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[FYI] (Fwd) FC: The Economist on Echelon spy system: Tapping is rout

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Sat, 29 Apr 2000 09:48:58 -0700
To:             	politech@vorlon.mit.edu
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject:        	FC: The Economist on Echelon spy system: Tapping is routine
Send reply to:  	declan@well.com



The Economist
Online edition Apr 29th - May 5th 2000

Those perfidious Anglo spies

Allegations that Britain helps America and others spy on its European
allies have annoyed some across the Channel

This is an Anglo-Saxon Protestant conspiracy. So much for Britain's
commitment to European solidarity; its real union is with America.  So
complained Jean-Claude Martinez, a French member of the European
Parliament after a debate on eavesdropping by Britain and other
English-speaking countries. Is electronic snooping in danger of
driving a further wedge between Britain and its European allies?

The spy system Mr Martinez decried, dubbed Echelon, has long been a
target of conspiracy theorists and campaigners for civil liberties.
They claim that western spies routinely gather and share private
information by monitoring electronic communication and satellites. In
particular, the Anglo-Saxons (American, Canada, New Zealand and
Australia, as well as Britain) are said to listen to Europeans by
using equipment set up during the cold war.

A recent report for the European Parliament by a British journalist,
Duncan Campbell, detailed how easily communications can be monitored.
He described various sites in Britain (some used by American security
services) where information is gathered and processed. This report,
along with earlier ones and allegations in the French press, spurred
demands from more than 170 MEPs for a further inquiry: it is a very
dangerous attack on the sovereignty of member states, complained one
speaker. The MEPs will get a temporary committee of inquiry and
Portugal, the current president of the European Union, plans a
discussion of industrial espionage for an informal meeting of the
Council of Foreign Ministers next month.

There are two broad accusations against Britain and its
English-speaking allies: that they illicitly monitor communications
among European governments and businesses, and share that information
between themselves; and that such monitoring is done for commercial


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