- To: email@example.com
- Subject: CPSR-GLOBAL digest 732: electronic spy network
- From: "Ralf E. Streibl" <res@Informatik.Uni-Bremen.DE>
- Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 11:02:47 +0100 (MET)
Liebe FIFFerlinge, anbei ein interessanter Text, den ich aus einer
Mailinglist der CPSR erhalten habe.
>Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 12:38:19 -0500
>From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Marsha Woodbury)
>Subject: electronic spy network (@)
>>Date: 21 Dec 1997 21:05:37 -0000
>>From: Julian Assange <email@example.com>
>>Subject: LACC: echelon report to be tabled in european parliament
>>[Daily Telegraph, 16 Dec 1997]
>>A GLOBAL electronic spy network that can eavesdrop on every telephone,
>>email and telex communication around the world will be officially
>>acknowledged for the first time in a European Commission report to be
>>delivered this week.
>>The report - Assessing the Technologies of Political Control - was
>>commissioned last year by the Civil Liberties Committee of the European
>>Parliament. It contains details of a network of American-controlled
>>intelligence stations on British soil and around the world, that "routinely
>>and indiscriminately" monitor countless phone, fax and email messages.
>>It states: "Within Europe all email telephone and fax communications are
>>routinely intercepted by the United States National Security Agency
>>transfering all target information from the European mainland via the
>>strategic hub of London then by satellite to Fort Meade in Maryland via the
>>crucial hub at Menwith Hill in the North York moors in the UK."
>>The report confirms for the first time the existence of the secretive
>>Until now, evidence of such astounding technology has been patchy and
>>anecdotal. But the report - to be discussed on Thursday by the committee of
>>the office of Science and Technology Assessment in Luxembourg -
>>confirms that the citizens of Britain and other European states are
>>an intensity of surveillance far in excess of that imagined by most
>>parliaments. Its findings are certain to excite the concern of MEPs.
>>"The ECHELON system forms part of the UKUSA system (see 'Cooking
>>up a charter for snooping') but unlike many of the electronic spy systems
>>developed during the Cold War, ECHELON is designed primarily for
>>non-military targets: governments, organizations and businesses in
>>virtually every country.
>>"The ECHELON system works by indiscriminately intercepting very large
>>quantities of communications and then siphoning out what is valuable using
>>artificial intelligence aids like MEMEX to find key words".
>>According to the report, ECHELON uses a number of national dictionaries
>>containing key words of interest to each country.
>>For more than a decade, former agents of US, British, Canadian and New
>>Zealand national security agencies have claimed that the monitoring of
>>electronic communications has become endemic throughout the world.
>>Rumours have circulated that new technologies have been developed which
>>have the capability to search most of the world's telex, fax and email
>>networks for "key words". Phone calls, they claim, can be automatically
>>analysed for key words.
>>Former signals intelligence operatives have claimed that spy bases
>>controlled by America have the ability to search nearly all data
>>communications for key words. They claim that ECHELON automatically analyses
>>most email messaging for "precursor" data which assists intelligence
>>agencies to determine targets. According to former Canadian Security
>>Establishment agent Mike Frost, a voice recognition system called Oratory
>>has been used for some years to intercept diplomatic calls.
>>The driving force behind the report is Glyn Ford, Labour MEP for Greater
>>Manchester East. He believes that the report is crucial to the future of
>>liberties in Europe.
>>"In the civil liberties committee we spend a great deal of time debating
>>issues such as free movement, immigration and drugs. Technology always
>>sits at the centre of these discussions. There are times in history when
>>technology helps democratise, and times when it helps centralise. This is a
>>time of centralisation. The justice and home affairs pillar of Europe has
>>become more powerful without a corresponding strengthening of civil
>>The report recommends a variety of measures for dealing with the
>>increasing power of the technologies of surveillance being used at Menwith
>>Hill and other centres. It bluntly advises: "The European Parliament should
>>reject proposals from the United States for making private messages via the
>>global communications network (Internet) accessible to US intelligence
>>The report also urges a fundamental review of the involvement of the
>>American NSA (National Security Agency) in Europe, suggesting that their
>>activities be either scaled down, or become more open and accountable.
>>Such concerns have been privately expressed by governments and MEPs
>>since the Cold War, but surveillance has continued to expand. US
>>intelligence activity in Britain has enjoyed a steady growth throughout the
>>past two decades. The principal motivation for this rush of development is
>>the US interest in commercial espionage. In the Fifties, during the
>>development of the "special relationship" between America and Britain,
>>one US institution was singled out for special attention.
>>The NSA, the world's biggest and most powerful signals intelligence
>>organisation, received approval to set up a network of spy stations
>>throughout Britain. Their role was to provide military, diplomatic and
>>economic intelligence by intercepting communications from throughout the
>>The NSA is one of the shadowiest of the US intelligence agencies. Until a few
>>years ago, it existence was a secret and its charter and any mention of its
>>duties are still classified. However, it does have a Web site
>>(www.nsa.gov:8080) in which it describes itself as being responsible for the
>>signals intelligence and communications security activities of the US
>>One of its bases, Menwith Hill, was to become the biggest spy station in the
>>world. Its ears - known as radomes - are capable of listening in to vast
>>chunks of the communications spectrum throughout Europe and the old
>>In its first decade the base sucked data from cables and microwave links
>>running through a nearby Post Office tower, but the communications
>>revolutions of the Seventies and Eighties gave the base a capability that
>>even its architects could scarcely have been able to imagine. With the
>>creation of Intelsat and digital telecommunications, Menwith and other
>>stations developed the capability to eavesdrop on an extensive scale on fax,
>>telex and voice messages. Then, with the development of the Internet,
>>electronic mail and electronic commerce, the listening posts were able to
>>increase their monitoring capability to eavesdrop on an unprecedented
>>spectrum of personal and business communications.
>>This activity has been all but ignored by the UK Parliament. When Labour
>>MPs raised questions about the activities of the NSA, the Government
>>invoked secrecy rules. It has been the same for 40 years.
>>Glyn Ford hopes that his report may be the first step in a long road to more
>>openness. "Some democratically elected body should surely have a right to
>>know at some level. At the moment that's nowhere".
>>Prof. Julian Assange |If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people
>> |together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks
>>firstname.lastname@example.org |and work, but rather teach them to long for the
>>email@example.com |immensity of the sea. -- Antoine de Saint Exupery
>Dr. Dave Nichols
>Computing Department, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YR UK
>email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (01524) 65201 Ext. 3262
> 'It's great to be back, wherever I am, I always love it when I'm here' -
>Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 14:12:19 -0500
>From: "Robin Rice" <email@example.com> (by way of firstname.lastname@example.org
>Subject: Re: electronic spy network (@)
>"Robin Rice" <email@example.com>
>Yes, what a privacy scandal (as well as U.S. hegemony). The funny
>part is that anyone who was really a threat would know better than to
>use the kind of keywords they scan for.
>> >crucial hub at Menwith Hill in the North York moors in the UK."
>My partner visited that place and met local activists who get past
>the barbed wire fence and routinly vandalize it, when he worked for
>an organization called Nukewatch. I'm trying to remember the keyword
>demonstrated by one of the activists--he'd make a telephone call, say
>the word _________ (bomb? something nuke-related) and the phone would
>End of CPSR-GLOBAL Digest 732