maandag 14 oktober 2013

Echelon: The Most Secret Spy System


ECHELON is a name used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysys network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UK-USA Security Agreement (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, known as AUSCANZUKUS). It has also been described only as the software system which controls the download and dissemination of the intercept of commercial satellite trunk communications. The system has been reported in a number of public sources. Its capabilities and political implications were investigated by a committee of the European Parliament during 2000 and 2001 with a report published in 2001,[ and by author James Bamford in his books on the National Security Agency of the United States. In its report, the European Parliament states that the term ECHELON is used in a number of contexts, but that the evidence presented indicates that it was the name for a signals intelligence collection system. The report concludes that, on the basis of information presented, ECHELON was capable of interception and content inspection of telephone calls, fax, e-mail and other data traffic globally through the interception of communication bearers including satellite transmission, public switched telephone networks and microwave links. The committee further concluded that "the technical capabilities of the system are probably not nearly as extensive as some sections of the media had assumed". Bamford describes the system as the software controlling the collection and distribution of civilian telecommunications traffic conveyed using communication satellites, with the collection being undertaken by groundstations located in the footprint of the downlink leg.



Big Brother Big Business



Naked Citizens - World

Increasing numbers of 'terror suspects' are being arrested on the basis of online and CCTV surveillance data. Authorities claim they act in the public interest, but does this intense surveillance keep us safer?

"I woke up to pounding on my door", says Andrej Holm, a sociologist from the Humboldt University. In what felt like a scene from a movie, he was taken from his Berlin home by armed men after a systematic monitoring of his academic research deemed him the probable leader of a militant group. After 30 days in solitary confinement, he was released without charges. Across Western Europe and the USA, surveillance of civilians has become a major business. With one camera for every 14 people in London and drones being used by police to track individuals, the threat of living in a Big Brother state is becoming a reality. At an annual conference of hackers, keynote speaker Jacob Appelbaum asserts, "to be free of suspicion is the most important right to be truly free". But with most people having a limited understanding of this world of cyber surveillance and how to protect ourselves, are our basic freedoms already being lost? 


Google’s CIA Connections – The tip of the Iceberg




 

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