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Posted Saturday, August 22, 1998


Fifteen Years after 1984 - and Big Brother is Listening more than Ever Before


Who's Listening?

THE UNITED STATES-led ECHELON spy network is eavesdropping on the whole world.

Village Voice has some great articles on human rights violations (in New York State-as well as NOW's NY offices getting involved in a huge class action case against NYS) and international surveillance ECHELON govt project.

That system is called ECHELON and it is controlled by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). In America, it is the Intelligence Network That Dare Not Be Acknowledged.

Questions about it at Defense Department briefings are deftly deflected. Requests for information about it under the Freedom of Information Act linger in bureaucratic limbo. Researchers who mention possible uses of it in the presence of intelligence officials are castigated.

Members of Congress -- theoretically, the people's representatives who provide oversight of the intelligence community -- betray no interest in helping anyone find out anything about it.

Media outlets (save the award-winning but low-circulation Covert Action Quarterly) ignore it. In the official view of the U.S. Government, it doesn't exist.


The NSA has been snooping the world's telecommunications traffic for years... the top secret project ECHELON is exposed in former New Zeland Intelligence Agent Nicky Hager's book Secret Power.

In the late in 1980s, in a decision it probably regrets, the United States prompted New Zealand to join a new and highly secret global intelligence system. Hager's investigation into it and his discovery of the ECHELON dictionary have revealed one of the world's biggest, most closely held intelligence projects. The system allows spy agencies to monitor most of the world's telephone, e-mail, and telex communications.

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.

"We feel we can no longer remain silent regarding that which we regard to be gross malpractice and negligence within the establishment in which we operate," aid British intelligence operatives.     

Our opinion
ONCE AGAIN we state our postion: we have no objection to the "good Guys" listening to every word we speak or write or even think. They have no need to spend your tax dollars doing this, they can knock on our front door, and we'll leave them happily alone with our files and computer discs - as long as they return them all to us in good condition. It is when the Bad Guys start doing the same thing that we get worried...

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