Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

Spying on the Spies

Spying on the Spies by Niall McKay

12:15 p.m. 10.May.99.PDT The National Security Agency has its ear to the world, but doesn't listen to everyone at once.

That was one conclusion of a new report, Interception Capabilities 2000, accepted late last week by the European Parliament's Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel (STOA).

The panel commissioned Duncan Campbell, a British investigative reporter, to prepare a report on Echelon, the US-led satellite surveillance network.

"I have no objection to these systems monitoring serious criminals and terrorists," said Glyn Ford, a British Labour Party member of parliament and a committee member of STOA. "But what is missing here is accountability, clear guidelines as to who they can listen to, and in what circumstances these laws apply."

Campbell was asked to investigate the system in the wake of charges made last year in the European Parliament that Echelon was being used to funnel European government and industry secrets into US hands.