Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

Interception Capabilities 2000 ("IC2000")

7 May 1999

Date: Thu, 06 May 1999 21:53:41 +0100
To: John Young <>
From: IPTV Ltd <>
Subject: Communications interception and ECHELON : 1999 STOA report for European Parliament released

6 May 1999 (for release 7 May 1999)

Interception Capabilities 2000 ("IC2000")

The IC2000 report on communications interception and ECHELON was approved as a working document by the Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel of the European Parliament (STOA) at their meeting in Strasbourg on 6 May 1999.

The report is therefore available for public distribution from the European Parliament office in Luxembourg. A web version has been prepared and will be placed on the on the EP web site. Until that version is loaded, specialist groups and media writers can obtain the report from the temoporary web site listed at the end of this message.

Duncan Campbell
IPTV Ltd, Edinburgh
+ 44 131 656 6566

Key findings of the IC2000 report

Comprehensive systems exist to access, intercept and process every important modern form of communications, with few exceptions (section 2, technical annexe);

The report provides original new documentary and other evidence about the ECHELON system and its role in the interception of communication satellites (section 3). In excess of 120 satellite based systems are currently in simultaneous operation collecting intelligence (section 2). Submarines are routinely used to access and intercept undersea communications systems.

There is wide-ranging evidence indicating that major governments are routinely utilising communications intelligence to provide commercial advantage to companies and trade.

Although "word spotting" search systems to automatically select telephone calls of intelligence interest are not thought to be effective, speaker recognition systems in effect, "voiceprints" have been developed and are deployed to recognise the speech of targeted individuals making international telephone calls;

Recent diplomatic initiatives by the United States government seeking European agreement to the "key escrow" system of cryptography masked intelligence collection requirements, forming part of a long-term program which has undermined and continues to undermine the communications privacy European companies and citizens;

Interception for legally authorised domestic interception and interception for clandestine intelligence purposes must be sharply distinguished. A clear boundary between law enforcement and "national security" interception activity is essential to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Providing the measures called for in the 1998 Parliamentary resolution on "Transatlantic relations/ECHELON measures may be facilitated by developing an in-depth understanding of present and future Comint capabilities. Protective measures may best be focused on defeating hostile Comint activity by denying access or, where this is impractical or impossible, preventing processing of message content and associated traffic information by general use of cryptography.

In relation to the manner in which Internet browsers and other software is deliberately weakened for use by other than US citizens, consideration could be given to a countermeasure whereby, if systems with disabled cryptographic systems are sold outside the United States, they should be required to conform to an "open standard" such that third parties and other nations may provide additional applications which restore the level of security to at least that enjoyed by domestic US customers.

It should be possible to define and enforce a shared interest in implementing measures to defeat future external Sigint activities directed against European states, citizens and commercial activities.

The report is available at [1,101K]

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