Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

FC: More on Echelon snooping from Australian journal

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date:          Mon, 24 May 1999 23:31:53 -0400
From:          Declan McCullagh <>
Subject:       FC: More on Echelon snooping from Australian journalist


From: "Coulthart, Ross" <>
To: "''" <>
Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 10:20:46 +1000 


I am investigative reporter for the Nine Network Australia program
'SUNDAY' in Sydney.   We read your reference to a Melbourne Sunday Age
newspaper story reporting on our TV program about the Echelon system,
aired 23 May. ('Big Brother is Listening')   What is very new about
our documentary's revelations is that, for the first time anywhere in
the UKUSA alliance nations, it has been officially admitted that a
system with the capabilities of Echelon exists and that Australia is,
like all other UKUSA nations, sharing intercepted intelligence with
member nations.

If Politech subscribers would like to read a full transcript of the
program and read our FAQ pages, they can view them on the SUNDAY
program website at: Our website also
includes scanned copies of the letters to SUNDAY from the Director of
Australia's Defence Signals Directorate, Mr Martin Brady, where he
makes these admissions.    Mr Brady and Australia's Inspector General
of Intelligence and Security, Mr Bill Blick, also detail aspects of
the still-classified 'SigInt Rules', which are meant to ensure that
the privacy of UKUSA members is respected by this highly intrusive
spying system. These rules are as relevant to American and British
citizens as to Australians because, crucially, our DSD has claimed to
us that each UKUSA nation operates similar rules to restrict the
circumstances in which citizens' telecommunications can be

The concerns expressed in our documentary, conveyed to us by
intelligence sources in Australia and overseas, are that as much as 80
per cent of the raw intercept 'take' from our UKUSA Echelon site at
Geraldton in Western Australia is sent directly to the USA without
scrutiny by Australian eyes. This fact has never been disclosed

There is growing concern in our Defence and State
Department-equivalent that, with the USA so overtly tasking its
intelligence services to procure valuable commercial intelligence for
its trade advantage, Australia is being naive in not scrutinising more
closely just what intelligence America and the UK are obtaining from
bases on our soil.     We should also emphasise that our sources also
speak of the real advantages to Australia from the alliance but
caution that our intelligence planners have not adjusted to the
post-cold war paradigm of competitive commercial intelligence
gathering even between friendly allies.

If any Politech readers want to get in touch with us, my email is:    My phone number in Sydney is: (61.2)
9965 2470.  Fax: (61.2) 9965 2487.   Postal address:  Ross Coulthart,
SUNDAY Program, Nine Network Australia, PO Box 27,  Willoughby, NSW 

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