The truth will be told

Discussion in 'World Events' started by tablariddim, Feb 27, 2000.

  1. tablariddim forexU2 Valued Senior Member

    This piece of news came out yesterday:

    The European Parliament was briefed yesterday about a global surveillance system called Echelon. Greek Euro MP Alecos Alovanos said the British Bases in Cyprus are heavily involved, with two earth stations, at Ay. Nicolas and Akrotiri. Alovanos says the stations are linked with a central station in the UK and others in the US and elsewhere in the British Commonwealth. Allegations that the stations are engaged in economic and commercial espionage were levelled at them by the French but others expressed concern about their national security being compromised.

    The system is capable of intercepting the millions of telephone, fax and e-mails being sent globally at any moment and eavesdrop on any single one. Concern about security here in Cyprus was voiced by Defence Minister Socrates Hasikos yesterday, who said he would be seeking clarification through diplomatic channels.

    Today, we were told that this system was devised by the US and that they originally wanted to site it in Turkey.
    Turkey refused (as they always do when it comes to helping any Western power) and so the Americans made a deal with the British to site their system within the British military bases in Cyprus.
    It was disclosed that the surveillence system was not only capable of skyward detection but that it could actually be aimed at targets by being beamed through the Earths crust, therefore Cyprus (or Turkey) were perfectly located for spying on the Soviet Union.
    The ironic thing is that the Americans and the British signed their deal on the day of the colonels uprising and coup in Greece in 1967. ( be informed that during the same week that Cyprus was invaded by Turkey in July 1974, the military coup in Greece ended, obviously another deal had been signed somewhere!
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


    Ouch. I found a page through

    It's a huge report on European communications intelligence that mentions ECHELON many times. It'll take me a while to get through that thing.


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  5. tablariddim forexU2 Valued Senior Member

    yeah i just had a quick look at that site, was Orwell right or what?
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Well what scares me is how I perceive this is shaping up in an even bigger issue. Certainly, this kind of technology will help the ... um ... benevolent, as such, powers know when a rogue deal is happening for a nuclear missile, or even when to expect those fifteen-hundred pounds of cocaine. But there's a number of subcultures (of which I belong to at least one) hovering around the edges of society composed of relatively productive people that will simply retreat further underground. Most of it centers around "crimes of consent": drugs, prostitution, gambling, and so on. I mean, I'll never buy a hooker, but I think it should be legal, and I don't think you should be busting johns by listening to their cel-phones. I mean, how many rogue nuke deals are happening every day that nobody's going to get bored focusing on big game? If there's one thing we know about Western democracies its that they love to let the power "trickle down". On the whole, I still don't get why everybody's fighting in the first place, so I don't understand entirely why this thing is necessary. But I suppose I'm just an idealist in that sense.

    I try to avoid "one-wold government" paranoia. But I don't care how much money I make in how crime-free of a society if I have to keep my mouth shut and pretend I'm happy when I'm not. Besides, if the guns running about the Mediterranean are interrupted, then cocaine prices will go up, which means all drugs will go up, which makes prostitution more expensive and causes gambling debts to be recouped with more aggression. How's that for a bloody domino effect?

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    It's actually that I tend to distrust any big, multinational intelligence-gathering system. I can't help it.


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  8. Rambler Senior Member Registered Senior Member

    Hi All,
    Was this system developed by the NSA. I have read some stuff (will try to find article and reference) about a micro processor able to monitor a phenomonal number of channels simultaneously. The project wasn't classified and put forward as SETI technology, i.e. to monitor the sky for intelligent signals. However 4 of these chips can monitor every phone conversation in the US simultaneously. Upon further investigation this article stated that at least 70 percent of the funding originated from the NSA..... does any of this sound familiar? could this be the system you guys are refering to?

    work to LIVE...don't live to WORK.
  9. Lori Registered Senior Member


    You get two thumbs up from me for the "no hookers" sentiment. Thanks. I find so little joy in this world, I just had to share and compliment.

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  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Lori ...

    Winks & cuddles.

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    (That'll be $20.00, please.)

    grinning insanely,

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    The whole business with the fossilized dinosaur eggs was a joke the paleontologists haven't seen yet. (Good Omens, Gaiman & Pratchett)
  11. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

    While I find the government's paranoia against We the People disturbing, I also find a big problem in their system.

    For years we in Silicon Valley have known that any signal we send, wireless or otherwise, can be picked up by anybody with the right equipment. Even your personal conversations face to face were subject to observation. For example, my brother and I walked into a McDonald's discussing tactics that we were going to use in a tabletop wargame where we were terrorists and we had to cause a great deal of damage somewhere in the government. We had decided to shoot the president. Three days later, President Reagan got shot. During our conversation, however, which never mentioned that it was only a game, we both noticed a guy pouring over the Wall Street Journal who, by his body language, was more interested in our conversation than the PacBell ad he was reading. His behavior was suspicious, and as we left the restaurant, he tailed us. There's still the possibility that it was coincidence, but unless he was lost or looking to score drugs, this guy didn't belong where we went. Nothing more came of it, but I'll bet he was more than just casually interested in our game.

    The point is this. We have been under surveillance (at least in these parts) for quite some time, yet we still speak our minds. We are still disgruntled with the government, and with the frequent visits Clinton does out here, many loudly voice that they would like to see him shot. Some even try to see how close they can get, just in case they ever decide to do it. Some of these people can be quite dangerous, and if Big Spooky (my pet name for the government's network of spies and hit-men) was watching us as closely as is supposed, these people wouldn't be allowed near the president. Instead, these people are allowed to come face to face with the president. Some of them are even packing guns. The process of monitoring us, if that's what they're doing, is so flawed that my mother once met President Bush while carrying a .38 in her purse. I, myself, nearly ran over Clinton during a visit to my hometown when the guy jogged along my commute route (that's a story in and of itself, but suffice to say I had the green light, dammit!). The security just isn't as tight as they'd like to have us believe.

    It doesn't matter what kind of cameras and microphones they put up. There is no government that is revolution-proof. There will always be more citizens than there are spooks and soldiers. If we get pissed enough, nothing will stop us. Since there are more of us than there are of them, remember that if one man is afraid of one hundred, that's common sense. If one hundred men are afraid of one, that's cowardice.

    I could go farther into this, but I have to get to work now.

    I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will fight, kill, and die for your right to say it.

    [This message has been edited by Oxygen (edited February 29, 2000).]
  12. Pookums Registered Senior Member

    Hey all,

    My sentiments regarding the Spooks watching me and my life...."Bah, let them watch". In fact, I truly hope some overcaffeinated, underpaid, fresh-outta-spook-school minion is going over my life with a fine-toothed comb. Further, I hope that he hates me and the powers that be that forced him to watch a boring stooge such as myself.

    My point is that (as mentioned above) numbers are a real big factor in this scenario. Yeah, sure they have the means to observe anyone they wish with an intensity that would make the watching I got by my fourth grade teacher seem oddly nice and pleasant. Simply because they have the means, does not mean that they have the desire to watch us. I mean, let's face it; most of us live relatively boring lives and any sort of crime we commit is generally considered quasi-legal anyway (e.g. crimes of consent).

    On the flip side of the coin, there are a number of baddies out there whose intent is solely to do harm. Hypothetically, let's imagine that someone is pissed off at the US powers and decides to do a symbolic gesture, such as blow up a building. Never mind that it is blown-up during a week day when there are a number of normal joes (and janes) punching the clock. Oops! My bad! This happened!

    Come on, given that there are people out there willing to do things like that (and actually are able to do it sometimes), I think that the NSA and others have their hands full already and leave us 'normals' alone.

    We get the government we deserve. The reason that organizations like NSA were made was due to pressure to protect us from threats 'foreign and domestic'. They don't always do their job, don't do it well, or overdo it; however, I wouldn't want to be them.

    Now everyone smile for the (Abscam) camera!


    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
    -Mark Twain

    [This message has been edited by Pookums (edited March 07, 2000).]
  13. TIME02112 Registered Senior Member

    Echelon 'Proof' Discovered
    by Chris Oakes
    3:00 a.m. 26.Jan.2000 PST
    References to a project Echelon have been found for the first time in declassified National Security Agency documents, says the researcher who found them.
    After combing through declassified National Security Agency documents, Jeffrey Richelson, a researcher for the National Security Archives, has concluded that Echelon -- the purported name of the alleged international project for intercepting all forms of electronic communication -- does exist.
    (The National Security Archive is an independent, non-governmental research institute and library at George Washington University, according to its Web site, and has no relation to the National Security Agency.)

    More Infostructure in Wired News
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    Echelon 'Confirmation': Not

    "[The documents] provide government confirmation of the Echelon program," Richelson said.
    At the same time, Richelson said the documents indicate that it may not have nearly the illicit scope and nature held by some of the more extreme conspiracy theories regarding Echelon.
    "My research suggests that it's much more limited than the extreme cases make out," he said.
    In fact, Richelson said he doubts the agency has overstepped any legal bounds in executing the Echelon program.
    Intelligence watchdogs suspect that national agencies worldwide -- led by the NSA and others -- are intercepting and handing off private communications among citizens to each other.
    Richelson found the telling information in a mountain of documents he obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
    Some he obtained as recently as the last six months. Others he's had for years. He published his findings on the Web for the first time last week.
    One of the documents Richelson highlights for its specific reference to project Echelon pertains to the functions of naval security group activity in Sugar Grove, West Virginia.
    Richelson said documents make clear that a program called Echelon is associated with the Sugar Grove installation.
    Echelon has been described by privacy groups as a global surveillance network that intercepts all kinds of communications for redistribution among the primary partners in a decades-old U.K.-U.S. alliance that also includes Australia and New Zealand. But Richelson said that the vision is probably far bigger than the reality.
    Echelon 'Proof' Discovered page 2
    3:00 a.m. 26.Jan.2000 PST
    "Echelon is a more limited program," he wrote on his site.
    Those limitations, he said, include restrictions imposed on collection activities by the UK-U.S. allies regarding the citizens of those countries.
    "Thus, the [Naval instruction document] also specifies that one of the responsibilities of the commander of the Sugar Grove site is to 'ensure [that] the privacy of U.S. citizens are properly safeguarded pursuant to the provisions of USSID 18."
    The agency's public affairs office did not respond to email seeking comment on the findings. The office has consistently declined to comment on Echelon-related developments.
    Last week, however, Michael Jacobs, deputy director for information systems security at the NSA, bristled at the notion that his agency would spy on U.S. citizens. Strict internal policies, he said, prevent the agency from doing such a thing.
    "That is not our job," Jacobs said. "We take those restrictions very seriously."
    Steven Aftergood, who edits the Secrecy & Government Bulletin Project on Government Secrecy Federation and has been following the Echelon story, accepts Richelson's findings and conclusions.
    "Is this reference to activation of Echelon units a reference to what we have to come know and love as the Echelon network? I would say it appears so," Aftergood said. "That's what Richelson is asserting and I buy it."
    So is it a big deal?
    "It's interesting because I don't know of any other official government documents that make reference to Echelon by name," Aftergood said. "It's certainly interesting from that point of view."
    But he, like Richelson himself, sees no smoking gun.
    "I don't think this document in itself raises any significant questions. The fact that there is such a network with various stations around the globe ... that's entirely non-controversial," Aftergood said.
    "It does not get into other aspects of the Echelon mythology such as its use for domestic surveillance, economic espionage, or other questionable activities. So from that perspective it doesn't create any new questions."
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    Related Wired Links:

    Say Hello to the NSA

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    NSA Spies Running Dry?

    ACLU to Spy on Echelon

    ECHELON Websites:>

    by Nicky Hager
    from his book SECRET POWER
    For 40 years, New Zealand's largest intelligence agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) the nation's equivalent of the US National Security Agency (NSA) had been helping its Western allies to spy on countries throughout the Pacific region, without the knowledge of the New Zealand public or many of its highest elected officials. What the NSA did not know is that by the late 1980s, various intelligence staff had decided these activities had been too secret for too long, and were providing me with interviews and documents exposing New Zealand's intelligence activities. Eventually, more than 50 people who work or have worked in intelligence and related fields agreed to be interviewed.

    The activities they described made it possible to document, from the South Pacific, some alliance-wide systems and projects which have been kept secret elsewhere. Of these, by far the most important is ECHELON.
    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) countriesanywhere in the world.

    It is, of course, not a new idea that intelligence organizations tap into e-mail and other public telecommunications networks. What was new in the material leaked by the New Zealand intelligence staff was precise information on where the spying is done, how the system works, its capabilities and shortcomings, and many details such as the codenames.
    The ECHELON system is not designed to eavesdrop on a particular individual's e-mail or fax link.

    Rather, the system works by indiscriminately intercepting very large quantities of communications and using computers to identify and extract messages of interest from the mass of unwanted ones. A chain of secret interception facilities has been established around the world to tap into all the major components of the international telecommunications networks. Some monitor communications satellites, others land-based communications networks, and others radio communications. ECHELON links together all these facilities, providing the US and its allies with the ability to intercept a large proportion of the communications on the planet.

    The computers at each station in the ECHELON network automatically search through the millions of messages intercepted for ones containing pre-programmed keywords. Keywords include all the names, localities, subjects, and so on that might be mentioned. Every word of every message intercepted at each station gets automatically searched whether or not a specific telephone number or e-mail address is on the list.

    Six UKUSA station target Intelsat satellites
    used to relay-and to intercept-most of the
    world's e-mail,fax, and telex communications.

    The thousands of simultaneous messages are read in "real time" as they pour into the station, hour after hour, day after day, as the computer finds intelligence needles in telecommunications haystacks.

    The computers in stations around the globe are known, within the network, as the ECHELON Dictionaries. Computers that can automatically search through traffic for keywords have existed since at least the 1970s, but the ECHELON system was designed by NSA to interconnect all these computers and allow the stations to function as components of an integrated whole.

    The NSA and GCSB are bound together under the five-nation UKUSA signals intelligence agreement. The other three partners all with equally obscure names are the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Britain, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) in Canada, and the Defense Signals Directorate (DSD) in Australia.
    The alliance, which grew from cooperative efforts during World War II to intercept radio transmissions, was formalized into the UKUSA agreement in 1948 and aimed primarily against the USSR. The five UKUSA agencies are today the largest intelligence organizations in their respective countries. With much of the world's business occurring by fax, e-mail, and phone, spying on these communications receives the bulk of intelligence resources. For decades before the introduction of the ECHELON system, the UKUSA allies did intelligence collection operations for each other, but each agency usually processed and analyzed the intercept from its own stations.

    Under ECHELON, a particular station's Dictionary computer contains not only its parent agency's chosen keywords, but also has lists entered in for other agencies. In New Zealand's satellite interception station at Waihopai (in the South Island), for example, the computer has separate search lists for the NSA, GCHQ, DSD, and CSE in addition to its own. Whenever the Dictionary encounters a message containing one of the agencies' keywords,on it.
    Every word of every message intercepted at each station gets automatically searched- whether or not a specific telephone number or e-mail address is on the list.

    automatically picks it and sends it directly to the headquarters of the agency concerned. No one in New Zealand screens, or even sees, the intelligence collected by the New Zealand station for the foreign agencies. Thus, the stations of the junior UKUSA allies function for the NSA no differently than if they were overtly NSA-run bases located on their soil.
    The first component of the ECHELON network are stations specifically targeted on the international telecommunications satellites (Intelsats) used by the telephone companies of most countries. A ring of Intelsats is positioned around the world, stationary above the equator, each serving as a relay station for tens of thousands of simultaneous phone calls, fax, and e-mail. Five UKUSA stations have been established to intercept the communications carried by the Intelsats.

    The British GCHQ station is located at the top of high cliffs above the sea at Morwenstow in Cornwall. Satellite dishes beside sprawling operations buildings point toward Intelsats above the Atlantic, Europe, and, inclined almost to the horizon, the Indian Ocean. An NSA station at Sugar Grove, located 250 kilometers southwest of Washington, DC, in the mountains of West Virginia, covers Atlantic Intelsats transmitting down toward North and South America. Another NSA station is in Washington State, 200 kilometers southwest of Seattle, inside the Army's Yakima Firing Center. Its satellite dishes point out toward the Pacific Intelsats and to the east.

    The job of intercepting Pacific Intelsat communications that cannot be intercepted at Yakima went to New Zealand and Australia. Their South Pacific location helps to ensure global interception. New Zealand provides the station at Waihopai and Australia supplies the Geraldton station in West Australia (which targets both Pacific and Indian Ocean Intelsats).
    Each of the five stations' Dictionary computers has a codename to distinguish it from others in the network. The Yakima station, for instance, located in desert country between the Saddle Mountains and Rattlesnake Hills, has the COWBOY Dictionary, while the Waihopai station has the FLINTLOCK Dictionary.

    These codenames are recorded at the beginning of every intercepted message, before it is transmitted around the ECHELON network, allowing analysts to recognize at which station the interception occurred.

    New Zealand intelligence staff has been closely involved with the NSA's Yakima station since 1981, when NSA pushed the GCSB to contribute to a project targeting Japanese embassy communications. Since then, all five UKUSA agencies have been responsible for monitoring diplomatic cables from all Japanese posts within the same segments of the globe they are assigned for general UKUSA monitoring. Until New Zealand's integration into ECHELON with the opening of the Waihopai station in 1989, its share of the Japanese communications was intercepted at Yakima and sent unprocessed to the GCSB headquarters in Wellington for decryption, translation, and writing into UKUSA-format intelligence reports (the NSA provides the codebreaking programs).

    S ee also:
    Crypto AG: The NSA's Trojan Whore?
    about the compromise of trusted ecryption hardware
    Networking with Spooks
    about control over the internet domain name system
    Big Brother Goes Hi Tech
    about loss of privacy in the information age
    The Secret FISA Court:
    Rubberstamping on Rights
    about the loss of legal protections from covert surveillance.

    "Everything You Know, Wrong"!


    [This message has been edited by TIME02112 (edited March 13, 2000).]
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


    Sorry to disturb you, but I was going to ask you about a news story I hadn't had time to follow up on. I had read at the Financial Times website a headline about a UN soldier killed in Cyprus with his own weapon. However, I can't find the story anywhere for the time being.

    Have I gone crazy? (That the story would be true is no indication that I have not lost my mind, I suppose, but ....)

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  15. tablariddim forexU2 Valued Senior Member

    yes it's true, apparently a British serviceman in the UN Cyprus peace keeping force shot himself dead.
    I tried to find out more details but I couldn't find anything on the net. It's old news now.
    I don't think there's anything more sinister behind it.

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