DOWNSIDE LEGACY AT TWO DEGREES OF PRESIDENT CLINTON
SECTION: STATUS OF US INTELLIGENCE
SUBSECTION: ECHELON, HIGH TECH
ECHELON AND HIGH TECH INTELLIGENCE
Daily Telegraph 12/16/97 ".A European Commission report warns that the United States has developed an extensive spying network on European Citizens and we should all be worried, reports Simon Davies. A global electronic spy network that can eavesdrop on every telephone,email and telex communication around the world will be officially acknowledged for the first time in a European Commission report to be delivered this week. The report - Assessing the Technologies of Political Control -- was commissioned last year by the Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament. It contains details of a network of American-controlled spy stations on British soil and around the world. that "routinely and indiscriminately" monitors countless phone, fax and email messages. It states: "Within Europe all email telephone and fax communications are routinely intercepted by the United States Natiomnal Security Agency transferring all target information from the European mainland via the strategic hub of London then by satellite to Fort Meade in Maryland via the crucial hub at Menwith Hill" in Yorkshire. The report confirms for the first time the existence of a the secretive Echelon system.."
Summarized from a report by Charles Smith (Softwar): Webb Hubbell, Ron Brown and Vince Foster were all assigned to encryption tasks involving chip technology. Janet Reno was personally tasked to encryption export policy. Ira Sockowitz, a former DNC fundraiser walked out of the Commerce Dept. with over 2,000 pages of secret material on encryption and satellites. According to the GAO, Clinton personally authorized the transfer of military strength encryption technology to China with a Presidential Waiver. There was a GAO report on the 1994 "Hua Mei" transfer of an advanced telecommunications, secure, fiber- optic system sold to a Chinese Army front company included advanced encryption software. One document returned under a FOIA request from the Commerce Dept. for the "Hua Mei" request, outlines the details of how China and the Clinton administration used an obscure license technique, called GLX, to avoid verifying the end user was the Chinese military. In the case of Hua Mei, the Chinese Army bought technology by using front companies. The Commerce Department under Ron Brown did very little, if anything, to stop them. In fact, according to the Commerce Dept., of the 734 licenses applied for advanced telecommunications export to China in 1994 under the "GLX" category only five were denied! Additional documents obtained by SOFTWAR using FOIA from the White House National Security Council (NSC) show that Motorola sought and obtained President Clinton's permission to sell encrypted radios to China. Motorola did so with the help of a former Clinton and Bush NSC official, Dr. Richard Barth. Barth was brought back into the Clinton White House as a contractor in 1993 and helped make U.S. encryption export policy. Clinton opposes the sale of the same type of equipment to all U.S. citizens.
Wired News 9/30/98 Niall McKay ".In October, Europe's governing body will commission a full report into the workings of Echelon, a global network of highly sensitive listening posts operated in part by America's most clandestine intelligence organization, the National Security Agency. "Frankly, the only people who have any doubt about the existence of Echelon are in the United States," said Glyn Ford, a British member of the European Parliament and a director of Scientific and Technical Options Assessment, or STOA, a technology advisory committee to the parliament. Echelon is reportedly able to intercept, record, and translate any electronic communication -- telephone, data, cellular, fax, email, telex -- sent anywhere in the world. ."
FOX NEWS 11/13/98 Patrick Riley ".Beware: you are being tracked by the government. Your phone calls are being monitored, your faxes and e-mails are being read. It is a classic Big Brother cliche, but it may also be reality, according to information emerging about a global surveillance network called Echelon, which is run by the United States National Security Agency in conjunction with intelligence operations in Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand. The Free Congress Foundation, a Washington D.C.-based civil liberties group, recently published a report detailing the system and is planning, along with the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups, to pressure Congress into investigating it. "Echelon is the most terrifying kind of surveillance that exists because you have no way of knowing if you're being listened to and you have no recourse and you have no privacy," said Cassidy Sehgal, a lawyer for the ACLU. A remnant of the Cold War that has continued to advance in the digital era, Echelon reportedly uses land- based intercept stations, as well as ships and satellites, to collect electronic and fiber-optic transmissions at an estimated rate of 5 million per minute.. It's not the existence of such a spy operation that troubles most critics, it's Echelon's seemingly indiscriminate nature and lack of regulation.."
WorldNet Daily 2/25/99 Joseph Farah "…One of the secrets of the Clinton administration's success at staying in power has been to plot such dastardly deeds that few Americans could even grasp their evil intent. Right at the top of the list of such conspiracies -- now well documented, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of WorldNetDaily columnist Charles Smith -- is the Clipper Chip project. It involves all of the following: a treasonous relationship with China, a plan to tap every phone in America, drug money and, of course, the usual intrigue of administration figures such as Webster Hubbell, Al Gore, Ron Brown, Janet Reno and Clinton himself…The story starts in 1992 when AT&T developed secure telephones untappable by the federal government. The company planned to make them available to the American public. Instead, the Clinton administration interceded and bought up all the phones with a secret slush fund…. By 1994, White House aide John Podesta had been called into the inner circle of the Clipper project. Meanwhile, Podesta's brother, Tony, a lobbyist and fund-raiser was representing AT&T. His donors and clients, including AT&T, were invited to participate in trade trips to China and obtain valuable export deals with Beijing…By 1996, Reno was urging the all-out federal takeover of the computer industry and the banning of any encryption technology that doesn't let the government in the back door. Interestingly, the first target of the government's wiretap plan was its own Drug Enforcement Administration. Hmmm. The Chinese sought information obtained from such taps -- which may explain why Chinese drug lord Ng Lapseng gave as much money to the Democratic National Committee as he did. It's no wonder Reno didn't want to investigate the penetration of the DEA by the Chinese. After all, Ng was photographed with her bosses, Bill and Hillary Clinton at a DNC fund-raiser…."
Office of Congressman Bob Barrhttp://www.house.gov/barr 4/7/99 "…Identifying information as the most valuable commercial and political asset as America enters its third century, U.S. Representative Bob Barr (GA-7) called on Congress to "exercise aggressive oversight of government transmission, retrieval, storage, and manipulation of private personal information." Barr's call for oversight hearings by the House Government Reform Committee was delivered at a major international conference in Washington, D.C. called "Computers, Freedom and Privacy 1999." At the conference, Barr participated in a panel discussion that centered on Project ECHELON, which began in the 1980s, and is controlled largely by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) in coordination with at least four other countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. According to reports, the system allows the government to intercept virtually any internationally transmitted phone conversation, fax, e-mail, or data transfer. "Anyone who cares about protecting privacy rights of American citizens should repeatedly contact Members of Congress, the news media, and the Administration. We must demand the government account for its surveillance activities, including Project ECHELON, and take steps to ensure the privacy of electronic communications," said Barr…."
Electronic Telegraph 4/11/99 Tony Paterson "...German business is thought to suffer annual losses of at least £7 billion through stolen inventions and development projects. With Europe already locked in a trade war with its American ally over bananas, Germany's high-tech industry wants its government to back a counter-offensive. The main centres used for satellite tapping of millions of confidential company telephone calls, fax and e-mail messages are believed to be terrestrial listening posts run by the American National Security Agency (NSA) at Menwith Hill, near Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and Bad Aibling, Bavaria, with the backing of the American government. "Industrial espionage is becoming increasingly aggressive. Secrets are being siphoned off to an extent never experienced until now," said Horst Teltschik, a senior BMW board member and a former security adviser to Helmut Kohl. He is trying to co-ordinate a German business response to the spying problem. The practice of lifting industrial secrets via satellite listening posts has grown steadily in central Europe since the decline in political espionage that followed the collapse of communism. But it has been further encouraged by advances in communications technology..... In a rare public disclosure, a NSA employee, who refused to be named, agreed to appear in silhouette on German television last August to reveal how he had stolen Enercon's secrets. He said he used satellite information to tap the telephone and computer link lines that ran between Enercon's research laboratory near the North Sea and its production unit some 12 miles away. Detailed plans of the company's allegedly secret invention were then passed on to Kenetech. .....Experts have little doubt that the NSA is at the forefront of the European industrial espionage war, not least because Washington has instructed its security services to collect information for the benefit of American industry. Early in his presidency, Bill Clinton decreed that industrial espionage should be one of the main tasks of the CIA. "What is good for Boeing is good for America," he was quoted as saying. The NSA operates a global data surveillance network involving 52 super computers. .....From both the Yorkshire and Bavarian sites, data is transferred to the NSA's headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland where 10,000 military personnel and 30,000 civilian employees trawl the information with the help of the British Memex computer identification system...."
Koenig's Internationl News 5/10/99 Charles Smith "...Congressional investigators confronted Clinton administration officials last week with the latest information from SOFTWAR. House and Senate investigators want to know why the U.S. and China continue to operate joint signals (SIGINT) intercept bases inside the People's Republic of China. The joint CIA/PLA bases are located at Korla and Qitai in the western province Xinjiang. The bases were established in 1978, during the height of the Cold war. In response, Clinton administration Defense Dept. officials refused to answer questions about the joint CIA/Chinese Army bases. At one point, Clinton officials refused to answer any questions on joint U.S./Sino military operations. "We are going to have to call them in on the carpet," stated one frustrated Congressional investigator. "We certainly need to know about Korla and Qitai. The Chinese Army is setting up a SIGINT base with the Cubans to monitor U.S. military forces 90 miles from Florida. Just how much of that new PLA base is 'made in the U.S.A'?" ....The joint CIA/PLA SIGINT bases are also reported to be part of the National Security Agency (NSA) chain of stations linked to the "ECHELON" system. ECHELON is a giant NSA network of intercept posts, satellites and super-computers intended to monitor communications and signals on a world-wide scale. ECHELON is also plugged into various monitoring systems, each with individual code names such as "MAYFLY"....."
wired.com 5/10/99 Niall McKay "...The National Security Agency has its ear to the world, but doesn't listen to everyone at once. That was one conclusion of a new report, Interception Capabilities 2000, accepted late last week by the European Parliament's Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel (STOA). The panel commissioned Duncan Campbell, a British investigative reporter, to prepare a report on Echelon, the US-led satellite surveillance network......Campbell was asked to investigate the system in the wake of charges made last year in the European Parliament that Echelon was being used to funnel European government and industry secrets into US hands. "What is new and important about this report is that it contains the first ever documentary evidence of the Echelon system," said Campbell. Campbell obtained the document from a source at Menwith Hill, the principal NSA communications monitoring station, located near Harrogate in northern England. The report details how intelligence agencies intercept Internet traffic and digital communications, and includes screen shots of traffic analysis from NSA computer systems....."[The report] is undoubtedly the most comprehensive look at Echelon to date because of its attention to detail -- [and] the NSA's use of technology," said John Young, a privacy activist in New York. Although the United States has never officially acknowledged Echelon's existence, dozens of investigative reports over the past decade have revealed a maze-like system that can intercept telephone, data, cellular, fax, and email transmissions sent anywhere in the world. Previously, Echelon computers were thought to be able to scan millions of telephone lines and faxes for keywords such as "bomb" and "terrorist." But Campbell's report maintains that the technologies to perform such a global dragnet do not exist. Instead, Campbell said that the system targets the communications networks of known diplomats, criminals, and industrialists of interest to the intelligence community...."
Office of Congressman Bob Barr 5/13/99 Freeper A Whitewater Researcher "...U.S. Representative Bob Barr (GA-7) successfully amended the Intelligence Reauthorization Act on the House Floor today, to require U.S. intelligence agencies to report to Congress on the legal standards justifying surveillance activities directed at American citizens....The Barr amendment requires the Attorney General, and the directors of the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency to provide a detailed report to Congress, explaining the legal standards the intelligence community uses to monitor the conversations, transmissions, or activities of American citizens..."I am extremely concerned there are not sufficient legal mechanisms in place to protect our private information from unauthorized government eavesdropping through such mechanisms as Project ECHELON. This amendment represents a first step toward finding out whether or not sufficient legal safeguards and privacy protection procedures are in place," Barr continued..."
http://sunday.ninemsn.com.au/sun_cover2.asp?id=818 5/28/99 Ross Coulthart and Nick Farrow "...In an unprecedented statement to the Sunday program, the director of Australia's Defence Signals Directorate (DSD), Martin Brady, reveals what spying the DSD allows on Australian citizens and companies. DSD also officially acknowledges for the first time that it is a signatory of the hitherto secret UK-USA alliance, that endorses cooperation with counterpart intelligence organisations in the United Kingdom, the US, Canada and New Zealand. As the program reveals, Australia is routinely monitoring any fax, phone or data communications passing through satellites over the Indian and Pacific Ocean. The interception of these communications is controlled by a so-called "dictionary system" that scans all communications simultaneously with the use of powerful super-computers that have been programmed with key words, key numbers and even specific voice patterns. Some of the intercepted messages (which do include communications by Australians) are sent to Australia's DSD but the bulk of the intelligence from Australia's important Geraldton base is sent automatically to America without scrutiny by Australian eyes. This complex computer surveillance system is known by the codename "Echelon"...."
fcw.com 6/3/99 Daniel Verton "...According to an amendment to the fiscal 2000 Intelligence Authorization Act proposed last month by Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), the director of Central Intelligence, the director of NSA and the attorney general must submit a report within 60 days of the bill becoming law that outlines the legal standards being employed to safeguard the privacy of American citizens against Project Echelon. .... However, NSA, the supersecret spy agency known best for its worldwide eavesdropping capabilities, for the first time in the history of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence refused to hand over documents on the Echelon program, claiming attorney/client privilege. ...Calling NSA's argument of attorney/client privilege "unpersuasive and dubious," committee chairman Rep. Peter J. Goss (R-Fla.) said the ability of the intelligence community to deny access to documents on intelligence programs could "seriously hobble the legislative oversight process" provided for by the Constitution and would "result in the envelopment of the executive branch in a cloak of secrecy." ...."
Datateknik, Swedish Newspaper 6/10/99 Göran Andersson "….In a report written for the European Parliament it is claimed that information from United States military signals intelligence is used to benefit American corporations. The report contains several examples on how information from espionage has been used for business-related purposes. The United States National Security Agency (NSA) has used signals intelligence to intercept internal information from European corporations (Thomson and Airbus). This information has later been handed over to American corporations which then has succeeded to take home important affairs according to the report Interception Capabilities 2000 (IC 2000)….According to the report, advanced signals intelligence is also carried out by 30 countries including Russia and China. The yearly cost for the signal intelligence is estimated to 140 - 180 milliard crowns (15-20 billion Euro) and the main part goes to the U.S. lead signals intelligence operation, often called Echelon…"
Time Magazine 6/24/99 Greg Lindsay "...In the past month a series of announcements from the governments of Australia, the U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Sweden and the U.S., among others, has brought to light the existence of a massive international electronic surveillance network known as "Echelon." Its existence was officially confirmed by the Australian intelligence agency back on May 23. In a nutshell, Echelon is a joint project undertaken by the U.S. and its allies to monitor satellite transmissions, phone calls and the Internet. How does it work? The Echelon partner nations have deployed "sniffer" programs that monitor the data traffic at six critical junctions on the Internet, vacuuming in as much information as they can and submitting it to the "Dictionary," a series of programs dedicated to finding red flag phrases -- for example, conversations about assassinating public figures. The results are then sorted and sent to the appropriate intelligence branch of the appropriate nation. As a result, as much as 90 percent of all traffic on the Net is being scanned by the NSA and other espionage organizations, just as thoroughly as if they were rummaging in your mailbox with a letter opener. In the U.S. the agency responsible for maintaining Echelon is the National Security Agency (NSA), which is charged with keeping an eye on nations deemed dangerous to U.S. interests. Thanks to its partners in Echelon, NSA watchdogs report, the agency can avoid actually engaging in domestic spying per se by asking British intelligence to do it for them, and vice versa...... "
World Net Daily 11/12/98 Stephan Archer ". Originally, Echelon was designed to spy on the Communist Bloc during the Cold War. However, since the end of the Cold War, the NSA has used it for other questionable purposes that include spying on the citizens of U.S. allies as well as the citizens of other countries, commercial spying, and even domestic spying. In essence, Echelon works through a series of high-tech spy facilities located primarily in five countries: the United States, Canada, England, New Zealand, and Australia. These countries, which are sworn to secrecy about the project in a secret agreement known as UKUSA, all actively take part in this encroachment of privacy into the lives of the people of the world by collecting virtually all fax transmissions, e-mails, and phone calls. Not even cellular phone calls escape the grasp of the Echelon system. "Obviously, we need to have these capabilities," said Wayne Madsen, who worked in the National COMSEC Assessment Center at the NSA's Fort Meade, Maryland, facility back in the 1980s and is currently a senior fellow at the Electronic Privacy Information Center. .Concerning Echelon's inherent intrusion on people's privacy, Patrick Poole, the deputy director for the Center of Technology Policy at the Free Congress Foundation, said, "While we understand the need for the intelligence power embodied by Echelon, the indiscriminate use of Echelon presents major threats to liberty not only to U.S. citizens but to citizens around the world." And this threat is real. The foundation's report states that U.S. leaders have, in fact, already abused this awesome technology. For example, the report states the following: "In September 1993, President Clinton asked the CIA to spy on Japanese auto manufacturers that were designing zero-emission cars and to forward that information to the Big Three U.S. car manufacturers: Ford, General Motors and Chrysler." "You can assume that all major U.S. corporations are fed items of interest (via Echelon) from time to time to give them a leg up on international competitors," said Madsen..With this kind of abuse of Echelon's power, the question as to whether or not the U.S. government has been using this power for political purposes can be easily raised. This question is seemingly answered in the foundation's report. "The discovery of domestic surveillance targeted at American civilians for reasons of 'unpopular' political affiliation -- or for no probable cause at all -- in violation of the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution is regularly impeded by very elaborate and complex legal arguments and privilege claims by the intelligence agencies and the U.S. government," the report says. When asked if the system has been used by the U.S. government to spy on its citizens, Madsen told WorldNetDaily that he was sure it has been. "I don't believe that the NSA or the current Administration would hesitate to use this system on American citizens for their own agendas," he said. Outraged by this flagrant abuse of power illustrated by our country's elected officials, Poole said, "While the U.S. is the prime mover behind the Echelon system, it's shameful that the European Parliament is the body holding the constitutional debate in regards to Echelon today."."
Foxnews.com 7/13/99 Tom Raum AP "…Easing export controls on powerful data and voice-scrambling technology will hamper efforts to track down terrorists and other criminals, the nation's top two law enforcement officials told Congress. Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis Freeh registered Clinton administration objections Tuesday to encryption-decontrol legislation that is widely supported by high-tech companies. They said increasing numbers of terrorist groups, drug traffickers, child pornographers and financial criminals already are using the scrambling technology to avoid detection and frustrate prosecution…."
ABC news 7/18/99 David Ruppe "…Some of America's closest European allies suspect a massive U.S. listening post, nestled on the quiet, windswept moors of northern England, has secretly been spying on European governments, businesses and citizens….The station, located at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire, and reportedly staffed with more than 1,000 Americans, was created nearly 40 years ago to keep tabs on the Soviet empire…..The site is supposed to be used to monitor matters of international security, such as weapons proliferation, drug trafficking[?} and terrorism. But according to numerous European press reports, businesses, civil liberties groups, and some government officials believe Menwith Hill and a sister post at Bad Aibling, Germany are also targeting them….The concerns of the European community are a bit overblown," says James Bamford, author of The Puzzle Palace, the definitive book on the NSA. "The [NSA is] not worried about some company in Brussels. They’re worried about the things you see on the front page of The Washington Post and The New York Times, terrorism, Kosovo." …."
Drudge 7/27/99 "...The Clinton administration has developed a plan for an extensive computer monitoring system, overseen by the FBI, that will track banking, telecommunications and other industries, it will be reported on Wednesday. The National Security Council is conducting a legal and technical review of the new Clinton plan, a final report is scheduled to be made public in September. NEW YORK TIMES reporter John Markoff has been shown a draft, according to publishing sources, and was busy on Tuesday afternoon preparing a story.....The plan calls for the development of a "sophisticated software system to monitor activities on non-military government networks" and a separate system to "track all transactions used in the banking, telecommunications and transportation industries." ...."
The New York Times 7/27/99 John Markoff "...The Clinton Administration has developed a plan for an extensive computer monitoring system, overseen by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to protect the nation's crucial data networks from intruders. The plan, an outgrowth of the Administration's anti-terrorism program, has already raised concerns from civil liberties groups. A draft prepared by officials at the National Security Council last month, which was provided to The New York Times by a civil liberties group, calls for a sophisticated software system to monitor activities on nonmilitary Government networks and a separate system to track networks used in crucial industries like banking, telecommunications and transportation. The effort, whose details are still being debated within the Administration, is intended to alert law enforcement officials to attacks that might cripple Government operations or the nation's economy. But because of the increasing power of the nation's computers and their emerging role as a backbone of the country's commerce, politics and culture, critics of the proposed system say it could become a building block for a surveillance infrastructure with great potential for misuse....."
The New York Times 7/27/99 John Markoff "...The plan calls for the creation of a Federal Intrusion Detection Network, or Fidnet, and specifies that the data it collects will be gathered at the National Infrastructure Protection Center, an interagency task force housed at the Federal Bureau of Investigation..... The plan focuses on monitoring data flowing over Government and national computer networks. That means the systems would potentially have access to computer-to-computer communications like electronic mail and other documents, computer programs and remote log-ins. But an increasing percentage of network traffic, like banking and financial information, is routinely encrypted and would not be visible to the monitor software. Government officials argue that they are not interested in eavesdropping, but rather are looking for patterns of behavior that suggest illegal activity...."
World Net Daily 7/29/99 Joseph Farah "... The New York Times reports the Clinton administration has developed a plan for "an extensive computer monitoring system, overseen by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to protect the nation's crucial data networks from intruders." "The plan, an outgrowth of the administration's anti-terrorism program, has already raised concerns from civil liberties groups," reports the Times. "A draft prepared by officials at the National Security Council last month, which was provided to The New York Times by a civil liberties group, calls for a sophisticated software system to monitor activities on non-military government networks and a separate system to track networks used in crucial industries like banking, telecommunications and transportation....And, vice versa: Since this shocking plan was revealed in the pages of the New York Times, there is little reason for any American to question its veracity or to suggest that it is being sensationalized. Therefore, for those out there who still cannot believe that this administration would actually use all the power of the federal government to go after its political enemies, perhaps this story will demonstrate the true character of the Clinton machine. These are totalitarians. The people running the executive branch of the federal government are nothing less than fascists. No other descriptive quite fits. They would think nothing of turning America into a police state -- if they haven't already brought us to that point. And they would do it without a second thought. They'd do it while telling you the whole time that they are protecting you, safeguarding your interests, making you more secure...."
ABC 7/31/99 David Ruppe "...Is Uncle Sam illicitly reading your e-mail? Listening in on your telephone calls? Scanning your faxes? Some in Congress suspect advances in communications technology in recent years may have enabled America's biggest, and most secret, spy agency, the National Security Agency, to greatly increase its eaves- dropping powers at the expense of Americans' privacy. But they can't be sure without a thorough congressional examination into the agency's practices. And, they say, the NSA has not yet provided all the information requested by the House Select Intelligence Committee, which is looking into the question. That the National Security Agency intercepts Americans' missives is clear. Observers point to the agency's practice of intercepting massive volumes of communications through spy satellites and by listening to commercial communications satellites, which inevitably draws in the communications of U.S. citizens for whom the agency has no court order.....Government officials admit the NSA's collection methods do draw in communications made by U.S. citizens. "Read the statute, the executive order, the legislative history, and what you'll find is the underlying assumption is that you can't avoid collecting U.S.-person information incidentally if you are going to do foreign intelligence collection," says an official familiar with the agency..... Still, critics say there is no way to be sure the NSA's judg- ments consistently respect citizens' rights unless the congressional committees responsible for overseeing those rights have full access to information on how the agency applies the laws..... "
National Post Online 7/15/99 Peter Morton "...All tiny TMI Communications Inc. wanted was to sell its satellite telephone service in the United States....The FBI is continuing to block TMI's 16-month-old bid to get a licence that would allow it to sell mobile telephone service to Americans. That's because new U.S. wiretap laws demand the FBI be able to listen to all kinds of telephone calls, including ones on satellite telephones. But the agency cannot easily do this in TMI's case, because the company is in Canada.... From the FBI's perspective, it cannot legally use the evidence from a wiretap on TMI's equipment because it cannot prove the call was made on U.S. soil or by an American. TMI is not alone in getting caught up in the FBI's new national security concerns. Iridium LLC, the troubled U.S. satellite company, is facing the same FBI objections because of its plans to build a groundstation in eastern Canada to serve the U.S. northeast. The groundstation has been temporarily shelved because of Iridium's restructuring. As well, Globalstar Canada LP, a partnership of U.S. Globalstar and Canadian Satellite Communications, is facing a similar FBI threat because of its plans to use groundstations in Smith Falls, Ont., and High River, Alta., to reach the market in the United States. ...."
LA Times 8/4/99 Simon Davies "...Europe is discretely gearing up for one of the most interesting legal battles in its history. At stake is the future of the world's most secretive intelligence organization, America's National Security Agency. The NSA is in the business of eavesdropping on the world's communications networks for the benefit of the United States. In doing so, it has built a vast spying operation that reaches into the telephone systems of nearly every country. Its operations are so secret that this activity, outside the U.S., occurs without any democratic oversight and without any legal basis. Over the past year, members of the European Parliament have learned, to their astonishment, that the NSA, in collusion with the British government, has created the means to intercept almost every fax, e-mail and telephone call within the European Union. The revelation has irritated governments throughout Europe, culminating in a current Italian judicial inquiry into the legality of the NSA's activity.... The issue has erupted now because of two recent European Parliament studies that confirm the existence in Britain of a network of communications intelligence bases operated by the NSA. The publication last year of the first report, "An Appraisal of the Technologies of Political Control," confirmed for the first time that the NSA had established a surveillance capacity over the entire European communications network. It also described a grid of supercomputers, known as Echelon, capable of scanning vast areas of the communications spectrum to detect keywords. Of particular interest to Parliament was the report's assertion that the NSA was beefing up its commercial espionage activities. Its claim is that the NSA has been routinely intercepting sensitive traffic relating to bids, takeovers, mergers, investments and tender offers, all for U.S. economic benefit. Questions have been raised by parliamentarians in Germany, Norway, Denmark, Holland and Sweden. Then, in September, the plenary session of the European Parliament took the unprecedented step of openly debating the activities of the NSA. In a consensus resolution, the Parliament fired a shot across the bow of the spooks by demanding more openness and accountability. ...."
WorldNet Daily 8/5/99 Tanya Metaksa "...Every American, especially those calling themselves civil libertarians, should be terrified that a president, who no man would leave alone in the room with his daughter, is putting the ultimate intelligence gathering tool in the hands of an agency that designed government offensives against civilians at Ruby Ridge and Waco, Texas. According to Drudge, on Tuesday, July 27, "The Clinton administration has developed an extensive computer monitoring system, overseen by the FBI, that will track telecommunications, banking and other industries." Drudge goes on to report, "In some government circles, the proposed system has been nicknamed 'Hillary.'" And we thought she was running for senator from New York, not grand inquisitor. Thankfully, the announcement of the administration's computer surveillance plan, named Federal Intrusion Detection Network (FIDNET), has caused some good old-fashioned backlash..... With its hand stuck firmly in the privacy cookie jar, the Clinton administration began damage control in their usual manner -- obfuscating. According to a Reuters report, "John Tritak, director of the administration's Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office, said that the Fidnet plan has not been approved by President Clinton and is still undergoing legal review by the Justice Department and the White House's chief counselor for privacy, Peter Swire." ...."
Colorado Springs Gazette 8/10/99 John Diedrich "...Unified military efforts to thwart computer hackers began eight months ago, but the program takes on a greater importance and prominence Oct. 1, when it is set to move under the control of the U.S. Space Command, headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base. The new arrangement, which is scheduled to be announced Wednesday in Washington, D.C., is awaiting President Clinton's signature. Putting the high-profile job of computer defense at Peterson will increase the importance of Space Command, which already controls all military satellites providing missile warning, weather, navigation and other information to troops. "Taking on (this program) is a natural fit for Space Command," said Maj. Perry Nouis, a command spokesman. "It's not a large number of folks, but the mission is huge and of critical importance." By Oct. 1, 2000, Space Command is scheduled to take the offensive in cyber warfare. Though details are sketchy, the Computer Network Attack program basically will train military workers to hack into enemies' computers. The ability to protect and attack systems has escalated in importance as today's military depends on computers for everything from planning air strikes to positioning troops. So far, hackers have done relatively minor damage, such as defacing Web sites on Department of Defense computers. The military is concerned about the potential for a more serious attack - for instance, tapping into classified data during wartime and changing a bombing target...."
House.Gov 8/16/99 Congressman Barr "…U.S. Representative Bob Barr (GA-7) announced today House Government Reform and Oversight Committee Chairman Dan Burton (R-IN) has agreed to hold hearings this fall on government surveillance programs, such as the National Security Agency's reported "Project Echelon." On several occasions, Barr has expressed concerns that both foreign and domestic surveillance operations may be violating the privacy rights of American citizens. Earlier this year, Barr successfully amended the FY 2000 Foreign Intelligence Authorization Act to require the Department of Justice, the National Security Agency, and the Central Intelligence Agency to submit to Congress a report detailing the legal standards the agencies use when they eavesdrop on American citizens. A similar amendment has also been passed by the United States Senate. Barr's concerns were prompted by news reports indicating a system known as Project Echelon is conducting massive interception of the private phone calls, e-mails, faxes and data transmissions of American citizens. "As advances make information much easier to acquire, store, and search, we must make absolutely certain our legal structure develops in tandem with our technological infrastructure. More importantly, Congress must remain vigilant in ensuring government agencies adhere to existing laws governing surveillance activities. These hearings will help reassure the American public this is a responsibility Congress takes seriously," said Barr….."
Insight 9/13/99 James Lucier "…In a clash between the authoritarian state and the libertarian vision, the Clinton administration is seeking draconian control of computers and encryption. . . . . Virginia's soft-spoken four-term Republican congressman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, may come out of a no-nonsense town in the Blue Ridge, but he has taken on virtually the entire defense establishment, the intelligence community and even the FBI with his bill HR850, the Security and Freedom through Encryption Act, or SAFE. It is a simple concept, and it has 258 cosponsors in the House. What SAFE would do is guarantee every American the freedom to use any type of cryptography anywhere in the world and allow the sale of any type of encryption domestically. Not such a big deal, is it? How many Americans go around writing secret messages in disappearing ink after they grow up?. . . . Actually, it is one of those edge-defying, generation-splitting, turn-the-world-upside-down moments in history. It is a struggle between two different visions of American society. One side sees the private use of encryption as a way to safeguard the records and property of U.S. citizens from the prying eyes of computer hackers, thieves, terrorists and the U.S. government. The other side is the U.S. government, which sees itself as the guarantor of security in the newly discovered land of cyberspace. And to provide that security the government says it has to have the power, at any given moment, to look into anyone's e-mail, bank accounts, financial transactions, information exports and dangerous ideas. Our whole practice of governing is based on geographic concepts -- jurisdiction in delineated districts, authority flowing from citizens voting by precinct, taxes based on property in a given place or on salaries reported to and scrutinized by powerful agencies…....Although Attorney General Janet Reno and other officials assert that encryption must be controlled to stop terrorists and child pornography -- two powerful, but demagogic arguments -- it appears the real reasons lie elsewhere. After all, as Reno admits, international terrorist Osama bin Laden already has cryptography and child pornographers are best caught the old-fashioned way: by baiting them into their own trap. The fact is that routine use of strong encryption by law-abiding citizens and enterprises would shut down citizen-surveillance projects such as ECHELON….."
Laisez Faire City Times 8/23/99 Don Lobo Tiggre "…another story is getting far less attention than it deserves: FIDNET. Remember ECHELON? Well, FIDNET is a new U.S. government electronic data collection program that, coupled with existing spy systems like ECHELON, could push government threats to electronic privacy to new heights and bring us one giant step closer to Orwell's nightmare. What is FIDNET? Right now, it's just a Clinton Administration proposal-yes, those noble idealists in Washington are just full of ideas for protecting us from ourselves. FIDNET stands for Federal Intrusion Detection Network, and it's no surprise that the Administration's National Security Council (NSC) would come up with such an idea in the wake of all the hacker attacks on U.S. government web sites. The plan-not yet released to the public but leaked on-line by Wayne Madsen of the Intelligence Newsletter, and subsequently covered by the New York Times, Wired, and other news outlets-calls for one software system to watch activity on non-military government networks and a separate system to track the banking, telecommunications and transportation industries. A host of new monitoring agencies with a whole new can of alphabet soup names and acronyms is also called for, all under direction of the FBI. Data would be gathered at the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC), an interagency facility operated by the FBI, beginning no later than the year 2003. …"
Nando/Christian Science Monitor 9/6/99 Peter Ford "….You are not supposed to spy on your friends. As details emerge of U.S. intelligence agencies eavesdropping on the e-mail, faxes, and phone calls of European businesses, politicians in Europe are calling for better ways to safeguard industrial secrets. The most contentious source of trenchcoat contretemps among trans-Atlantic allies: Internet encryption. The United States is trying to persuade the European Union to allow only Internet codes for which law enforcement and national security agencies would have a "key." That would help to combat terrorists and drug smugglers. But it would also give U.S. officials potential access to the commercial secrets of foreign companies…… But with no communist threat to occupy them, Western intelligence agencies in the 1990s appear to be devoting more of their time and resources to industrial espionage against each other. And, says Michael Hershman, chairman of DSFX, the world's largest private investigative agency, "Industrial espionage is going up steadily" because of "globalization and increased competition." ….The operation, which uses an international network of listening posts and supercomputers known as "Echelon," was described last year as "an intolerable attack against individual liberties, competition, and the security of states" by Martin Bangemann, outgoing European commissioner for industry. The latest report, issued earlier this summer, described how the top-secret system scoops up electronic signals from satellites, undersea cables, and microwave relay stations all over the world and scans them for key words of interest to participating intelligence agencies. Echelon includes Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as the United States, in a grouping called UKUSA. "There is wide-ranging evidence" the report found, that Washington is "routinely using communications intelligence to provide commercial advantages to companies and trade." ….The Clinton administration has attached especial importance to economic intelligence, setting up the National Economic Council (NEC) in parallel to the National Security Council. The NEC routinely seeks information from the NSA and the CIA, officials say. And the NSA, as the biggest and wealthiest communications interception agency in the world, is best placed to trawl electronic communications and use what comes up for U.S. commercial advantage……"
The Times Of India 9/1/99 DPA "…In the race to discover business secrets no nation is standing on the sidelines, not even the economic and military superpower that is the United States. The US has even been accused of aggressively going after the secrets of allied countries like Germany and France. Gathering confidential business information is part of the CIA's official brief, and it's becoming a more important field of operations, though primarily as an area in which the CIA tries to protect US secrets. American companies lose an estimated 300 billion dollars a year as a result of industrial espionage, particularly in high-tech industries like computing. China, France, Russia, Iran, Japan, Cuba and Germany are considered the worst offenders. However, Germany's spy agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst, has denied claims made public in the US that it is using a secret computer system based near Frankfurt to hack into US computer networks to seek out data related to electronics, optics, aviation, chemistry, computing and telecommunication. The National Security Agency (NSA) based in Fort Meade, Maryland, on the other hand, is focusing its efforts on unearthing the trade secrets of German high-tech companies, according to the German news magazine Der Spiegel. …."
AP 9/15/99 "....The FBI reached a first-of-its-kind agreement enabling telecommunications companies to use computer software made by Nortel Networks to assist law enforcement agencies in conducting lawfully authorized wiretapping. The agreement calls for Nortel, a major supplier of telecommunications equipment, to provide certain software to its carrier customers. Nortel will waive the license fees. The 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act authorized $500 million for the purpose of reimbursing the telecommunications industry for its costs in cooperating with law enforcement agencies in wiretapping...."
National Review Online 9/20/99 Thomas Lipscomb "... 9/20/99 "...For five years, the director of the FBI, Louis J. Freeh, has been fighting a heartfelt and often lonely battle to use the most advanced surveillance technology against American citizens. He believes there is no other way to match the increasingly sophisticated means criminals and terrorists are now able to use to conceal increasingly dangerous activities from civil authority. .... the Clinton Administration's Department of Justice has been asking for years for the legal authority to employ national-security levels of surveillance against American citizens. The Clinton Department of Justice has proposed an unending hodge-podge of "trap doors, " internally installed eavesdropping "Clipper" chips, and most recently an outrageous "Fidnet" surveillance system that would have had brought the wildest dreams of Hitler's Sicherheitdeinst to full reality in the United States on the eve of the millennium. It didn't seem to matter that the adoption of any of these schemes would have wrecked Constitutional guarantees against unlawful search and seizure and brought the success of American technology in the global economy that powers the bull stock market to a screeching halt......"
The Village Voice 9/22/99 James Ridgeway "....Operating through a contractual relationship with a private corporation, the U.S. Secret Service was laying the groundwork until quite recently for a photo database of ordinary citizens collected from state motor vehicles departments. Utilizing the Freedom of Information Act, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) discovered that the agency was planning to use the photos, culled by Image Data, for its own activities. Image Data reportedly got more than $1 million in seed money from the Secret Service for a trial run of its TrueID project in 1997. Marketed as a method of combating check and credit-card identity fraud, TrueID involved the purchase and scanning of photos from participating DMVs. Three states- Florida, Colorado, and South Carolina- participated in the trial run with the Secret Service. But after news disclosures prompted a public outcry, Colorado and Florida halted the transfer of images, and South Carolina filed suit asking for the return of millions of images already in the company's possession....."
AP 9/24/99 Ted Bridis "…The Defense Department showed off its latest arsenal of high-tech crime-fighting tools Friday, a $15 million computer lab where it can trace hackers across the Internet, unscramble hidden files and rebuild smashed floppy disks that were cut in pieces. Investigators will use the new Defense Computer Forensics Lab, located in a nondescript brick building south of Baltimore, to unravel electronic evidence in cases of espionage, murder and other crimes involving America's military. Using powerful computers and special software, these 80 digital detectives can trace a hacker across the Internet to his keyboard, recover files thought to be safely deleted and quickly search tens of thousands of documents for an important phrase. Cyberspace is "a new kind of wild, lawless sort of frontier,'' said Christopher Mellon, a deputy assistant Defense secretary. "We have important national interests, and we have to be able to function.'' …."
Wired 10/6/99 James Glave "....Mossad. Bomb. Davidian. MI5. If the hunch of a loose-knit group of cyber-activists is correct, the above words will trip the keyword recognition filter on a global spy system partly managed by the US National Security Agency. The near-mythical worldwide computer spy network reportedly scans all email, packet traffic, telephone conversations -- and more -- around the world, in an effort to ferret out potential terrorist or enemy communications...... Once plucked from the electronic cloud, certain keywords allegedly trigger a recording of the conversation or email in question....."What is [Echelon] good for?" asked Linda Thompson, a constitutional rights attorney and chairman of the American Justice Federation....... A 1994 report by the Anti-Defamation League described Thompson as "an influential figure in the militia movement nationally." The report says the American Justice Federation describes itself as "a group dedicated to stopping the New World Order and getting the truth out to the American public." The Anti-Defamation League says Thompson claims to have contact with militias in all 50 states....."
San Diego Union Tribune 10/17/99 Kathryn Balint "....Is the government listening in on your phone calls? Reading your e-mail for words like "plutonium," "Clinton" or "terrorism" Rep. Bob Barr, R.-Ga., a former CIA analyst, worries it might be. The European Parliament is concerned, too...... The system, known as Echelon, isn't officially acknowledged by the U.S. government. ...... Each month, "we're talking tens of millions of volumes if it was printed out on pages," said Christopher Simpson, an American University professor who has written four books about national security technology. Simpson said Echelon scans e-mail for hot-button words like militia, Davidian, terrorism and AK-47. It can recognize individual voices in telephone calls and track who is calling whom...... Because Echelon is a top-secret project, its name doesn't appear in the National Security Agency's budget. Even most congressional representatives aren't privy to what it does or how much it costs. But a key question is, does Echelon snoop on ordinary, law-abiding people? "You bet," said Simpson, the American University professor, who has studied Echelon. "Certainly every time an international telephone call is made. There's good reason to believe domestic telephone calls are intercepted as well. ....... How can Echelon snoop without getting judges' orders for wiretaps or searches? "Because they're doing it in outer space," Simpson said. The information is being plucked from satellites orbiting thousands of miles away, where, he said, U.S. laws don't apply. ....... In July, the National Security Council proposed monitoring computer networks used in banking, telecommunications, transportation and nonmilitary government operations. The goal would be to protect the nation's crucial data networks. In August, the U.S. Justice Department proposed legislation to give law enforcement officials authority to secretly plant code-breaking devices or software in home and office computers during criminal investigations. And just last week, the FBI came out in support of a proposal for Internet standards that will enable law enforcers to conduct court-authorized wiretaps on personal computers. ...."
MSNBC.com 10/21/99 Bob Sullivan "....Perhaps you noticed even more cyberfrustration than usual Thursday as e-mails with words like "manifesto," "terrorism," "bomb" and "kill Bill Clinton" were slung around the Net. Not to worry - it was a bit of a prank meant to irritate government agents who the pranksters say monitor communication for subversion. The system they find offensive is known as Echelon, which some say monitors 2 million worldwide communications per hour. So on Thursday "hactivists" sent as many e-mails as they could full of keywords meant to trigger the system in the hopes of overloading it....."
Worldnetdaily 11/4/99 Joseph Farah "….For more than two years, I've been chronicling the manifestations of the Echelon global spying network. During that time, there have been more than a few skeptics who suggested I had visited Area 51 one too many times. For those of you who don't believe anything that can't be confirmed without official government sources, you now have your proof that Echelon is real -- that there really is a global spy network that can eavesdrop on every single phone call, fax or e-mail, anywhere on the planet. The BBC (that's the British Broadcasting Company, a semi-official news agency in the United Kingdom) has just such confirmation from the Australian government that Echelon exists and that officials in the U.S. are beginning to call for an investigation. For the record, the governments of Britain and the United States still officially deny its existence….."
Washington Post 11/13/99 Vernon Loeb ".... Members of Congress, the European Parliament and civil liberties groups have begun to ask tough questions about the National Security Agency's interception of foreign telephone calls, faxes and electronic mail, the most intense scrutiny of NSA operations since the so-called Church committee probed the spy agency 24 years ago...... Yet serious questions remain. Does the NSA listen in on U.S. citizens, either on purpose or by accident? Does it trade information with other countries? What does it do when it comes across commercial secrets or evidence of high-level corruption?...."
International Herald Tribune 11/16/99 Vernon Loeb Washington Post "....Members of the U.S. Congress, the European Parliament and civil liberties groups are starting to ask tough questions about the U.S. National Security Agency's interception of overseas telephone calls, faxes and electronic mail, the most intense scrutiny of the agency's operations since the so-called Church committee investigated the spy agency 24 years ago........Even basic facts about Echelon are so hard to verify that the ACLU this month put up a Web site - www.echelonwatch.org - to serve as a repository of information about the global spy network, whose existence the NSA has never publicly acknowledged....."
San Jose Mercury News et al 11/24/99 "…. If true, computers routinely may be monitoring millions of phone and electronic conversations daily, hunting for phrases, perhaps even individual voices, they are programmed to capture. If true, ECHELON may be circumventing the federal law forbidding eavesdropping on U.S. citizens without probable cause. If true, ECHELON has made real some of Hollywood's most fantastic scripts. ``Right now Echelon is a black box, and we really don't know what is inside it,'' Barry Steinhardt, associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union, has said. The National Security Agency runs ECHELON out of its headquarters in Fort Meade, Md., where it's reported to have five acres of computers underground. With twice the number of employees and a far bigger budget than the CIA, the NSA has fed civil libertarians' fears and European paranoia. It has refused to confirm publicly that ECHELON exists. And last summer, it stonewalled an inquiry by the House Select Committee on Intelligence….."
Fox News Wire 12/6/99 "….The National Security Agency, which uses spy satellites and foreign listening posts to monitor threats to U.S. security, denied on Monday that it intended to begin spying on Americans at home. …. The Newsweek article said there was a new alliance between the NSA and FBI and posed the question: "In their zeal, will the crime-fighters and electronic sleuths illegally spy on U.S. citizens?'' But Judith Emmel, NSA spokeswoman, said the intelligence agency would not be snooping on Americans in the United States….."
WorldNetDaily 12/15/99 Charles Smith ".... As the National Security Agency's secretive international spy network Echelon comes under scrutiny in Congress next month, Americans may be facing another threat to their privacy in the form of newly developed commercial satellites that collect live video images from space -- and sell those images to whoever pays the price....... Questions regarding Echelon emerged in 1999 when the National Security Agency refused Barr's request that the agency outline its legal policy on employing the massive system on Americans -- specifically, to reveal its legal restrictions on using satellites to monitor U.S. citizens. The intelligence agency replied to Barr that it could not answer on the grounds of "attorney-client privilege." ...... Although the Clinton administration is under fire for its role in monitoring American citizens from space, Steven Aftergood, Project Director on Government Secrecy for the Federation of American Scientists, believes the days of government bureaucracy serving as "Big Brother" may be numbered. "My suspicion is that far from being ubiquitous and omniscient, the NSA is in a state of precipitous decline due largely to technological change," stated Aftergood, a senior researcher for the non-profit national organization founded in 1945 by Manhattan Project scientists. "Notably (because of) the growing use of fiber optic cable and strong encryption -- NSA's days may be numbered," added Aftergood......"
AP 12/14/99 "….A service intended to provide anonymity to Web users is raising concerns of authorities, who fear it could compromise their ability to track illegal activity on the Internet. The service from Zero-Knowledge Systems Inc., based in Montreal, would let people remain anonymous while sending e-mail, chatting and visiting Web sites. Such thoroughness could frustrate law enforcement officials trying to track down shady Web users who send abusive e-mail and exchange such material as child pornography and pirated software. "It's going to make it a little more difficult to trace wrongdoers," said Bob Wallace, a spokesman for the Miami-based National Association of Chiefs of Police. ….. The Zero-Knowledge technology obscures the sender's Web trail by identifying just the final portion of the computer network used to transmit the information. ….. "The system has been purposely designed to make sure we have nothing of substance" to identify a user, said Austin Hill, the company's president and co-founder. Zero-Knowledge says it developed the software to address an increasing concern among users that Internet companies are using technology to track people's personal information -- everything from buying habits to home addresses to age. ….."
Newsweek 12/13/99 Gregory Vistica Evan Thomas "….Hayden, [Air Force Lt. Gen. Mike Hayden, the new chief of the NSA] who says privacy should be protected from government snooping, worries about his once invisible spy outfit's poor public image. The public may take an even dimmer view when it learns of a new alliance between the NSA and the FBI. NEWSWEEK has learned that the NSA is now drafting "memoranda of understanding" to clarify ways in which the NSA can help the FBI track terrorists and criminals in the United States. In their zeal, will the crimefighters and electronic sleuths illegally spy on U.S. citizens? It has happened before, during the civil unrest of the 1960s….. The timing could not be worse. Technology, America's ally in the cold war, has become the nation's greatest national-security vulnerability. Weapons of mass destruction may soon fall into the hands of terrorists, if they haven't already. Clever hackers, backed by outlaw states, could disrupt, if not crash, the vast global communications network that's the lifeblood of the U.S. economy in the Information Age. ….."
Wired News 12/13/99 Declan McCullagh "….It's enough to spook any spy. Congress plans to hold hearings next year that will, for the first time in a quarter century, investigate whether the National Security Agency is too zealous for our own good…… But one thing has remained the same. The agency is barred from spying inside the United States and is supposed to snoop only on international communications. Through a system reportedly named Echelon, it distributes reports on its findings to the US government and its foreign allies. Do those findings include intercepted email messages and faxes sent by Americans to Americans? Maybe, and that's what's causing all the fuss. News articles on Echelon have captured the zeitgeist of the moment, spurred along by PR stunts like "Jam Echelon" day. Newsweek reported this week that the NSA is going to "help the FBI track terrorists and criminals in the United States." (The agency denied it.) A 6 December New Yorker article also wondered about the future of Fort George Meade. …."
Newsmax.com 1/31/2000 Diane Alden "....Everyone realizes that a responsible government needs intelligence gathering resources in order to survive and to save lives in a hostile world. But it is probable that a great deal of NSA surveillance has nothing to do with terrorists and international bad guys. To find out, I talked to some Danish journalists, looked into the National Security Archives, studied the research of Scottish journalist and physicist Duncan Campbell, and New Zealand's security expert Nicky Hager. The documents on Project Echelon would fill three football stadiums. Instituted in 1947 under the Truman administration, Echelon was part of a Cold War strategy to keep track of various aspects of international skullduggery. Echelon is described as a global surveillance network that intercepts and processes the world's communications and distributes it to US primary partners, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Intelligence analysts Jeffrey Richelson and Michael Evans of the National Security Archives at George Washington University, say that NSA directs and manages U.S. intelligence activities. Additionally, they control the collection activity carried out by military intelligence units. This includes the work of the Naval Security Group Command at a place called Sugar Grove, West Virginia. Newly declassified documents recount that the very controversial program called Echelon does indeed exist. One of its main hubs is the Sugar Grove facility in West Virginia. Other hubs include Menwith Hall in England and six or seven other sites around the world. In classified documents, which are in the possession of Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet, Menwith Hill is referred to as "the largest station in the service'." For good reason, Europeans seem most upset and concerned about Echelon and NSA's influence on interception of Internet and electronic communications. ....."
Newsmax.com 1/31/2000 Diane Alden "....Elkjaer said there is more: "NSA runs a networked database called Anchory. What I can see, a lot of SIGINT collected material is piped into the database, and apparently they keep open databases on all countries they listen to. I haven't heard of anyone with access to these databases, but I have located links to the internal intelligence community network. This is where they keep the good stuff: http://doserve.mall.nsa.ic.gov/producer/bin/anchory "ANCHORY, NSA, FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY." Elkjaer mentioned several other sites that are not accessible to the general public, including one in the UK that monitors parts of Europe. Using heavy pressure, he was able to get one of Denmark's politicians to confess that the Danes did indeed take part in Echelon. "Denmark participates in a global surveillance system," admitted the Minister for the Defense Hans Hækkerup. Echelon and NSA seem to be losing their focus. Therefore, the executive branch and congress should be working diligently to set a reasonable course for the agency. Congress, in particular, has the responsibility to make sure the United States spy apparatus is not running amuck at the expense of private citizens, or eroding our constitutional guarantees.. ....."
Wired 1/26/2000 Chris Oakes "….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. …. 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….. 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…."
London Times 2/10/00 Adam Sage "…THE British and US Governments are to be sued in France after claims that they have spied on French companies, diplomats and Cabinet ministers. Lawyers are planning a class action after confirmation last week that a global anglophone spy network exists. Codenamed P-415 Echelon, the world's most powerful electronic spy system was revealed in declassified US National Security Agency documents published on the Internet, and is capable of intercepting telephone conversations, faxes and e-mails. The system was established in the 1980s by the UKUSA alliance, which unites the British, American, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian secret services...."
U.S. News & World Report 2/14/00 Warren Strobel "…..At 7 p.m. on January 24, the massive electronic brain of the U.S. intelligence system hiccuped, sighed, then shut down. In a twinkling, billions of dollars' worth of supercomputers, high-speed modems, and top-secret electronics fell silent. The central data network of the National Security Agency in leafy Fort Meade, Md., would remain that way for an agonizing three days-an unprecedented event in the history of the nation's intelligence services……. Now, however, the NSA and America's intelligence community face a crisis of existential proportions. A number of current and former NSA officials broke their customary code of silence to speak to U.S. News about the agency and its future. All say America's security will be increasingly at risk if the NSA does not manage to pull itself into the future-and soon. "We've run out of time," one official says. "The world changed on us, and we didn't change the talent, the culture, the technology fast enough." The enemy within. The technology challenges should have come as no surprise. Enemies who once communicated over the airwaves now use underground fiber-optic cable. Encryption software that creates nearly unbreakable codes is available to businessmen and bad guys, depriving the NSA of an edge it enjoyed for decades. The sheer volume of the data gathered by the agency-millions and millions of feet of tape recordings-far outstrips the ability of its analysts to keep up……. But the NSA's biggest enemy may be itself. Larger and more hidebound than the CIA (with its $3.6 billion-a-year budget and 38,000 workers worldwide, it is the largest employer in Maryland), the NSA has stubbornly resisted change. For decades, NSA headquarters was cut off from the outside world. Technologically, its elite employees were miles ahead of the rest of the world. So much so, it seems, that they discounted the technology revolution roaring around them. "There is . . . a total inability to come to grips with what's happening to us," an official says. "There is an incredible self-centered arrogance about how brilliant we are, how successful we've been for the nation. That's all true, but it's blinding us to the future."….."
AP via Yahoo Dailynews 2/24/00 Constant Brand "…..A report commissioned by the European Parliament and released Wednesday claimed the communication-bugging network is eavesdropping on Europe's business community. Despite denials from governments named in the report, the head of the EU's assembly called for strong action. ``We have every reason to be shocked at the fact that this form of espionage, which has been going on for a number of years, has not prompted any official protest,'' European Parliament Speaker Nicole Fontaine said late Wednesday. The EU Commission has not said whether it will launch an investigation into the allegations. ……. Allegations that Echelon carries out commercial espionage against fellow European allies have met with deep concern, especially from the French, who themselves are members of a wider intelligence ring connected to Echelon. ``We have to be as prudent as possible in the transmission of data. Such data must never contain vital information, especially when its relayed by retransmission satellite ... with international connections,'' Justice Minister Elisabeth Guigou told the National Assembly in Paris. ……"
AP 2/23/00 "…..A U.S.-led communications monitoring network is intercepting "billions of messages per hour" including telephone calls, fax transmissions and private e-mails, according to a European Parliament report made public Wednesday. "We are not talking about a trivial thing here ... we cannot stop them, they will continue," said Ducan Campbell, author of the special parliament-commissioned report on the Echelon spy-network…..Campbell said Microsoft, IBM, and a certain "large American microchip maker" were providing certain product features which allow the interception of information flow. Campbell said he did not know whether the U.S. corporations were benefitting from the information gathering but said previous commercial espionage resulted in the collapse of several European contracts in the airline industry - both military and commercial. …."
National Post (Canada) 2/19/00 Peter Goodspeed "……Originally devoted solely to monitoring the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its East Bloc allies, today Echelon searches for hints of terrorist plots, drug-dealer's plans and political and diplomatic intelligence. But critics claim the system is also being used for crass commercial theft and a brutal invasion of privacy on a staggering scale. On Tuesday, the European Union's parliament will open a major international debate on the spy practices of the world's five leading English-speaking nations, claiming that this electronic espionage ring, led by the United States and Britain, is methodically going where it has no right to go. The EU's civil liberties committee is expected to accuse Britain of aiding the United States in conducting economic and commercial espionage on a grand scale at the expense of its European partners. A special 112-page expose of the spy network prepared for the EU last spring declares that the rapid proliferation of surveillance technologies presents "a serious threat to the civil liberties in Europe" with "awesome implications." "There is wide-ranging evidence indicating that major governments are routinely utilizing communications intelligence to provide commercial advantage to companies and trade," declared Duncan Campbell, the report's author, a Scottish physicist and researcher who has devoted 20 years to studying electronic espionage. ….."
Times of India 2/15/00 "…..In what may turn out to be the biggest spy scandal since World War II, the Pentagon has admitted the existence of a spy network, jointly operated by the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, capable of tapping every telephone, fax and e-mail communication in the world. Britain's Sunday Telegraph reported that the communication was passed on to US firms to secure contracts against competition from French, Japanese and other firms of the non-English speaking world. The information was allegedly used even against Airbus to favour Boeing though the UK has a share in Airbus. The project, called ``Echelon'', has been in operation since 1947 and operates from the highly secretive US National Security Agency's (NSA) Meredith Hill listening station in north Yorkshire. The US and the UK were the only two original members of the group which was later expanded. …… The paper said Thomson CSF of France is among the other reported losers as a result of exploitation of the information for commercial purposes. ……"
the-times.co.uk/ 2/27/00 "…..PY agencies in Britain and America eavesdropped on Diana, Princess of Wales and Mark Thatcher, son of the former prime minister, as part of a global system of monitoring communications, according to former intelligence officials. Calls by Diana were picked up because of her international charity work; Thatcher's calls surfaced in the monitoring of British arms deals with Saudi Arabia. The officials also revealed that charities such as Amnesty International, Christian Aid and Greenpeace were secretly spied on. Overseas targets have even included the Vatican: messages sent by the Pope and the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta have been intercepted, read and passed on to Whitehall intelligence officers, the sources say. Codenamed Echelon, the monitoring system is part of a worldwide network of listening stations capable of processing millions of messages an hour. At least 10 Echelon stations operate around the world. Canada, Australia and New Zealand participate, as well as Britain and the United States. ......"
Drudge Report 2/25/00 "……The National Security Agency may be using the Echelon network to eavesdrop on US politicians, says a shock report set for broadcast this weekend! Everywhere in the world, everyday, peoples phone calls, emails and faxes are monitored by Echelon, a secret government surveillance network. Former spy Mike Frost cracks Echelon wide open, in an interview with Steve Kroft on CBS' 60 MINUTES. ….. American politicians have been eavesdropped on, says Margaret Newsham, a woman who worked at Menwith Hill in England, the NSA's largest spy station. She says she was shocked to hear the voice of Senator Strom Thurmond (Rep. S.C.) on a surveillance headset………. As an example of those innocent people, Frost cites a woman whose name and telephone number went into the Echelon database as a possible terrorist simply because she told a friend on the phone that her son had bombed in a school play. "The computer spit that conversation out. The analystwas not too sure what the conversation was referring to, so, erring on the side of caution, he listed that lady," Frost recalls. Democracies usually have laws against spying on citizens, but Frost says Echelon members could ask another member to spy for them in an end run around those laws. Frost tells Kroft that his Canadian intelligence boss spied on British government officials for Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. ……"
Reuters 2/24/00 "…..A Canadian agent spied on two British cabinet ministers for former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1983 under the auspices of the Echelon surveillance network, former Canadian agent Mike Frost told the CBS-TV program "60 Minutes," according to excerpts released on Thursday. Frost's allegation came in the same week that a European Parliament report said Echelon, a series of listening posts around the world run by the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, was used for industrial espionage. The British government denied on Wednesday that it used Echelon for industrial spying in Europe that could help U.S. corporations win contracts ahead of European companies. Echelon was designed to eavesdrop on suspected terrorists, drug lords and other governments hostile to the five members. "(Thatcher) had two ministers that she said, quote, 'they weren't onside,' unquote ... so my boss went to London and did intercept traffic from those two ministers," Frost was quoted as saying in excerpts released by "60 Minutes" for the segment scheduled for broadcast on Sunday. ….."
U.S. State Department Press Briefing 2/23/00 James Rubin "…… QUESTION: Do you have anything to say about this hoo-haw that has erupted in Europe over - especially in France about the Echelon program?
MR. RUBIN: Yes, I do have something I would like to say about that, to the surprise of some of you. Although we never comment on actual or alleged - hold on - on actual or alleged intelligence activities, we have taken note that the European Union is looking at a report which deals with this topic. Although we cannot comment on the substance of the report, I can say that the National Security Agency is not authorized to provide intelligence information to private firms. That agency acts in strict accordance with American law. As the Aspin/Brown Commission Report of 1996 explains, US intelligence agencies are not tasked to engage in industrial espionage or obtain trade secrets for the benefit of any US company or companies.
QUESTION: And I take it that no matter what I ask after that, there isn't going to be anything else?
MR. RUBIN: Not much. …….
QUESTION: I know. But that still leaves the possibility that there is such spying going on and the government is using it itself somehow because we're talking about --
MR. RUBIN: "US intelligence agencies are not tasked to engage in industrial espionage, or obtain trade secrets for the benefit of any US company or companies." That's what I've been provided.
QUESTION: Qualified by the --
MR. RUBIN: There's a comma there. I hope it's in the right place.
QUESTION: Do you acknowledge that the Echelon program exists?
MR. RUBIN: I think I've said about as much as I can say on this issue. ….."
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 3/4/00 Jeffrey Richelson "……That the UKUSA alliance, particularly as a result of U.S. efforts, operates an electronic eavesdropping network with global reach should come as no surprise. The National Reconnaissance Office maintains a constellation of geosynchronous, elliptically orbiting, and low-earth orbiting satellites that intercept communications, missile telemetry, and radar emanations. Civilian and military personnel run satellite ground stations in Britain, Germany, Australia, and Colorado which control the satellites and receive the intercepted signals. The Air Combat Command and the navy fly a variety of planes equipped to scoop up communications and other electronic signals. Nor has the end of the Cold War led to the termination of ship-based signals intelligence collection or submarine reconnaissance operations--including operations to tap undersea cables. Ground intercept sites also continue to be part of the eavesdropping network. While the United States closed down a number of stations in the aftermath of the Cold War--particularly those that intercepted high-frequency military communications--ground sites still form an important part of the UKUSA network. One particular set of ground stations is devoted to the interception of satellite communications--or the "COMSAT intercept mission." According to much of the press coverage, Echelon is the code word for the UKUSA "global surveillance network." But it is not, nor is there any code word for the overall U.S. or UKUSA "SIGINT (Signals Intelligence) apparatus. Rather, the U.S. system is known as the United States Sigint System (USSS). ….."
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 3/4/00 Jeffrey Richelson "……Echelon is, however, very real. Its existence was first revealed by British investigative reporter Duncan Campbell in an August 12, 1988 New Statesman article. In 1996, New Zealand peace activist Nicky Hager provided a detailed description of the program in his book, Secret Power: New Zealand's Role in the International Spy Network, an extraordinary examination of New Zealand's SIGINT agency and its place in the UKUSA alliance. Virtually all reporting, including the original report to the European Parliament, is derived from these works. Unfortunately, much of the reporting does not accurately reflect what Campbell and Hager wrote. The Echelon system that Hager describes links together computers, known as "dictionaries," at UKUSA ground stations. Those computers contain, for each of the cooperating agencies, a list of keywords whose appearance in any intercepted message makes the message an item of interest to the agency. The computers automatically search through millions of intercepted messages for the ones containing the pre-programmed keywords and then ship the selected messages off to the computers of the requesting agency. ….."
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 3/4/00 Jeffrey Richelson "……The air force unit at Sugar Grove is a detachment of the Air Intelligence Agency's 544th Intelligence Group; Yakima and Sabana Seca, Puerto Rico (another COMSAT intercept site), host detachments from the 544th IG,evidence that they are also part of the Echelon network. More evidence is provided by the official History of the Air Intelligence Agency (AIA) for 1994, which contains a section titled "Activation of Echelon Units." That section noted that, in 1994, the AIA, NSA, and the navy's SIGINT agency "drafted agreements to increase AIA participation in the growing [deleted, but apparently 'civilian communications'] mission" and that AIA was to establish detachments of the 544th Intelligence Group to accomplish that objective……"
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 3/4/00 Jeffrey Richelson "……The other partners to the UKUSA agreement do not have the resources or incentive to maintain an array of SIGINT systems similar to those of the United States. But they can and do operate COMSAT intercept sites. Even tiny New Zealand has a modern intercept facility on its east coast at Waihopai. Hager reports that the station, operational since 1989, consists of a services building, two satellite dishes under large radomes, and an operations building. If there was any doubt about what was going on at the facility, it was dispelled when a television reporter entered the station and filmed close-ups of INTELSAT technical manuals held in the control center, as Duncan Campbell wrote in his 1999 report to the European Parliament, Interception Capabilities 2000. ….."
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 3/4/00 Jeffrey Richelson "……While Echelon's dictionary computers are also present at the ground stations for U.S. SIGINT satellites, the stations do not appear to be tied into the Echelon network. According to Campbell, they sort through intercepted material in the same way that the Echelon dictionaries do, but their intercepts are not made available to U.S. partners. Nor do any cable tapping operations appear to feed into Echelon…….. At least for the immediate future the reality seems to be somewhat less frightening. The UKUSA SIGINT agencies certainly do not intercept every signal that passes through the airwaves. And, because of the volume of communications, the expense of collection systems, and the limits of their computer resources, NSA and its allies have always had to prioritize targets and selectively task collection systems. Campbell notes in Interception Capabilities that it is possible to identify certain satellite signals, whether television or communications, as of no intelligence interest, and that "these signals will not progress further within the system." ........."
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 3/4/00 Jeffrey Richelson "……There is also a significant limit imposed on the ability to monitor voice communications, resulting from the failure of extensive U.S. Efforts to produce "word spotting" software that would allow computer transcription of intercepted conversations. In 1993, former NSA director Bobby Inman admitted that "I have wasted more U.S. taxpayer dollars trying to do that [word spotting in speech] than anything else in my intelligence career." Nor has the capability been developed in the intervening years, according to Campbell's report. Thus, while faxes, telexes, e-mail, and computer traffic are subject to automatic processing and analysis, phone calls are not--although the phones of the parties involved in a call can be automatically identified and voice-prints can be used to identify who is speaking. ….."
United Press International 2/28/00 Pamela Hess "….. A former official with the secretive National Security Agency says the agency has adequate safeguards in place to protect the privacy of American citizens as it goes about collecting electronic intelligence on foreign adversaries. "As a general rule, there are circumstances where you could pick up information about American citizens. It's not bad to pick it up. It's bad to distribute it or act on it," said Stuart Baker, a lawyer with the Washington, D.C. firm of Steptoe & Johnson. Baker served as the NSA's general counsel from 1992 to 1994. "The answer is to discard the information," he told United Press International Monday. An abuse of power is a charge the NSA sought to defend itself against preemptively last Friday when the agency mailed a letter to Congress in advance of what it believed would be a negative report on the Feb. 27 edition of the CBS news show "60 Minutes." …."
ETHERZONE 3/1/00 Diane Alden "…..The question was: "Why was a nice girl like you working in a place like that?" Former Lockheed-NSA employee and member of the team that developed Echelon, Margaret Newsham, had quite an answer…….For Margaret "Peg" Newsham the twist of fate which led her to Building 19 in Ford Aero's Sunnyvale, California plant, was only the beginning of a long road that led to a sense of betrayal by her government and her employers. Peg doesn't complain much and she has a marvelous self-deprecating sense of humor, telling stories on herself and her family. Faced with a series of serious physical problems, including a stroke in 1986 and cancer presently, she persists in challenging the tangled world of the intelligence system. Additionally, she endures the trials and tribulations of all whistleblowers. Appearing in a recent 60 Minutes special she talked about her experience with Echelon, the super secret spy project which is alleged to have the capability to intercept data on a massive scale. The CBS series flew her to Menwith Hill, Yorkshire, England, which journalist and expert Duncan Campbell describes as "the largest electronic spy center in the world." Newsham maintains that when she was there in the 80s there were only 3 "domes" now there are about 25. These domes are alleged to house the vacuum cleaner like equipment that monitors data flowing in and out of Europe……."
PC Computing 3/26/00 Paul Somerson "…….A shocking revelation in a little-known Minnesota legal case is about to throw the entire PC industry into turmoil. And unless privacy advocates are successful in a court challenge, everyday users may be in serious danger of being sued or fired. The trouble started when Lydia Profaslo, a 24-year-old sales associate at Polar Foil, a manufacturer of thermal insulating material, posted a photograph on her firm's Web site taken at a company picnic. In the photo, Profaslo is wearing shorts and a bathing suit top. A coworker of hers, Eve Wolensky, testified that she was walking past the office of a sales manager, Roger Jeffries, and happened to notice Jeffries looking at the photo and making an inappropriate remark. Wolensky informed Profaslo, who left the office in tears, and later brought a sexual harassment suit against Jeffries and Polar. In the ensuing trial, her attorneys asked Polar executives a routine question about the existence of any recordings that could shed light on the case. To their surprise, company officials reluctantly revealed a secret that may shake the PC industry to its roots. It turns out that virtually every computer system purchased after March 1996 contains a microphone, and that the IT departments at Polar and other companies had routinely been using special sound-activated software to record and collect conversations……..The software can harvest all speech within a five-foot radius of an average PC, compress and store it, and send it over LANs or Internet connections to a central collection server......."
AP Worldstream 3/24/00 "…….A group of Internet users has filed a complaint to counter an alleged threat to privacy in communication from a U.S.-led spy network suspected of snooping into private phone calls, faxes and e-mails, a lawyer said Friday. The report, by British investigative journalist Duncan Campbell, said most international Internet traffic is routed through the United States and through nine known U.S. National Security Agency interception sites. Akawa, an advocacy group for Internet freedom, has targeted the spy network, known as Echelon, claiming it violates ''the secrecy of correspondence,'' lawyer Jean-Pierre Millet, a specialist in new technology, told the daily Le Figaro. In a telephone interview, Millet called the bid ''bold'' because of the difficulty of establishing proof that the spy network was actually intercepting messages. But 'if the complaint has a conscientious examiner, there is a chance we will be heard,'' Millet said. A report commissioned by the European Parliament and made public last month alleged that Echelon was snooping on businesses. ……"
Defense Information and Electronics Report 3/24/00 Richard Lardner "…… The CIA has released a detailed account of a congressional investigation into the National Security Agency's Project Shamrock, which, until its termination in May 1975, gave U.S. intelligence officials access to telegrams leaving New York City for foreign destinations. Written by CIA Inspector General Britt Snider and published last week in an unclassified edition of the agency's Studies In Intelligence, the article discusses the significant challenges the Church Committee faced more than two decades ago in obtaining information about NSA's operations. Ultimately, the committee -- chaired by then-Sen. Frank Church (D-ID) and formally known as the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities -- determined there was scant legal foundation governing NSA's operations. The committee, as current NSA Director Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden diplomatically puts it, concluded the agency "had not given appropriate weight to privacy considerations in conducting its signals intelligence mission."……… Publication of the account also comes as the media, privacy groups and some lawmakers are questioning whether NSA is up to its old tricks with the Echelon system, an alleged international eavesdropping network through which the signals intelligence agency and a few key U.S. allies routinely monitor the global communications flow. Recently, NSA sought to head off the negative publicity generated by Echelon, the existence of which the agency refuses to confirm or deny. In a report to Congress, the agency said its operations are conducted "in accordance with the highest constitutional, legal and ethical standards."……"
NBC News 4/14/00 "…… Digging through mountains of testimony has revealed several references to U.S. intelligence gatherers - specifically the Central Intelligence Agency - using information it's collected to indirectly help U.S. firms in their bids for international projects. EXAMPLES GIVEN by R. James Woolsey, the former CIA director, include interfering in the awarding of contracts if the U.S. learns one of the international parties is bribing local government officials. Such activity has earned U.S. companies "billions of dollars." Evidence that the U.S. has used Echelon for economic advantage - however justified it might sound - will "set half of Europe aflame," according to the Continent's anti-Echelon group. At the center of the controversy over the Echelon system is European - and to a lesser degree other nations' - fears that the U.S. and its English-speaking allies are using the worldwide eavesdropping network to vacuum up economic intelligence, which in turn is provided to American companies……."
The Associated Press 4/12/00 Tom Raum "……. In a rare public appearance before Congress, the director of the super-secret National Security Agency today denied that his organization is targeting Americans at home or abroad for high-tech spying. ``There are absolutely clear rules. They are well known. And they are well respected,'' Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden told the House intelligence committee. ……. Hayden also denied that his agency - which is prohibited by law from spying on Americans unless there are direct national-security implications - had engaged in industrial espionage to benefit U.S. companies. His denials were echoed by CIA Director George Tenet. ``I recognize that it is standard practice for some countries to use their intelligence services to conduct economic espionage. But that is not the policy or the practice of the United States,'' Tenet said. As to using surveillance techniques ``against the private conversations of U.S. persons, I will say to this committee unequivocally that this is not the case,'' Tenet said. ….."
Wall Street Journal 4/14/00 Neil King Jr. "……Under attack from privacy advocates in the U.S. and Europe, the director of the National Security Agency said Wednesday that his agency snoops on Americans only under rigid controls and never engages in foreign economic espionage for U.S. corporations. Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden used an unusual open session of the House Intelligence Committee to launch another salvo in his yearlong effort to defend an agency seen by many as sinister and all-powerful. European officials have accused the NSA recently of using its international eavesdropping prowess, through a system called Echelon, to spy on foreign companies and sift through every e-mail, fax or telephone call in Europe, charges the NSA calls absurd. The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups have raised similar concerns about NSA abuses in the U.S., charging that the Echelon system could be sucking in vast quantities of information about U.S. citizens without their knowledge. Some members of Congress agree, saying the time is ripe for new legislation to monitor NSA activities……"
Washington Post 4/6/00 Robert O’Harrow Jr. "…… In response to growing concerns about terrorism, hackers and other high-tech criminals, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is planning a series of sophisticated computer systems that would sharply increase agents' ability to gather and analyze information. The FBI is seeking more than $75 million in budget appropriations to continue a massive information technology expansion, which includes a system dubbed "Digital Storm" that eases the court-sanctioned collection and electronic sifting of traffic on telephones and cellular phones. Another proposed system would create "the foundation for an up-to-date, flexible digital collection infrastructure" for wiretaps under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. A third initiative would develop an "enterprise database" that would enable agents to analyze huge amounts of data and share them via a secure World Wide Web-style network…."
Whitehouse 5/1/00 "…… STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT REGARDING THE UNITED STATES? DECISION TO STOP DEGRADING GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM ACCURACY ….. Today, I am pleased to announce that the United States will stop the intentional degradation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) signals available to the public beginning at midnight tonight. We call this degradation feature Selective Availability (SA). This will mean that civilian users of GPS will be able to pinpoint locations up to ten times more accurately than they do now. GPS is a dual-use, satellite-based system that provides accurate location and timing data to users worldwide. My March 1996 Presidential Decision Directive included in the goals for GPS to: ?encourage acceptance and integration of GPS into peaceful civil, commercial and scientific applications worldwide; and to encourage private sector investment in and use of U.S. GPS technologies and services.? To meet these goals, I committed the U.S. to discontinuing the use of SA by 2006 with an annual assessment of its continued use beginning this year……"
THE SUNDAY TIMES: NEWS (UK) 4/30/00 Nicholas Rufford "…… MI5 is building a new £25m e-mail surveillance centre that will have the power to monitor all e-mails and internet messages sent and received in Britain. The government is to require internet service providers, such as Freeserve and AOL, to have "hardwire" links to the new computer facility so that messages can be traced across the internet. The security service and the police will still need Home Office permission to search for e-mails and internet traffic, but they can apply for general warrants that would enable them to intercept communications for a company or an organisation. The new computer centre, codenamed GTAC - government technical assistance centre - which will be up and running by the end of the year inside MI5's London headquarters, has provoked concern among civil liberties groups. "With this facility, the government can track every website that a person visits, without a warrant, giving rise to a culture of suspicion by association," said Caspar Bowden, director of the Foundation for Information Policy Research. ….."
APB Criminal Justice System 4/00 "……Supersensitive scanners that detect microscopic levels of drug or bomb residue can be found operating unobtrusively in airports and border crossings around the world. But in Iowa, some new and expanded uses for the scanners have prompted several diverse groups -- from truck drivers to families of prison inmates -- to question whether the drug-fighting technology violates people's civil rights. The ion scanners, which can be programmed to detect tiny molecular substances including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and even bomb material, are now being used by the state's corrections department to test prison visitors. At the same time, the state Department of Transportation (DOT) is using scanners provided by the Iowa National Guard to randomly test truck drivers. ….."
Short takes 4/17/00 David Ignatius "…….The NSA ops center is also ground zero for global paranoia about privacy. From the European parliament to the hacker underground, the agency is increasingly viewed as the enemy--an all-powerful electronic network capable of intercepting any signal, monitoring any conversation, scooping up any tidbit of information that might advance the interests of the U.S. government……. The NSA should be so lucky. Rather than the omnipotent agency its critics imagine, it seems these days to be struggling to keep its head above water. Some of its systems are so antiquated that a recent power outage halted processing of signals for 72 hours. Its secure cell phones can't yet handle digital technology, only analog. And according to NSA officials, its systems aren't yet capable of processing the vastly increased flow of signals in a "broadband" world where voice and data travel as "packets" along a global tangle of fiber optic cables. ……… "If you were to ask me in an unguarded moment, I'd say we are in some danger of being overwhelmed" by the sheer volume of the digital world, says Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden, director of NSA. The notion that the NSA can act as a global "vacuum cleaner" scooping up every signal and electromagnetic emanation "was never true--and is really not true now," he adds. ........."
CNET-AP 3/29/00 "…..Federal regulators, on the lookout for phrases such as "get rich quick," are creating an automated surveillance system to search Web sites and message boards for investment fraud. But a major accounting firm says it won't participate because the Securities and Exchange Commission's new system might encroach on the privacy of people using the Internet. The technology in the surveillance program "is equivalent to, in my opinion, wiretapping...the equivalent of planting a bug," said Larry Ponemon, a partner in charge of privacy issues at PricewaterhouseCoopers. ….."
Federal Computer Week 5/8/00 Dan Verton ".....A governmentwide data mining agency tasked with supporting the intelligence community in developing threat profiles of terrorists and world hot spots would be established under legislation that Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) plans to introduce as part of the fiscal 2001 Defense Department budget. ...... The new National Operations and Analysis Hub (NOAH) would be "controlled at the highest levels of the White House," Weldon said, and would support high-level government policymakers by integrating the more than 28 intelligence community networks, as well as the databases from a vast array of federal agencies. ...... The plan is to model the new agency after the Army's Land Information Warfare Activity at Fort Belvoir, Va., which Weldon credits with one of the most effective "massive data mining" capabilities in the intelligence community. As an example of LIWA's capabilities, the agency has produced for Weldon a large-format diagram of all the IT systems and networks in the world, color-coded by country and terrorist group……."
NewsMax.Com 7/12/00 "…….First it was Echelon, the global eavesdropping system Uncle Sam and John Bull have been using to spy on satellite-transmitted phone calls, e-mails and fax messages. Now it's Carnivore, the FBI's newest electronic snooping device that can read your e-mail right off your mail server. Capable of scanning millions of e-mails a second, Carnivore can easily be used to monitor everybody's e-mail messages and transactions, including banking and Internet commerce. If they want to, the feds can find out what books you're buying online, what kind of banking transactions you conduct - in short, everything you do when you go online and send e-mail, whether private or commercial. The FBI has been quietly monitoring e-mail for about a year. Two weeks ago the feds went public and explained the high-tech snooping operation to what the Wall Street Journal called "a roomful of astonished industry specialists." …….. According to the bureau, they've used Carnivore - so called because it can digest the "meat" of the information they're looking for - in less than 100 cases, in most cases to locate hackers but also to track terrorist and narcotics activities....... But there is nothing to stop Carnivore from making a meal of your e-mail messages and transactions if they decide that's what they want to do and can get a judge to issue a court order allowing them to tap your e-mail as they would your phones. ……"
NewsMax.Com 7/12/00 "…….Disturbingly, the FBI has prevailed in challenges against forcing ISPs to allow Carnivore to be installed in their offices. According to the Wall Street Journal, one unidentified ISP put up a legal fight against Carnivore early this year and lost. The FBI defends Carnivore, insisting it is used selectively and monitors only the e-mail of the subject. They say that messages belonging to those not being probed, even if criminal, would not be admissible in court. …… That fails to satisfy critics such as Sobel. He says Carnivore is similar to Russia's surveillance system, called "SORM," which all Russian ISPs are forced to install to allow the government to spy on whomever it chooses. It's also similar, he says, to the notorious Echelon, the National Security Agency's global eavesdropping system, which intercepts telecommunications transmissions from around the world and looks for keywords that could indicate illegal activity. ..."
Wall Street Journal via ZDNet 7/11/00 Neil King Jr Ted Bridis "…..The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is using a superfast system called Carnivore to covertly search e-mails for messages from criminal suspects. Essentially a personal computer stuffed with specialized software, Carnivore represents a new twist in the federal government's fight to sustain its snooping powers in the Internet age. But in employing the system, which can scan millions of e-mails a second, the FBI has upset privacy advocates and some in the computer industry. Experts say the system opens a thicket of unresolved legal issues and privacy concerns. ……The FBI developed the Internet wiretapping system at a special agency lab at Quantico, Va., and dubbed it Carnivore for its ability to get to "the meat" of what would otherwise be an enormous quantity of data. FBI technicians unveiled the system to a roomful of astonished industry specialists here two weeks ago in order to steer efforts to develop standardized ways of complying with federal wiretaps. Federal investigators say they have used Carnivore in fewer than 100 criminal cases since its launch early last year. ……"
The Register 7/11/00 Thomas Greene "……. In the course of covering Washington politics for several years we've noticed that it's often the casual throw-away comments made by Establishment players during press conferences and hearings which can lead to a discovery for journalists. …….If you are a US citizen concerned about the steady erosion of your civil liberties under the pretext of counter-terrorism, then the following story should worry you quite a bit. The US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA), which restricts government surveillance related to terrorist investigations, was massaged considerably during the Millennium rollover to enable quick and dirty wiretaps of US residents who would otherwise have been beyond the FBI's authority, National Commission on Terrorism Chairman Paul Bremer revealed during testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee……… Bremmer would like the slack FISA standards in use during the Millennium period, during which every manner of terrorist attack had been envisaged, to become permanent. ……… The Commission's written report, "Countering the Changing Threat of International Terrorism", states that "during the period leading up to the Millennium, the FISA application process was streamlined. Without lowering the FISA standards, applications were submitted to the FISA Court by DoJ promptly and with enough information to establish probable cause." ……. But this appears to be a lot of official, soft-pedal rubbish. Commission member Juliette Kayyem replied to Bremmer's recommendation by saying that it would be "a terrible mistake to permit the FBI to wiretap any American who was at one time, no matter how long ago, a member of an organisation that we now have deemed to be 'terrorist.'" ……."
BBC 7/5/00 "…… Menwith Hill in Yorkshire, part of the Echelon spy system The European Parliament is to set up an investigative committee in response to allegations that the US spy network, Echelon, is being used as a tool for industrial espionage. The system, which dates back to the Cold War, can intercept millions of telephone, fax and e-mail messages across the world every day. The US has been accused of using Echelon to gain competitive advantage for its companies. France submitted a report to the European Parliament last October, accusing the US of using information gathered by Echelon to block a deal by the Airbus consortium. The European parliamentary committee's powers to call witnesses will be limited, and observers say it is unlikely to get to the bottom of the Echelon controversy. "In addition to wanting to distinguish between what is real and what is fantasy, the commission will also try to ascertain how European citizens can see their privacy safeguarded," said Carlos Coelho, the Portuguese MEP expected to head the 36-person committee. ……"
UK Independent via Drudge 7/2/00 Duncan Campbell and Paul Lashmar "….. Britain's role in Echelon, via its ultra-secret eavesdropping agency GCHQ, has put Tony Blair's government in the dock facing its European partners. European politicians meet on Wednesday in Strasbourg and Berlin to call for inquiries into electronic espionage by the US to beat competitors. These debates follow two years of controversy about Echelon as its astonishing power has gradually been revealed. ......But the real origin of the current row lies in the early Nineties, when US politicians and intelligence chiefs decided that the formidable but under-employed Cold War US intelligence apparatus should be redirected against its allies' economies…..At stake was not just routine international trade, but new opportunities created by the demise of communism and fast-growing markets in countries that US trade officials dubbed "BEMs" - Big Emerging Markets, such as China, Brazil and Indonesia. …….. Perhaps the most startling result of the new Clinton policy came in January 1994, when the then French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur flew to Riyadh to conclude a $6bn (£4bn) deal for arms, airliners and maintenance, including sales of the European Airbus. He flew home empty-handed. …….The Baltimore Sun later reported that "from a commercial communications satellite, NSA lifted all the faxes and phone-calls between the European consortium Airbus, the Saudi national airline and the Saudi government. The agency found that Airbus agents were offering bribes to a Saudi official. It passed the information to US officials pressing the bid of Boeing Co." ……Clinton's government intervened with the Saudis and the contract went to Boeing. ……"
UK Independent via Drudge 7/2/00 Duncan Campbell and Paul Lashmar "….. A second contract where US intelligence played a decisive role concerned Brazil. In 1994, NSA intercepted phone-calls between France's Thomson-CSF and Brazil concerning SIVAM, a $1.4bn surveillance system for the Amazon rain forest. The company was alleged to have bribed members of the Brazilian government selection panel. The contract was awarded to the US Raytheon Corporation - which announced afterwards that "the Department of Commerce worked very hard in support of US industry on this project"………This is just one of hundreds of "success" stories openly boasted by the US Government's "Advocacy Center" up to the present day. They do not say where the CIA or NSA was decisive in winning the contract, but often brag of beating UK, European or Japanese competitors. …..Cases where the US "beat British" competitors include power generation, engineering and telecommunications contracts in the Philippines, Malawi, Peru, Tunisia and the Lebanon. In India, the CIA tracked British competitive strategies in a competition to built a 700MW power station near Bombay. In January 1995, the $400m contract was awarded to the US companies Enron, GE and Bechtel. ……"
Washington Post 7/21/00 John Schwartz "……The Clinton administration's plans for policing the Internet are running into sharp opposition from Republican leaders in Congress, who say the government is overstepping laws intended to protect citizens' privacy. The controversy focuses on "Carnivore," the FBI-designed e-mail-sniffing system that allows law enforcement officials to sift a suspect's messages out of the full stream of data passing through an Internet service provider. ..."www.washtimes.com 7/17/00 Eric Peters "…….Want to bring out the anti-technology Luddite in you? Then ponder the interesting new uses being found for Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology and the eensy-weensy little transponder hidden in your vehicle, if you have a built-in satellite navigation system….. Many new cars have this equipment - and are thus subject to more than merely receiving helpful route directions from the friendly system of satellites orbiting the Earth in geosynchronous orbit. The same technology that helps you avoid getting lost also lets whomever controls the satellites know exactly where you are while in your vehicle - and can follow your movements precisely, in real-time, to within a few feet. The transponder in your car is in constant contact with the system of satellites -the all-seeing, never-blinking watchers in the sky………." www.washtimes.com 7/17/00 Eric Peters "…….According to a hair-raising report aired last month by the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) and subsequently detailed in print by the respected computer publication, Micro Times, The UK's deputy prime minister, John Prescott, wants GPS-based electronic speed regulators for "all cars within the next few years." Rather than just provide helpful travel information, the onboard GPS system would interface with a specially coded map that relays information about speed limits on each street to the vehicle's engine computer - which in turn would prevent the vehicle from being driven faster than those limits by throttling back the fuel and ignition systems. Mr. Prescott wants the speed regulators to be required by English law, so no new car could be sold without the technology. This is more than just idle talk. Bear in mind that Mr. Prescott is a high government official - which is bad enough - but also that his nifty idea has been shown to work as a practical matter……."
WASHINGTON POST 8/1/00 D Ian Hopper "……A privacy group asked a federal judge Tuesday to order the release of details concerning the government's "Carnivore" e-mail surveillance system. The Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center accused the FBI of not moving fast enough to act on the group's Freedom of Information Act request for the information. EPIC asked on July 12 that the information, including the inner workings of Carnivore, be fast-tracked through a portion of FOIA that allows for "expedited processing," a 10-day time limit for responding to requests. The Justice Department has not responded, EPIC said. ……"
San Diego Union Tribune 7/26/00 Lisa Dean "….The FBI's 'Carnivore' is devouring our privacy For those of you who thought that ECHELON, the multinational surveillance system, was a joke, here's something else for you to laugh at. It's a new system called "Carnivore" operated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The aptly named system is placed at the Internet service provider level and monitors online communications looking for criminal activity. That may not sound too bad because the FBI claims to actually be looking for criminals, and let's assume for the sake of argument that it is. There are still two problems with "Carnivore." First, instead of having a warrant to, in effect, tap an Internet user's account for suspected illegal activity, "Carnivore" just taps everyone's communications and like ECHELON, filters them to look for illegal activity. As a result, your private e-mails to your friends and family perhaps discussing very personal family matters, will end up in the hands of the FBI. …….. This leads to the second problem, namely a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment which is supposed to protect us from such activities performed by the government. Let me remind you of the wording of the Fourth Amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." ……."
The Associated Press 7/31/00 "……Ford Motor Co. and Qualcomm Inc. are forming a joint venture to equip the automaker's vehicles with wireless gear for mobile access to the Internet and other services. The venture, to be known as Wingcast, will introduce its first services in late 2001, the two companies said Monday. Ford said it will install wireless equipment in more than 1 million new cars and trucks by the end of 2002 and expand the program to nearly all its vehicles by the end of 2004. ……Ford said Wingcast would provide users with communication, information, navigation, entertainment and security services from their cars and trucks as well as any compatible mobile device or computer. ……"
Washington Times 7/25/00 William Glanz "……Federal law enforcement agents say they have used the controversial Carnivore software program to track e-mail of suspects 25 times in the past two years. But agents have never used the program illegally or tracked e-mail they were not authorized to track by a court order, FBI Assistant Director Donald Kerr told the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution yesterday…….. Despite the restraint the FBI says it has used, privacy rights advocates criticized law enforcement agents for using Carnivore and lawmakers expressed skepticism about the federal government's use of the Internet surveillance tool……"
WorldNetDaily.com 7/24/00 Patrick Poole "….Responding to a deluge of e-mails and phone calls from angry constituents, a congressional hearing will be convened later today on a controversial FBI e-mail surveillance system -- Carnivore -- which provides law enforcement officials vast new capabilities to plug into the networks of an Internet service provider and scan incoming and outgoing messages. When the system first came to light after a July 10 article in the Wall Street Journal, it immediately came under attack by civil liberty and privacy advocates. They claim Carnivore can also tap directly into ISP systems to monitor instant-messaging systems in real time, chronicle website visits and record Internet relay chat sessions. ……"
Doug Fiedor 7/30/00 Heads Up #192 "…….House Majority Leader Dick Armey lashed out after the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution's hearing on the FBI's Carnivore cybersnooping system: "This hearing has raised more questions than answers. If anything was made clear today, it's that both parties have strong concerns that the Administration is infringing on Americans' basic Constitutional protection against unwarranted search and seizure. We must address the needs of law enforcement while respecting the fourth amendment rights of citizens. Until these concerns are addressed, Carnivore should be shut down." ……… Kevin DiGregory, deputy associate attorney- general, told Congress that law enforcement had to have the appropriate technology to fight the rising cyber-crime. "Many of the crimes that we confront everyday in the physical world are beginning to appear in the online world ... threats, extortion, fraud, identity theft and child pornography." He also said that a timid response could "render cyberspace a safe haven for criminals and terrorists," where they would operate without fear of surveillance. …….This is doublespeak baloney, of course. People can always operate at home with out fear of surveillance. Well, we are supposed to be able to, anyway -- so says the Constitution. But, today, the combination of efforts of the FBI, CIA and NSA have already installed equipment to monitor nearly anything they want on the Internet and nearly in real time. And, already information is leaking out that the information gleaned is often shared with various groups and governments for both political and commercial gain. ……"
WSJ 7/20/00 Ted Bridis Neil King Jr "……Packed in a slim laptop computer, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Internet surveillance system, Carnivore, looks downright docile. One of its creators calls it merely a "tool in a tool box" for tracking hackers and terrorists. Its name, the FBI admits, is unfortunate. ...It is too late to change the name -- but not too late, the FBI figures, to try to change the opinions of privacy advocates and lawmakers who have spoken harshly of the high-tech sniffer. So the agency has launched an intense, behind-the-scenes campaign to deflect congressional skepticism and convince wary Internet companies that Carnivore is a much pickier eater than its critics claim. ........."
newsmax.com 8/15/00 Lisa Dean "…..When the FBI launched its latest crime-fighting project, known by the name Carnivore, a lot of people worried that this new system could be dangerous - not for crooks, but for innocent people. ……. Critics say carnivore is a threat to privacy. One of those critics, Congressman Bob Barr of Georgia, is leading efforts on Capitol Hill to raise awareness about Carnivore. In an interview Bob Barr has said that Carnivore should be a concern to the American people because "it is a project that can attach itself to an Internet Service Provider that many millions of Americans might use. "No consumer - no user of that Internet knows it's there. The Internet Service Provider has no control over it; they have no way to monitor it…….."
AP 8/11/00 Michael Sniffen "....... The Justice Department plans to hire a major university to analyze the FBI's ``Carnivore'' e-mail surveillance system, but civil libertarians said such a review can't answer all the questions about the system. ``The university review team will have total access to any information they need to conduct their review,'' Attorney General Janet Reno told her weekly news conference Thursday. The report will be made public, and a team of department officials will ask privacy and law enforcement experts to comment before making final recommendations to Reno about the system that has caused an uproar among civil libertarians and in Congress. ``I would hope we could do it quickly,'' Reno said. ......"
FORBES 8/10/00 Arik Hesseldahl "…….Echelon, Carnivore and Tempest. The names could come from the script of a techo-thriller movie. But to people who follow the intelligence community, they're real, and the cause for lots of speculative theories. Echelon is said to be the global telecommunications surveillance network run by the National Security Agency. Carnivore is an Internet eavesdropping tool used by the FBI……… Then there's Tempest. With Tempest technology, the story goes, the information displayed on one's computer screen can be read from across the street by capturing the radiating emanations from the monitor itself using special equipment and a directional antenna……. But the reality behind Tempest is much more mundane, according to government documents and people familiar with it. While the story behind Tempest is grounded in a kernel of truth, it has been so distorted in the retelling that it has become something of an urban myth……… A front-page report in The Wall Street Journal on Aug. 7 attempted to get to the heart of Tempest technology, but instead perpetuated more bad information. For example, the Journal wasn't aware that one of the primary sources for the story, Frank Jones, of Codex Data Systems, pleaded guilty in 1997 to one federal count of possession of illegal surveillance devices, and is widely considered disreputable by several people in the surveillance industry. (A spokesman for Dow Jones Co., parent of the Journal, had no comment on the story.)……. Moreover, Codex says it no longer makes the "DataScan Tempest Monitoring System" that the Journal says the U.S. Army had contracted to buy at $20,000 each. Terrance Kawles, Codex's vice president and general counsel, insists, however, that the Army had at one time expressed an interest in buying the system. (Full disclosure: Forbes.com published an item about Codex's Tempest device in 1998.) ……"
Foxnews.com 9/6/00 Patrick Riley "……Some of the nation's top computer scholars are refusing to review the FBI's controversial "Carnivore" e-mail surveillance software, saying that doing so would make them little more than shills for the Justice Department. ….."
CNN Headline News 9/9/00 Freeper Free Speech "……CNN is reporting on it's Headlines News that Reno is going to have the FBI change the name of it's Carnivore(rights and privacy violating program to something less mean sounding. ……."
San Jose Mercury News 8/22/00 Michelle Quinn "….. Patrick Naughton has created the ``framework'' for a software program that will allow the FBI to remotely access and search someone's computer, according to a document released Friday by a federal court in Los Angeles. That product was among five software programs cited in the document filed by the government in order to justify awarding the former Internet star a reduced sentence. While the 25-page document presumably gives a detailed description of Naughton's work, a federal judge, acting on a Mercury News request to unseal the information, ordered significant portions be withheld to protect law enforcement efforts to prevent and catch sexual predators online. …… Naughton, a former Infoseek executive, has worked more than 1,000 hours for the FBI in exchange for receiving a light sentence -- five years probation -- for his conviction of crossing state lines to have sex with a minor. He was arrested last September on the Santa Monica Pier, where he had gone to meet a person he had been corresponding with over the Internet. Online, the person identified herself as a 13-year-old girl, but she turned out to be an FBI agent. ……"
Foxnews.com 8/26/00 Patrick Riley "…… Big Brother never forgets a face. Or, at least, he won't if the State Department implements cutting-edge facial-recognition technology to track anyone entering or leaving the country. A traveler's mug would appear not only on a passport or visa, but would also be digitized and entered into a massive database of smiles and grimaces. This would "enhance the security of [the nation's] borders [due to] increasing threats to U.S. citizens and property," according to an official State Department request for information recently issued to surveillance firms and obtained by FOXNews.com. The online collection of eyes, ears and noses would be used by Immigration and Naturalization Service agents to weed out fraudulent or duplicate applications, and to positively identify travelers - and "minimize known security threats from excludable, criminal, or high-risk persons," the document says. ........."
YAHOO 10/11/00 "……AFP A French parliamentary report called Wednesday for international talks to discuss the threat posed to European interests by the American electronic surveillance system Echelon. The 80-page report presented to the National Assembly's defence commission said that Echelon, believed capable of intercepting sensitive commercial communications and picking up billions of telephone calls, fax transmissions and private e-mails, was "a danger for public and invidual liberties." ….."
wired,com via Drudge 9/28/00 Declan McCullagh "……. It was bad enough when word leaked out this summer that the FBI's electronic eavesdropping system went by the unfortunate, if eerily accurate, name of Carnivore. The Feds took another blow when researchers at MIT and other prestigious institutions refused to undertake a review, likening the probe to a public relations whitewash. Now it turns out that an embarrassing oversight by the Justice Department has revealed confidential information about the team of researchers hired to conduct the review. ……. On Tuesday, the Justice Department placed the 51-page PDF file online, with project information such as names, phone numbers, and government security clearances erased with thick black bars. …….But it turns out that the information wasn't removed after all. Anyone with Adobe-supplied software -- or a text editor and a little bit of time -- can view the unaltered document. ……."
The Register 10/5/00 Thomas C Greene "……. Heavily censored FBI documents obtained by US watchdog outfit the Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC), under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, indicate that the FBI's electronic snoop known as Carnivore might be able to monitor a good deal more than just e-mail traffic. …….. Among the capabilities that peek out from behind all the indelible black swaths in the documents is an ability to reconstruct an entire Web page as viewed by a subject. A planned, updated version may even be able to capture voice-over-Web communications. Presently the system can capture and record all packet traffic to and from a selected IP, while monitoring a subject's on-line movements. These extra capabilities underscore the controversial issue of FBI reliability in restraining itself when authorised to view only e-mail headers. …."
Toronto Star 9/16/00 Valerie Lawton and Allan Thompson "….. The RCMP claims it does not have controversial software that allegedly was rigged to allow foreign spies to peek into top-secret computer files. The force said yesterday that a lengthy national security investigation is shutting down. But the announcement is unlikely to end questions about the bizarre case. The developer of the software, called Promis, said an investigator suggested to him the probe was being wrapped up in a hurry to quell questions when the House of Commons resumes Monday. And an opposition politician vowed not to let the issue rest until the Mounties offer a better explanation. ……"
Wall Street Journal (via ZDNet) 12/19/00 Keith Johnson "..... When a group of suspected Pakistani hackers broke into a U.S.-based computer system in June, they thought they had found a vulnerable network to use as an anonymous launching pad to attack Web sites across India. But what they had done was walk right into a trap known as a honeypot -- a specially equipped system deployed by security professionals to lure hackers and track their every move. For a month, every keystroke they made, every tool they used, every word of their online chat sessions was recorded and studied......."
D. Ian Hopper 11/21/00 AP "……The Chicago law school dean who reviewed the FBI's controversial e-mail surveillance tool said Monday his report concludes it works the way the bureau described and generally doesn't "overcollect" evidence as feared by privacy advocates. On the eve of the Justice Department's release of his review findings, Henry H. Perritt Jr., dean of the Illinois Institute of Technology's Chicago-Kent College of Law, said the report contains recommended improvements to the Carnivore system - both for efficiency and privacy - that likely won't be made public Tuesday. …. "I think that it's fair to say that it does pretty much what the FBI says it did. For the most part, it does not overcollect. There's certain recommendations as to how it could be improved," he said in an interview with The Associated Press. ….."
CNET News.com 11/16/00 Rachel Konrad "….. The FBI released additional documents about its controversial Carnivore technology Thursday, and critics immediately lambasted it as proof that the email-tapping program is more powerful and invasive than the government has disclosed. The Electronic Privacy Information Center ( EPIC), which sued the FBI for the information through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), said the batch of paperwork indicates that Carnivore can capture and archive "unfiltered" Internet traffic--contrary to FBI assertions. …… "The little information that has become public raises serious questions about the privacy implications of this technology," EPIC general counsel David Sobel said in a statement. "The American public cannot be expected to accept an Internet snooping system that is veiled in secrecy." ……..Among the information included in the documents was a sentence stating that the PC that is used to sift through email "could reliably capture and archive all unfiltered traffic to the internal hard drive." The FBI document was dated June 5 and contained scores of deleted words and phrases. ….."
11/5/00 Foxnews "……Microsoft's network of servers has been compromised by another hacker, according to a report. The Dutch hacker, who uses the alias "Dimitri," claimed to have gained access to several of Microsoft's public Web servers, according to technology news site IDG.net. The hacker managed to place a short text file entitled "Hack the planet" on a Microsoft Web server and download various encoded password files, according to the report. The files contain administrative account information that would allow Dimitri to obtain total control of the servers in question. ….. Dimitri made mention of a software tool available on the Internet that would be able to extract the passwords from the encoded file, but claimed he wouldn't use it. Dimitri also boasted the ability to install a type of virus called a "Trojan horse" in Microsoft software available to the public for download on the company's Web site. ….."
The Register 10/27/00 Valerie Thompson "..... The Apache Consortium, producers of the world's most popular Internet server software, sucks when it comes to privacy. So much so that it won a Big Brother award for it's "irresponsible default settings". Yes folks, its Big Brother Awards time again. The brainchild of Privacy International,a London-based human organisation ceremonies were held simultaneously last night in Germany, Austria and Switzerland to dish out awards to government agencies, companies and initiatives considered by juries in each country to have done the most to invade personal privacy. ......"
TBO.com 1/21/00 D. Ian Hopper AP "……Despite a White House prohibition, 13 government agencies are secretly using technology that tracks the Internet habits of people visiting their Web sites, and in at least one case provides the information to a private company, a congressional review has found. The agencies range from the Federal Aviation Administration to the federal offices that provide disaster relief and administer Medicare, the General Accounting Office found in a study obtained by The Associated Press. ……"How can this administration talk about protecting privacy when its own agencies jeopardize some of the public's most private information?" asked Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.. ……"
Associated Press 10/19/00 D Ian Hopper "......In a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno, House Majority Leader Dick Armey on Thursday criticized the independence and scope of the Justice Department's review of its ``Carnivore'' e-mail surveillance tool. Armey cites recently released documents that indicate Carnivore is just one of a group of snooping devices known to Justice as ``DragonWare.'' The department hired the Illinois Institute of Technology's Research Institute to conduct an independent review of Carnivore to calm the fears of civil liberties groups and Congress. Armey wants the review to encompass DragonWare too. He also expressed concerns about the loyalties of the reviewers, some of whom have strong ties to government, including one who has donated the maximum allowable amount to Vice President Al Gore's presidential campaign. ....."