let op; de site doet agv zijn beveiliging heel erg vervelend en gebruikt veel processorkracht]