|Asunto:||[LEA] (en ingles) Ultimas Noticias de La Red de Espionaje Echelon |
|Fecha:||Lunes, 30 de Octubre, 2000 16:58:20 (-0400)|
|Autor:||Jose Rafael Leal <trastor @..........net>
France blasts Britain over Echelon
Echelon surveillance network after an inquiry concludes that the space-based
spy system threatens commercial and personal privacy.
By Richard Barry and Will Knight, ZDNet (UK)
October 15, 2000 9:18 AM PT
A French parliamentary enquiry has harshly criticised Britain for its
involvement in the Echelon satellite surveillance system, which it denounces
as a threat to individual liberty and commercial privacy.
Echelon is the codename for a surveillance network built by the UK and U.S.
at the onset of the Cold War in order to eavesdrop on international
satellite communications. It is one part of a global surveillance effort
that counts on cooperation from Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
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The seven-month investigation by the French parliament concludes that
Echelon is routinely used to gather economic information and warns that it
is open to abuse. The report says that the system may well be used by the
nations that operate it to gain political and economic advantage against
over other nations.
The report shows particular concern for the cosy relationship between the UK
and U.S. over Echelon and the effect that this may have on other European
nations. "Echelon's mission is to monitor every message in the world,"
chairman of the inquiry Arthur Paecht told Guardian. "It is not improbable
that the information collected is used for political and economic ends, even
against certain NATO members."
Not made in the U.S.A.
Paecht urges the EU to help towards developing software that will secure
communications but which is not designed in America. He also recommends that
the EU draw up guidelines regulating surveillance of private communications.
The report says that while many large firms already employ anti-surveillance
technologies such as encryption, smaller companies remain vulnerable.
The findings should, however, come as little surprise to France or to other
EU member states. In March, former U.S. CIA director James Woolsey
acknowledged that the U.S. gathers economic information using satellites. A
questionable justification from Woolsey for this activity at the time was
that European companies have a "national culture" of bribery and are the
"principle offenders from the point of view of paying bribes in major
international contracts in the world."
In the report France alleges that up to 55,000 British and American
operatives have access to data gathered by Echelon's 120 spy satellites
worldwide and that the system is able to process around three million
electronic communications every minute.
Ironically, however, France is not entirely innocent of international
surveillance. ZDNet recently obtained exclusive pictures of France's own
Echelon system, dubbed Frenchelon.
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