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http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060616/NEWS/606160329/1006 

By JENNIFER BROOKS
News Journal Washington Bureau
06/16/2006

WASHINGTON -- For a governor with a secret hot line to the Department
of Homeland Security, the only thing worse than hearing that phone
ring, is answering the call and hearing:

"Hello! Are you satisfied with your long-distance service provider?"

"Every time that phone rings, it's telemarketers," grumbled Gov. Ruth
Ann Minner, whose secret homeland defense hot line sits in her office,
ringing occasionally with offers of time share condominiums and great
deals on long distance.

"I wonder about the security of that line," said Minner, noting that
other governors have reported similarly unwelcome intrusions on the
hot line phones that are supposed to ring only in the event of a
national catastrophe.

Minner, who sits on a homeland security advisory panel of the National
Governors' Association, mentioned the annoying phone calls Thursday on
a visit to Washington.

The problem, Minner said, seems to be the random-number generators
that telemarketers use.

So what's a governor to do? According to Minner's office, the
Department of Homeland Security placed all the hot line numbers on the
federal government's Do Not Call Registry, which is supposed to ward
off telemarketers.

The Department of Homeland Security did not return calls for comment.

Copyright =A9 2006, The News Journal.



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