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Date: 2002-01-30

Echelon: Von Bad Aibling nach Menwith Hill

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Im Zusammenhang mit der Verlegung zahlreicher Mitarbeiter der
mutmasslichen ECHELON-Station Bad Aibling in die Abhörstation bei
Menwith Hill soll sich der Vizepräsident des europäischen Parlaments,
Gerhardt Schmidt, ebendort zu ECHELON äußern.

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EU vice-president to claim US site spies on European business

VICE-PRESIDENT of the European Parliament, Gerhardt Schmid, is
expected to argue that the Echelon system used at the United States base
at Menwith Hill, near Harrogate, is used for industrial espionage when he
speaks in the town next week.

Dr Schmid compiled the European Parliament's report on Echelon, which is
believed to intercept millions of telephone calls, faxes, e-mails and other
electronic communications and pass confidential information to the US
National Security Agency.

The German Socialist Euro MP has accepted an invitation from the Menwith
Hill Forum - which monitors activities at the 560-acre intelligence site - to
speak at the Friends Meeting House in Queen Parade, Harrogate, on
Thursday at 7.30pm.

The signals intelligence station already has a key role in Echelon, but its
importance will grow when hundreds of staff are transferred to Menwith Hill
from Bad Abling - the National Security Agency's third largest monitoring
station, which is in the Bavarian Alps.

Although the US Government has denied the existence of Echelon, it is
known to be shared with Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Britain. UK
Government sources justify it as a means of gathering information on terrorist
organisations and international drug cartels.

But Dr Schmid is expected to argue that Echelon is also used by the United
States Government to gather sensitive economic data from European
countries, which is allegedly being passed on to benefit industrial rivals
across the Atlantic. One example is said to be a ?1bn contract lost by
Airbus Industrie to Boeing and McDonnel Douglas.

Dr Schmid, who will tell the Forum that the uncontrolled use of Echelon is
potentially detrimental to European economies and puts at risk thousands of
jobs, will also explain what the European Parliament is doing to try to protect
citizens' rights.


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edited by Harkank
published on: 2002-01-30
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