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America's Global Surveillance Network

The Hardware Behind Echelon Revealed...
""Techworld has got an interesting article on the technology behind the Echelon spying networks run by the US, UK, Cananda and Australia. Apparently the super storage and analysing technology used in the US is sold by privately owned Texas Memory Systems. It can deal with one trillion floating point operations per second. Now that's some technology.""
Full story - Slashdot
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Oct 18 14:11:57 EDT 2004

The Technology of National Security
"... In this modern day, law enforcement and intelligence communities rely heavily on computer technology to identify, monitor and react to both known and perceived threats. This technology renders the government capable of receiving broad access to the personal information of its people. The British micro-plane concept provides only one illustration. In recent years, considerable information has surfaced regarding the development of powerful spy software by various governments. As a direct result, a growing number of individuals and advocacy groups are claiming that the use of this technology infringes on their right to privacy. Ultimately, the issue is one of competing interests in national security and privacy.... This article will identify the major spy programs that have fueled this debate in America and other countries around the globe. It will additionally highlight key events that led to the development of these programs. The following sections will set forth the particular characteristics of each program as well as the public reaction that each has garnered."
Full story - TechNewsWorld
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Apr 27 21:00:45 EDT 2004

Worried about Google reading your Email? Think again.
"... Indeed, issues of so-called "privacy" on the Internet are almost laughable given the existence of Echelon, a program funded by the United States Defense Department and the Central Intelligence Agency. According to web site administered by the ACLU in conjunction with the Free Congress Foundation, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Cyber-Rights and Cyber-Liberties (UK) and the Omega Foundation, "Echelon is perhaps the most powerful intelligence gathering organization in the world." It is believed that "Echelon" intercepts more than 3 billion communications everyday, including telephone calls, Email messages, Internet downloads and satellite transmissions. "The Echelon system gathers all of these transmissions indiscriminately, then distills the information that is most heavily desired through artificial intelligence programs. Some sources have claimed that Echelon sifts through an estimated 90 per cent of all Internet traffic," according to"
Full story - Official Spin
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Apr 2 13:46:58 EST 2004

Big brother is watching
"The government increased online surveillance as it implemented technologies such as Carnivore and Echelon. Carnivore was responsible for tracking down terrorist activities and detaining 400-500 suspects immediately following the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. Despite the programs' occasional flaws in mistaking implicating an innocent person, it is still better to exhaust all possibilities than to miss one. The writers of the Constitution probably did not foresee a land full of machines that can send messages from coast to coast in seconds. Nor did the idea of foreign terrorists wreaking havoc on the soon-to-be-built cities and civilizations ever cross Ben Franklin's mind. Post-9-11 America is a whole new scenario."
Full Story -
Submitted by Oakie

Western powers redefine 'democracy '
"So insidious are the changes that most of us don't realise they are even taking place. It began with video cameras on street corners - some five million in the U.K. alone. Then there is the secretive global surveillance body Echelon, the most powerful intelligence-gathering organisation in the world used by the United States Security Agency, NSA, to secretly monitor satellite, microwave, cellular, and fiber-optic traffic."
Full story -
Submitted by Oakie

Terrorism, Violent Protests May Mar Bush's London Visit
"[During President Bush's visit to London:]... At Menwith Hill in the north of England, where America's National Security Agency (NSA) has its European facility, Echelon, NSA's most sensitive and still ultra-secret surveillance system, will be specially programmed to keep track of any threat to Bush. The global electronic network called Echelon is of truly astounding proportions. It links satellites to a series of high-speed parallel computers. The system enables every electronic communication in the world to be intercepted - in real time. Searching for key words, Echelon can identify and segregate 500,000 "messages of interest" a second."
Full story - AmericanFreePress
Submitted by Oakie

French Echelon Station Screen Shots
"These are screen shots of a French TV program on the Echelon-like interception station at Dordogne, France, oft-called "Frenchelon":"
Full story - Cryptome

U.S. to Seek More Airwaves for Wireless Services at Conference (Echelon)
"Washington -- The United States will recommend at an international conference that more of the world's airwaves -- or spectrum -- be allocated for advanced wireless technologies such as wireless local area data networks (WLANS), says the head of the U.S. delegation. Ambassador Janice Obuchowski outlined U.S. objectives in an interview ahead of the four-week World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC 2003), which is scheduled to begin June 9 in Geneva. She said the United States will also promote a new technology developed by Boeing Corporation that involves delivering wireless communication services from the air. Such a technology would allow access to the Internet from anywhere, including from in-flight aircraft, she said."
Full story -

What is Echelon?
Inside Echelon

Defence conceals a satellite spy station in the Sierra* of Madrid
"According to disclosures in the book "Libertad vigilada" (Watching over freedom), whose author is Nacho Garcma Mostazo, the "Fresnedillas-Navalagamella Satellite Monitoring Station" has ten large parabolic antennae that are allegedly being used to "tap" the satellite communications of the countries around us. The base belongs to the Ministry of Defence, but official sources affirm that its activities there are "a mystery"."
Full story - Cryptome

India's Short Message: We C U
"NEW DELHI, India -- The government here already tracks e-mail and wireless phone calls. Now it wants to tap the text messages that get zapped back and forth on the country's cellular network. The Ministry of Home Affairs, which frames policies regarding security issues, wants wireless service providers to install equipment that makes it possible to tap text messages sent via short message service, or SMS. The Ministry of Communications is pressuring companies to comply. "
Full story - Wired

Echelon Online Surveillance
"Rumours have abounded for several years of a massive system designed to intercept virtually all email and fax traffic in the world and subject it to automated analysis, despite laws in many nations (including this one) barring such activity. The laws were circumvented by a mutual pact among five nations. It's illegal for the United States to spy on it's citizens. Likewise the same for Great Britain. But under the terms of the UKUSA agreement, Britain spies on Americans and America spies on British citizens and the two groups trade data. Technically, it may be legal, but the intent to evade the spirit of the laws protecting the citizens of those two nations is clear."
Full story - Wayfarer Online

" ``But officer, I don't even own a gun.'' You can easily be targeted as a gun or drug dealer or worse because of a satirical comment on the phone. That's the NSA at work."
Full story - Action America

Echelon: The French fight back
"A legal battle that threatens to blow the lid on the covert surveillance network Echelon will reach the courts by autumn according to the lawyer leading the assault on America's National Security Agency (NSA). The plaintiffs, several French corporations and individuals who cannot be identified, allege that the NSA has spied on them illegally."
Full story - ZDNet

ECHELON - Subverting the Constitution
"Government agencies can bypass the Constitution's guarantee against unwarranted search and seizure. Surprise! It's happening NOW."
Full story - Action America

The Echelon spy network
"Euro MPs today published a report into the shadowy Anglo-American intelligence operation known as Echelon. The US government denies Echelon exists. Jane Perrone explains what it is."
Full story - The Guardian

Echelonwatch Highlights
"The Director of the United States National Security Agency, Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden, has suggested that his organization may use ECHELON for domestic surveillance purposes against U.S. citizens. He made this suggestion while testifying before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee."
Full text -

The NSA's ECHELON System
"At the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such [is] the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide."
Full story - Serendipity

Project Echelon: Orbiting Big Brother?
"Earth-orbiting listening posts are on active duty in the United States-led war on terrorism. Signal-seeking spacecraft not only play a critical role in eavesdropping on nations from on high, but also within the borders of the U.S itself. Hints and speculations about the true nature and capabilities of these "all ears" spacecraft have reached folkloric proportions. Some reports suggest that cell phone traffic, ground line chats and faxes, telexes and satellite telecommunications links, as well as Internet emails are intercepted around the planet. Once electronically gobbled up, the information is sifted by supercomputers loaded with souped-up software to flag keywords of special interest to a network of must-know-it-all intelligence communities."
Full story -

Did Echelon Overlook Terrorist Threat?
"The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) engaged the so-called Echelon communications monitoring network, following on warnings of possible terrorist attacks, as long as three months ago, a German publication has reported."
Full story - Cosmiverse

2 spy projects may now get go-ahead
"As the United States wrestles with how to combat terrorism, two controversial and secrecy-shrouded electronic eavesdropping projects are certain to move to the forefront in the government's efforts to prevent new attacks and find those responsible for Tuesday's events. Civil libertarians and privacy groups have opposed both projects, but intelligence experts expect a vengeance-minded Congress to authorize expansions of the FBI's Carnivore Internet-surveillance system and the National Security Agency's global Project Echelon"

Other resources on Echelon:
  • The ACLU's EchelonWatch
  • ECHELON: America's Secret Global Surveillance Network
  • Cipherwar
  • Phone Tapping and Encryption

  • Google this site
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