Tuesday, January 03, 2006

They hear everything.

If you made a phone call today or sent an e-mail to a friend, there's a good chance what you said or wrote was captured and screened by the country's largest intelligence agency. The top-secret Global Surveillance Network is called Echelon, and it's run by the National Security Agency and four English-speaking allies: Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand. The mission is to eavesdrop on enemies of the state: foreign countries, terrorist groups and drug cartels. But in the process, Echelon's computers capture virtually every electronic conversation around the world.

1 comment:

Jason Grote said...

Echelon has been around since the Clinton era, and as much as I detest it, it's basically just a robot searching for certain algorithms. I'm far more worried about Bush's NSA spying program, which he claims is just for those of us who get calls from Al-Qaeda (whatever that name even means anymore), but has in fact been used to spy on Greenpeace, PETA, Catholic Worker. A conservative Republican NSA agent turned whistleblower was on Democracy Now yesterday and basically said we're in a creeping police state. I am almost surely being monitored somehow, which is a joke, as my political affiliations are probably the most public parts of my life. That and theater, so maybe the FBI will come to my shows. No comps for pigs, though!!! Right on.

So yeah, get rid of Echelon. But we have more than that to be worried about...