Hush little baby...don't say a word... : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The words that can get you spied on ROBYN E. BLUMNER St. Petersburg Times; PERSPECTIVE; Pg. 1D October 17, 1999, Sunday What do Oliver North, Vince Foster and Malcolm X have in common? They are part of a list of words and phrases that a group of "hactivists" believe will trigger a word recognition filter in a global spy network sponsored by our own government.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- At the prodding of former CIA analyst, Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., the House approved a provision in the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 that requires the NSA to provide a detailed report to Congress on the legal standards it uses to intercept communications to and from Americans. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Echelon is a cooperative communications surveillance program between the U.S. National Security Agency and the intelligence agencies of England, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. If reports on the system are accurate, it indiscriminately intercepts millions of communications an hour, including phone calls, e-mails and faxes, without any kind of court order or legislative oversight. The targets of this international spy program are non-military. And while it's ostensibly looking for the bad guys of the world, such as terrorists and international criminals, it also may be scanning the conversations of the good guys, too - ours.

According to the online publication Wired, cyberprotesters frustrated with the lack of public knowledge and concern over this massive eavesdropping program have declared Thursday "jam Echelon day." They want everyone to append a list of suspicious-sounding words to their e-mail transmissions to overload the system or at least goose the NSA with millions of red herrings.

Whether the plan will work is hard to gauge. Echelon's operations are so secret that the NSA refuses to affirm or deny its existence. What we do know about it has come from private investigations and reports to the European Parliament. In the winter 1996-97 edition of CovertAction Quarterly, New Zealand author Nicky Hager explained that the Echelon computer network works by scrutinizing phone conversations and e-mail from all over the world looking for certain pre-programmed keywords. Once the system is tripped by those words, the conversation or e-mail is recorded and sent to the spy agency of the country interested. Each country has a different set of keywords. As Hager puts it, "the computer finds intelligence needles in telecommunications haystacks." However, other reports on Echelon indicate that the technology is not that advanced and only tracks the communications of particular people. Since the NSA won't say, it's hard to know what's accurate.

The hactivists organizing "jam day" believe Echelon works on the keyword system. They say the NSA's list includes: Oklahoma City, militia, gun, handgun, Randy Weaver, Davidian, Delta Force, Constitution, Bill of Rights and Whitewater, among others - words that seem to have less to do with international terrorism than with domestic militia movements, organizations that for the most part have not been linked to terrorist activities.

Because so much mystery surrounds Echelon, no one outside the intelligence community knows whether the spy system is respecting constitutional limits on surveillance or whether it's a total cowboy following no discernable standards and invading privacy at will. There are even questions as to whether it has stuck to a crime-solving agenda. International news agencies have reported that Echelon's spying has been used for industrial espionage to give U.S. businesses an advantage, for intercepting the conversations of Princess Diana and for eavesdropping on Amnesty International. The NSA won't say what it's up to and has even been reluctant to inform Congress of Echelon's activities.

When U.S. Rep. Porter Goss, R-Sanibel, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, asked the NSA for documents on the legal standards it applies when intercepting the conversations and e-mail of American citizens, the agency invoked attorney-client privilege and refused the request. The NSA actually told Congress that how it goes about monitoring Americans is a private matter between the agency and its lawyers.

After being reminded by an outraged Goss that the attorneys working for the NSA are government employees and that Congress must be able to peer over the shoulder of the NSA to keep the power of the executive branch in check, the agency did a 180 and cooperated.

But the potential breadth of Echelon has Congress spooked. At the prodding of former CIA analyst, Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., the House approved a provision in the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 that requires the NSA to provide a detailed report to Congress on the legal standards it uses to intercept communications to and from Americans. And Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., who chairs the Government Reform Committee, has committed to holding hearings on Echelon sometime in the near future.

Congress wants to know what Echelon is about and so should we. If an international communications dragnet exists, then it needs to be publicly exposed and shut down. No wonder Americans in a Wall Street Journal survey conducted last month said the biggest fear they have about the coming century is a loss of personal privacy. That topped terrorism and crime, the very things Echelon is supposed to stop. In the meantime, those who want to have a little fun potentially at the NSA's expense should mark Thursday on their calendar as a day to send out gobs of e-mail with "Bill of Rights" in the message.

-- Disgusted (, October 18, 1999


two thoughts:

1)Does it occur to anyone else that Bob Barr is about the only person in congress that gives a shit about the Constitution? (I know all you libs hate him; too bad)

2) It's a damn sad day your government considers the phrase "Bill of Rights" a suspicious phrase.

-- cavscout (hunkerin'@my.bunker), October 18, 1999.

If it was OUR government, it wouldn't. It's a globalist government of occupation.


-- Liberty (, October 18, 1999.

I'm surprised that "Liberty" isn't among the suspicious words to comb for. If it isn't it, it sure should be! That dude is some kind of agitator!!!

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), October 18, 1999.

KoS No, I dont Mud Wrestle. Unless your a fine looking young lady, that is. Beat you to it!! Liberty is just what this country needs! Some agitating!! The people of this country are so pathitic that even a nuclear bomb would only get them away from the TV set for a few minutes. Liberty, keep up the good work. More folks need you than would admit it. Even the KoS!

-- night eyes (, October 18, 1999.

My guess is that all those participating in "Jam" Day will be doing so from government phones.

-- (, October 18, 1999.

agitate ammo ammunition anthrax assassinate ATF atomic BATF bilderberger "biological warfare" "Bill of Rights" bomb "chemical warfare" Chinagate CFR CIA Constitution cocain coke covert Davidian DEA decrypt "Delta Force" "drug war" drugs Echelon encrypt FBI FEMA fertilizer freedom guns handgun intelligence marijuana "money launder" liberty militia NSA nuclear offshore "Oklahoma City" NWO PGP "Pretty Good Privacy" plutonium privacy "public key" "private key" "Randy Weaver" rifles sheeple "suitcase nukes" surveillance terrorism uranium "Vince Foster" Whitewater

-- he-he (, October 18, 1999.

Cavscout - actually, there are TWO congressmen who remember the Constitution - the other one is Ron Paul (libertarian) from Texas.


-- Jollyprez (, October 18, 1999.

Why does everyone assume that Liberty is a male?

-- Mumsie (, October 18, 1999.

Thanks Jolly!

BTW, I like Dana Rohrabacher and Randy "Duke" Cunningham, from CA. They don't care what anybody thinks of them, which is rare in politicians these days. P.S. How's the ol' Garand doin'?

-- cavscout (hunkerin'@my.bunker), October 18, 1999.


This is slightly OT to the original post, but I'm not sure where it would go. Another forum has a post about Ron Paul and an orginization that he put together to try to get several things squared with the Constitution. They put up a web site that got the national id card language changed or dropped in a bill that was passed recently. Now, they are working on getting the EO's straightened out. The website that they listed was at If you want to read the original post it's at: Sorry, I'm link impaired. Hope that works.


-- me (, October 18, 1999.

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