OT: US-led spy web used to swing business deals

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US-led spy web used to swing business deals

WASHINGTON: In what may turn out to be the biggest spy scandal since World War II, the Pentagon has admitted the existence of a spy network, jointly operated by the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, capable of tapping every telephone, fax and e-mail communication in the world.

Britain's Sunday Telegraph reported that the communication was passed on to US firms to secure contracts against competition from French, Japanese and other firms of the non-English speaking world. The information was allegedly used even against Airbus to favour Boeing though the UK has a share in Airbus.

The project, called ``Echelon'', has been in operation since 1947 and operates from the highly secretive US National Security Agency's (NSA) Meredith Hill listening station in north Yorkshire. The US and the UK were the only two original members of the group which was later expanded.

The UK's role has come under fire, said the paper whose despatch has made the front page of the Washington Times, as it is the only European participant in the US-led global electronic espionage. European countries say that US espionage chiefs abuse `Echelon' to spy on individuals and pass on commercial secrets to US businesses, the Washington Times said.

The paper said Thomson CSF of France is among the other reported losers as a result of exploitation of the information for commercial purposes.

The US admitted the existence of NSA only recently. Congress votes billions of dollars for it every year but the amounts are hidden under different heads.

In Asia, it said, the US used information gathered from its bases in Australia to win a half of Indonesia's trade contracts for AT&T that intercepts showed were initially going to NRC of Japan, Wayne Madsen, a former NSA agent, told Australian TV.

NSA's activities are one reason why delegations from developing countries are at a disadvantage at international conferences, observers here said. Even before they open their mouths, the Americans will have intercepted their instructions so that they know in advance how far they can push them.(PTI)



-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), February 15, 2000


Still wonder why You and I have become Targets of Retaliation from the Rest of the World?(Our Criminals calling it "Terrorism" and want You to believe,they have no Reason to do it).You and I,involuntarily are supporting Terrorism,at the Tune of over 6.5 Billion US Tax Dollars,by supplying the Terrorist State Of Israel,any wonder their Neighbors are arming themselves??Our Gov.(still the Best)unfortunately is infested with Characters,that do not deserve to live in a Country like ours.

-- Heff (we@re.thedummies), February 15, 2000.

Anybody wonder why they don't want STRONG encryption?

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), February 15, 2000.

Well duh, like anyone thought it WASN'T about money?

-- Hokie (Hokie_@hotmail.com), February 15, 2000.

...related, current hype on a national corporate anti-hacking establishment is distracting us from the EXISTING anti-hacking establishment we taxpayers ALREADY bought! Remember, in Jan we were told all the y2k-.gov bunker build-up was gonna be dedicated to this very purpose? Back by NatSA, with like up to 90k salaried positions?

-- Hokie (Hokie_@hotmail.com), February 15, 2000.

I find it interesting that the French are screaming loudest about this. The US has rules and laws in place to prevent the NSA & CIA from transferring any info they get to US companies for purely economic reasons.

Meanwhile there are documented cases of French intelligence operatives being caught engaged in espionage against US-based companies on behalf of the French government. All with the intent of passing any info gained on to French-based (read: "government owned") high-tech industries.

Can you say "Airbus" or "Dassault"? Let those countries with nationalized industries bitch all they want about ECHELON. They'd love to have one of their own.

It's the use of such a system against individuals or groups by TPTB for political purposes that's the real problem.


-- Wildweasel (vtmldm@epix.net), February 15, 2000.

NSA already has the capability of intercepting/monitoring *every* electronic signal on the planet, including everything on the Net; plus it is/was involved in the 'Promis' banking software (with it's backdoor, so that NSA could monitor all secret/encrypted bank transactions); plus it is setting up Internet e-banks to snare the unwary, but we *still* need another secret .gov organization to monitor the Net. (?) [See today's Klintoon headlines.]

Q: How much is enough?

A: Enough.

Q: How much is that?

A: Only enough is enough.

'Nuf said? As Roy and Dale used to put it, "May the good Lord take a likin' to you."

-- bz (beezee@statesville.net), February 15, 2000.


I just did a 10-minute search of "NSA" on Google. According to several sites I looked at, Microsoft Windows 95, 98, NT4, and Windows 2000, and Lotus Notes *all* have convenient backdoors for NSA and, perhaps, others. And they *still* need more 'security'. From "Marathon Man": 'Is it safe?'

-- bz (beezee@statesville.net), February 15, 2000.

Again: It's a done deal, but we as individuals can make use of it!The information referenced here is available to any competent cracker:government or non-government. WW is right: TPTB are the issue. Ever wonder why we individualize a cracker-Mixter, for instance, who has incidentally been pretty outspoken and high profile- and anomize "government". Hate to be redundant, but TPTB are not disincarnate entities:they're folks like you and me, just don't have the same values. Take the time to learn them as individuals. Read and analyse their policies and procedures, find out their position titles and their names. It's all on the 'Net, all public information. Just have to know how to retrieve it as an ordinary citizen.....Big Snow Job here, folks. Time for digging out.

-- another government hack (keepwatching_2000@yahoo.com), February 15, 2000.


You may have hit the nail on the head...

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), February 16, 2000.

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