This page is about Project Echelon,
which is a government eavesdropping system along the lines
but on a world-wide scale.
is Echelon? "Only in a 'police state' is the unrestricted
interception of communications permitted by government authorities."
Inside Echelon: During
the 1980s, the NSA developed a "fast data finder" microprocessor that was optimally designed for
this purpose. It was later commercially marketed, with claims that it "the most comprehensive
character-string comparison functions of any text retrieval system in the world". A single
unit could work with "trillions of bytes of textual archive and thousands of online users, or
gigabytes of live data stream per day that are filtered against tens of thousands of complex
Secret Global Surveillance Network. In the greatest surveillance effort
ever established, the US National Security Agency has created a global spy system,
codename ECHELON, which captures and analyzes virtually every phone call, fax, email
and telex message sent anywhere in the world.
a term associated with a global network of computers that automatically search through
millions of intercepted messages for pre-programmed keywords or fax, telex and e-mail
addresses. Every word of every message in the frequencies and channels selected at a
station is automatically searched.
Altivore, Echelon: In terms of privacy concerns as well as raw technological
power, Carnivore looks like a toy compared to Echelon. Echelon is almost certainly
the world's most sophisticated network monitoring system and, if rumors are to be believed,
anyone who feels uncomfortable with the secrecy surrounding Carnivore should feel downright
paranoid where Echelon is concerned.
Somebody's listening. American,
British and Allied intelligence agencies are soon to embark on a massive, billion-dollar
expansion of their global electronic surveillance system. According to information
given recently in secret to the US Congress, the surveillance system will enable the agencies
to monitor and analyse civilian communications into the 21st century. Identified for
the moment as Project P415, the system will be run by the US National Security Agency.
Echelon's Architect: Echelon
now has a big brother. Meet Bruce McIndoe, lead architect for
Echelon II, the 'most productive intelligence program' in history.
attack. Internet activists [in October 1999] tried to overwhelm
National Security Agency eavesdroppers by flooding the Echelon spy system with
fabricated messages about terrorist plots and bombs. The idea never posed
a real threat to the NSA, but the electronic protest helped raise awareness of
the fact that the government is snooping on every man, woman and child in the
country through this system.
Exposing The Global Surveillance
System. Designed and coordinated by NSA, the ECHELON
system is used to intercept ordinary e-mail, fax, telex, and telephone communications
carried over the world's telecommunications networks. Unlike many of the
electronic spy systems developed during the Cold War, ECHELON is designed primarily
for non-military targets: governments, organizations, businesses, and individuals
in virtually every country. It potentially affects every person communicating
between (and sometimes within) countries anywhere in the world.
My parents were
spies. I grew up just outside RAF Chicksand (at the time an American base,
despite the "RAF"). It's most distinctive feature was a giant double circle antenna
we used to call "The Elephants Cage" which didn't appear on any maps. It was common
local knowledge amongst kids that it was part of a global spy network and if you ever said
"bomb" on the phone it would start taping you. Hence whenever using the phone we
used to say "bomb" a lot. Don't ask me where we got this from, but it looks like
it's turned out to be at least partially true.
Echelon — Rights
Violation in the Information Age: Now that the cold
war is over, covert agencies around the world are increasingly turning
their SIGINT assets, most notably a vast global electronic spy system
known as Echelon, against civilian targets. Itís enough to give any
decent rights-respecting individual nightmares.
Big brother without a cause? Critics accuse the United States' intelligence
community and its English-speaking partners of waging what is in effect a new Cold War. At
stake are international contracts worth billions of dollars, and at the disposal of the
spymasters is an intelligence gathering system of immense power.
Downplays Echelon Effect: A global surveillance system known
as Echelon does exist and has the ability to eavesdrop on telephone calls,
faxes and e-mail messages, a European Parliament committee has concluded.
you need to know about Echelon: Civil rights groups who monitor Echelon say
it can be used to intercept almost any electronic communication, be it a phone conversation,
mobile phone call, e-mail message, fax transmission, net browsing history, or satellite
transmission. The wildest estimates of its capabilities report that it can sift
through up to 90% of all internet traffic.
Panel Calls It a Day: "I think it's very good that the report
states clearly that Echelon exists, so the work we've done is not in vain."
excesses: There is a strong belief in
intelligence circles that Brian Regan may have been the
first spy nabbed by "Echelon," the highly classified information
gathering and dissemination network operated by the U.S. National
Security Agency and its global partners.
US spy system
under attack: The Echelon system, originally set up during the Cold War,
is known to be capable of intercepting private telephone conversations, faxes and
Call for Echelon Probe: Fresh outrage in Japan
over alleged U.S. satellite-based spying, coupled with European pressure on the same
subject, could add urgency to calls for Congress to engage in a serious investigation
of the so-called Echelon system.
Document location http://www.akdart.com/echelon.html
Updated July 31, 2005.