As reports broke out earlier this week all over media in Canada about eavesdropping “bugs” being found at Nortel’s former campus in Ottawa with the Canadian Department of Defense preparing to move in, a question had to be asked about the huge former Nortel campus in Research Triangle Park.

Its owner is Fidelity Investments, which bought the buildings that once housed thousands of workers before Nortel went bankrupt.

Does Fidelity, which basically gutted the complex and turned it into an ultramodern home for several hundred workers handling sensitive financial data, have any concerns about the ex-Nortel buildings?

The company responded with a brief statement:

“We take security very seriously and while it’s our general practice not to discuss specific practices or matters, we can tell you that we are very comfortable with our facilities in North Carolina.
regards,” wrote Adam Banker of Media Relations at Fidelity. 

Meanwhile, the Nortel bugging story took a big turn Tuesday night.

The Ottawa Citizen newspaper, which has covered Nortel aggressively for years and broke the original bugging story, now says Canada’s government has been “assured” by Defense officials that “no listening devices were found” when it conducted the initial “sweeps” of the buildings. Taking over the Nortel buildings is likely to cost $1 billion.

Julie Di Mambro, a spokeswoman for Defense Minister Rob Nicholson, said in an email: “Security officials have assured us that they have not discovered any bugs or listening devices. Our government continues to be vigilant when it comes to maintaining the security of information and personnel.”

The newspaper said no other details were offered, but it again pointed out that Nortel had a long history of being bugged.

“Last year senior Nortel staff acknowledged that the company had been the subject of a number of spy and computer hacking operations over a decade, with the main culprits suspected of being associated with China,” the newspaper said. 

The full Citizen story can be read online.

In July, WRAL Investigates looked into how hacking brought down Nortel. TONIGHT (Wednesday) on WRAL News at 5:30 p.m., reporter Kelcey Carlson interviews the Nortel employee in charge of trying to track down those hackers.