INDEPENDENT NEWS

Australian Govt Confirms Global Spy Agency Exists

Published: Fri 5 Nov 1999 02:42 PM
Confirmation has come from the Australian government that Echelon, a global network which can eavesdrop on phone, fax or e-mail anywhere on the planet, does exist. US Congressmen are calling for a full inquiry. John Howard reports.
New Zealander, Nicky Hagar, had earlier written about Echelon in one of his books.
Now the man who oversees Australia's security services, Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Bill Blick, has confirmed in a BBC interview that their Defence Signals Directorate does form part of the Echelon network.
Now that is has been acknowledged US congressman, led by Republican Bob Barr, are taking the threat to civil liberties seriously and are calling for a full inquiry.
With listening posts around the world the Echelon project, is controlled and managed by the US National Security Agency at Fort Mead.
Every international telephone call, fax, e-mail or radio transmission can be listened to by powerful computers capable of voice recognition. Allegedly the system is looking for evidence of international crime like terrorism.
But by its very nature of using key words or patterns of messages, Echelon gathers up and analyses far more information than just terrorist and criminal threats. The system of key words is so widespread that all sorts of private communications, often of a sensitive commercial nature, are recorded and processed.
There are literally hundreds of keywords like, - government, law, captain, privacy, Kenya, SAFE, Blenheim, Waihopai, FBI, garbage, archives, bet, White House, Secure Internet Connections, enigma, real, spies, contacts, watchers, eavesdropping, debugging, Exon Shell, executive, explicit - and yes, there's even Scully and Mulder plus surprisingly, Bugs Bunny.
Then there's - CRA, TWA, NATIA, DT, OTP, SBI, BROMURE, TRD OC3, ISSAA SURSAT, ASIS, ISA, SATCOMA, MI6, SIS, ELF, RFX, SETA, TSCM, BBE.
Of course, we would expect to see explosives, guns, conspiracy, primers, detonators, initiators, ambush, motorcade, charcoal, body armour, cordite, teflon bullets, assault team, nitrocellulose, fuses, picric acid, silver nitrate, presidential motorcade, boobytraps, detcord, pmk40, Air Force One, platter charge, ddnp, lead styphante, munitions, weapons, hostages, main charge, AK-47, hrt, resistance, c4, amatol, nitrostarch, thermite - the list goes on and on.
By now the Echelon system is probably having heart failure with my use of the above words.
So, when you're told on the phone or e-mail to take the garbage out when you get home from work or tell the kids they can't watch Bugs Bunny - watch out. And if you live in Blenheim - move because you'll be under constant surveillance.
Are they serious? - you can bet on it. Oops, there I go again.
ends

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