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Date: 2001-07-11

Ueber die Qualitaet von ECHELON

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John Young, Dokumentarist des Gemein/gefährlichen, kryptischen,
Geheimen & sonstwie Dienstlichen über die Unter- bzw.
Überschätzung von ECHELON und die Vernachlässigung all der
anderen Systeme, die weit moderner sind.

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relayed via ukcrypto
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Echelon is one of an unknown number of global surveillance
programs, as the earliest reports on Echelon obeserved. The undue
exaggeration of Echelon has obscured attention to the other
programs, again as knowledgeable reporters have repeatedly

I understand that attempts to get the EuroParl Echelon committee
to investigate the full range of survelliance programs, and not limit
its inquiry to Echelon, was stymied by a willful determination not to
look at the comprehensive apparatus, to restrict the investigation to
what was publicly known already. The report released in May
manages to continue diverting attention from the other programs
while accurately and redundantly protraying Echelon as less than
its exaggeration.

To be sure, these other programs are classified and are not likely
to be exposed by any party which is officially informed about them
and thereby sworn to secrecy, aa no doubt was some or all of the
EP committee. It is probable that some classified briefings were
given to the committee members who came to the US and then
claimed they were rebuffed.

Duncan Campbell and Nicky Hager, among others, have described
the fuller range of programs and in some cases provided
codenames and technical features.

The Echelon word has served quite well to dazzle, perhaps blind to
closer investigation and public revelation. And there is now a willful
attempt to emphasize -- as with the title of this thread -- to
proclaim the investigation to end with a whimper when what has
occurred is a successful disinformation and defusing campaign.

I spoke to the Wired reporter who wrote the story which started this
thread and had to fight off his aggressive charge that Echelon had
turned out to be less than expected and didn't I agree that was the
case. No, I said,
I do not agree. He repeated his demand that I agree the program had been exaggerated. I said I agreed that there had been exaggeration but not by knowledgeable reporters, but only by those who failed to do original inves
tigation into global surveillance and merely recycled lurid tidbits of speculation.

I complimented the EP committee for making a helpful contribution to broading public understanding of unrestrained global surveillance, but that it was irresponsible to look only at Echelon and not the gamut of programs o
perated by a slew of international spooks -- government, business and individuals -- well beyond what is commonly reported. I suggested the committee probably had learned enough, or already knew enough, about the other go
vernment programs to affirm the policy of keeping secrets out of public sight.

No, repeat, no, public committee will ever report fully on
governmental global surveillance. At best, reports will affirm what
has been reported by journalists and "disruntled" former spooks --
and the counter campaigns to disinform and defuse by the gov-biz-
personal spook industry.

The crypto angle of this is that one might rightfully suspect that
benefits and dangers of encryption have been as exaggerated as
Echelon for similar purposes -- to divert attention from far greater

Presumably Silent Runner is a tip of those, but it is known by
name if not capability. And one characteristic of effective
disinformation is to tease, taunt and disparage any accurate finding.

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edited by Harkank
published on: 2001-07-11
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