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Magazine Web Edition > September 1998 > A Top-Secret Spy System Is Watching You

EDITORIAL

A Top-Secret Spy System Is Watching You

Echelon, a satellite-based eavesdropper, is sifting through all the world's phones, e-mail and faxes

the Editor



Talk about big brother and the loss of privacy. It's enough for a year's supply of government conspiracy plots on the X-Files. Only, it's real. Reported first in il Mondo, an Italian newsmagazine, it's enraged Europeans who call it an American invasion of the world's civil liberties. The details are simple. A top-secret network, code named Echelon, run by the US National Security Agency in cooperation with four English-speaking nations (UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) is using satellites and supercomputers to intercept, sift and eavesdrop on most of the world's telephone, e-mail and fax communications.

According to the World Press Review's report in July, all of these communications, even if encoded, can be intercepted and processed through an extremely powerful computerized database. Key words guide human spies to the most relevant material, giving, the non-member nations cry, "Anglo-Saxon corporate interests an economic advantage" (the system was allegedly used to help America win a giant contract in Malaysia). It's nothing new, really. After the end of the cold war, the massive machinery built to spy on the Soviets was not dismantled, but recommissioned to focus on global non-military telecommunications traffic. The system has five large bases that intercept all data and voice information going through the 25 international telecommunication satellites (Intelsats) used by phone companies throughout the world. It handles a mind-boggling 3 billion messages and conversations a day, searching for "sensitive" words. The bad news is your personal e-mail is probably part of the daily harvest, and you should probably not name your new kitten "Tamil tiger." The good news is not even the well-funded US National Security Agency that is charged with data analysis can make sense of so much stuff. As noted by WPR, the system failed to capture even a hint of India's nuclear experiments, missed the 1974 revolution in Portugal, the fall of the Shah of Iran and the Iran-Iraq war. So, do not despair, it will probably miss your little battles, too! [Note: New readers be advised that while the foregoing is factual, our intrepid editor now leads us on a journey beyond truth]

Wanting to see for myself what the system could do and seeking a way for India to get even for recent sanctions, I logged on using a code developed by Kimo Therapy, a local Hawaiian chiropractor and coconut husker who can crack just about anything. I found myself on-line with Echelon and downloaded the following exchange. Destroy this page after you read it.

8/14: This is a priority 2 transmission from India's Minister of the Interior, MOTI. "Tell Tally-Ho, we are set for Operation God For Sale. Big Ears advises that CIA and M-6 have no knowledge of our plans. MOTI"

8/15: "Tally-Ho here in NY. Advise changes in plan before we launch."

8/15: "Red Book plan is tweaked due to intelligence that Americans are now buying foods without calories and beer without alcohol. They are ready for God without form. So, Formless Absolute Reality will be included in the package with classic original-recipe theistic Indian divinity. MOTI"

8/21: "Big Ears submitted advisory 0300 hours: Courts have not resolved efforts by US companies to patent turmeric and neem. Monsanto aggressively exploring additional natural chemicals to trademark, thus hamstringing Indian producers. BE confirms his team's search of US Copyright Office shows no God protections now exist. TH"

8/26: "All trademarks and copyrights for God With and Without Form (GWWF) in US jurisdictions arrived Delhi today. Stand-by to receive digital resources for advertising agencies. MOTI"

9/5: "Agencies completed campaign layouts. Attorneys say we can lock up all use of the terms and are negotiating fees. TH"

9/6:"Launch Project Poetic Justice License. Have lawyers advise all churches, synagogues, mosques, yoga schools, TV, film industry and publishers of our license to extract royalties due for each reference to God, written or spoken. Update algorhythms to invoke royalty for all citations to Impersonal Divinity and New Age Oneness definitions. Invoke pre-set Internet banking channels for direct digital movement of funds to Delhi. Advise when complete. MOTI"

9/14:"Done. Funding stream in place, with US$125,000 per hour (at 10¢ per verbal use, 4¢ written) generated by GWWF offensive. American religion leaders are counter-attacking, but the Supreme Court today accepted India as the original and first author/inventor of the concept of God, securing India's ownership of the word and its derivatives, while allowing non-royalty use of specific terms like Jehovah and Allah. The Vatican has asked US Bishops to limit references to God until budgets can be revised to cover Indian copyright fees. White House has offered to lift nuclear bomb penalties if India will return the use of God terms to public domain. It would seem we have succeeded in cornering the market on God here, and now that swear words are included fees exceed monetary impact of nuclear sanctions and US bio-piracy. On your command, will move to Europe, Africa and SE Asia. As no one mentions God in China, we propose to skip it. FYI: After shouting "These Godless Indians and their God-forsaken plot" in the Senate, Jesse Helms was fined 20¢ and sent to his room. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported today that 64% of US code writers are of Indian origin, and has uncovered proof we have trained them to secretly reprogram corporate and banking systems to India's advantage. Advise TH"

9/15:"Be indignant. Call it all an inane media fabrication and proceed with Phase Two. I'm off to the Mela. MOTI out."


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