Reportage in 2000

More Echelon

March-December 2000

Materials arranged chronologically.

Strobel, Warren P. "Uncle Sam Is Listening: Europeans Don't Like It." U.S. News & World Report, 6 Mar. 2000. []

"Across Europe last week, politicians and the press were in full cry over a vast Anglo-American electronic surveillance system named Echelon." According to a report in the European Parliament, Echelon "scans billions of private E-mails, faxes, and telephone conversations each hour."

Hitchens, Christopher. "Just an Oversight." The Nation, 20 Mar. 2000, 9.

Rant over the evils of Echelon.

Richelson, Jeffrey T. "Desperately Seeking Signals," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 56, no. 2 (Mar.-Apr. 2000): 47-51.

This is a relatively level-headed review of the state of play surrounding the multinational Echelon system operated by the partners to the UKUSA agreement. Richelson comments that "[a]n intercept operation that scoops up a good deal of the world's communications satellite traffic, automatically processes it in search of whatever intelligence any UKUSA nation wished, and then sends it on its way, would be unsettling." But he follows that by noting that "[a]t least for the immediate future the reality seems to be somewhat less frightening."

[Woolsey, R. James.] "Transcript of Remarks by James Woolsey at the Foreign Press Center, Washington, DC, on 7 March 2000." []

The former DCI addresses some of the misunderstandings regarding the relationship (or lack thereof) between U.S. intelligence activities and U.S. commercial concerns: "If you look at the Aspin-Brown Commission report of some four years ago,... it states quite clearly that the United States does not engage in industrial espionage in the sense of collecting or even sorting intelligence that it collects overseas for the benefit of and to be given to American corporations."

Woolsey, R. James. "Why We Spy on Our Allies." Wall Street Journal, 17 Mar. 2000. []

"The European Parliament's recent report on Echelon ... has sparked angry accusations ... that U.S. intelligence is stealing advanced technology from European companies so that we can ... give it to American companies and help them compete. My European friends, get real. True, in a handful of areas European technology surpasses American, but ... the number of such areas is ... very small. Most European technology just isn't worth our stealing. Why, then, have we spied on you? The answer is ... [that] we have spied on you because you bribe ... a lot....

"What are the economic secrets, in addition to bribery attempts, that we have conducted espionage to obtain? One example is some companies' efforts to conceal the transfer of dual-use technology.... Another is economic activity in countries subject to sanctions.... But do we collect or even sort secret intelligence for the benefit of specific American companies? Even Mr. Campbell admits that we don't, although he can't bring himself to say so except with a double negative: 'In general this is not incorrect.'"

Blair, Alex. "Ex-Head of CIA Says Spying on Europe Justified." The Scotsman, 29 Mar. 2000. []

In an interview with Le Figaro on 28 March 2000, former DCI James Woolsey said that "'[s]pying on Europe is justified.' ... He denied, however, that the United States was giving secret information collected from European companies to their US competitors. Mr Woolsey said the United States was spying only on certain companies that violated United Nations sanctions or that participated in bribery in order to gain more business."

Evans-Pritchard, Ambrose. "Euro-MPs Call for Inquiry on British Spying." Telegraph (London), 29 Mar. 2000. []

On 28 March 2000, members of the European Parliament "amassed enough votes to demand a full parliamentary investigation into British involvement in alleged eavesdropping on targets in the European Union..... A total of 171 MEPs have signed a petition calling for an inquiry, more than enough to force the issue to a vote.... A simple majority of the body's 626 members will be required to trigger a hearing along the lines of a US Congressional inquiry."

Black, Ian. "Britain Accused of Aiding Industrial Espionage by US." The Guardian, 31 Mar. 2000. []

"Britain came under unprecedented pressure from its European partners [on 30 March 2000] to reveal the extent of its involvement in a US-led spying network said to be used for industrial espionage."

Evans-Pritchard, Ambrose. "British-US Espionage Net Illegal, Says EU." Telegraph (London), 31 Mar. 2000. []

"The European Union condemned Britain's role in an Anglo-American espionage network as illegal [on 30 March 2000], vowing to confront the Government over the controversy at the next EU justice ministers' meeting."

Black, Ian. "Britain Warns EU to Drop Spying Debate Over Echelon." The Guardian, 8 Apr. 2000. []

"Britain is trying to stifle a European Union debate about its involvement in a US-led economic espionage network by warning its partners that their own secrets could be exposed."

Drogin, Bob. "2 Top U.S. Spymasters Deny Illegally Snooping on Americans." Los Angeles Times, 13 Apr. 2000. []

On 12 April 2000, DCI George J. Tenet and DIRNSA Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden fervently denied to the HPSCI that their agencies "illegally snoop on U.S. citizens at home and abroad.... Both repeatedly insisted that their services have stayed within legal limits set by Congress and executive orders over the last two decades."

Windrem, Robert (prod.). "U.S. Steps Up Commercial Spying." MSNBC News, 7 May 2000. []

"Newly unearthed documents, mostly letters from the CIA to Congress, lay out evidence of an intensive intelligence effort to help U.S. corporations win contracts overseas. The documents ... appear to confirm reports that America's electronic eavesdropping apparatus was involved in commercial espionage."

Drozdiak, William. "A Suspicious Eye on U.S. 'Big Ears.'" Washington Post, 24 Jul. 2000, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost. com]

Discusses NSA's continued operation of its site at Bad Aibling and the concerns expressed by Germans about the role of that site given all the uproar about the Echelon system.

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