From Wired, Eavesdropping on Europe
Sep. 30, 1998
If the European Parliament has its way, the lid is about to come off what is reputedly one of the most powerful, secretive, and extensive spy networks in history -- if, in fact, it really exists.
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...
Echelon is reportedly able to intercept, record, and translate any electronic communication -- telephone, data, cellular, fax, email, telex -- sent anywhere in the world. The parliamentary report will focus on concerns that the system has expanded and is now zeroed in on the secrets of European companies and elected officials...
That's a fine lot of technology the NSA has got there. Are there any possible problems that might emerge as this tool becomes availible to those in power?
International cooperation on law enforcement is important, [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] Ford said, but there are limits. "We want to establish a code of conduct for the systems to protect EU citizens and governments."
Across the Atlantic, Patrick Poole, deputy director for the Free Congress Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank, is preparing a report on Echelon to present to Republican members of Congress. "I believe it's time we start to bring this matter to our elected officials," he said.
There might have been concerns with those in Olde Europe, but at least some in this country where forward thinking at the time. If there could be an excuse to turn Echelon inward into this country, the advantage to our elected officials
would be enormous. With this extra window into the workings of those working in opposition to our elected officials
, they will be in a better position to make sure these opposition plans do not interfere with already agreed on plans for world domination and control.