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Echelon Architect on 60 Minutes This Sunday

By Demona in News
Thu Feb 24, 2000 at 11:47:19 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

John Young's Cryptome notes that Margaret Newsham will be on 60 Minutes this Sunday. Ms. Newsham has a great deal of interesting things to say about Echelon, the global automated information surveillance system maintained in cooperation by a number of nation-states...


John Young's Cryptome notes that Margaret Newsham will be on 60 Minutes this Sunday. Ms. Newsham has a great deal of interesting things to say about Echelon, the global automated information surveillance system maintained in cooperation by a number of nation-states, and states:
As early as 1979 we could track a specific person and zoom in on his phone conversation while he was communicating. Since our satellites could in 1984 film a postage stamp lying on the ground, it is almost impossible to imagine how all-encompassing the system must be today.
Ms. Newsham fears for her life -- for both medical and political reasons -- and has lost whatever qualms remained regarding speaking out what she now sees as a great wrong which was against the interests of her country and its constitution. Those "NSA line eaters" weren't such crazy, paranoid conspiracy theorists after all. What next?

A hundred years ago, two people could take a walk in an open field, see there was nobody else around, and be relatively assured of privacy. Nation-states will increasingly demand a monopoly on secrets, and no corporation of any size, and certainly no individual, will be safe from their All-Seeing Eyes. Is the only answer a truly transparent society as David Brin envisions it, where privacy as we know it no longer exists, where each and every one of us keeps corporations, government and hostile individuals/organizations in check by always watching each other? There's nothing wrong with sharing, cooperating and interacting with others -- but how close are we to having no choice in the matter?

-dj

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Echelon Architect on 60 Minutes This Sunday | 11 comments (11 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Don't wanna give my own story a +1,... (none / 0) (#2)
by Demona on Thu Feb 24, 2000 at 10:17:02 PM EST

Demona voted 0 on this story.

Don't wanna give my own story a +1, but let's get the ball rolling even if it doesn't get posted. I prefer technical solutions over political, but public exposure can only be good. As Justice Brandeis observed, "A little sunlight is the best disinfectant." Unfortunately, a sort of Gresham's Law applies in the media where FUD drives out clues. What good is truth if there are no ears to hear which comprehend or care? And would we really "change our minds if we knew what they knew" -- i.e., are there bogeymen out there so nasty that dealing with them requires these methods? Who watches the watchmen?

Re: Don't wanna give my own story a +1,... (none / 0) (#8)
by Strider on Fri Feb 25, 2000 at 09:29:00 AM EST

What good is truth if there are no ears to hear which comprehend or care? And would we really "change our minds if we knew what they knew" -- i.e., are there bogeymen out there so nasty that dealing with them requires these methods? Who watches the watchmen?

I don't think that there is anything we could do to stop this. If anything, the US govt. could openly disassemble such a system. Unfortunately, that would be a hazard to national security if the other nations of the world did not destroy their equiptment as well.

As far as watching the watchmen is concerned, there are already rules and regulations in place regarding the montoring of wire taps and such, I would assume that these could probably be extended to the Echleon system. The watchmen would be watched by judges, legislators, councils, and boards of inquiry. There will always be someone listening without authorization, although with the proper regulations in place, abuse of the system would probably be minimal (hopefully).
---
"it's like having gravity suddenly replaced by cheez-whiz" - rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: Don't wanna give my own story a +1,... (none / 0) (#9)
by Matthew Guenther on Fri Feb 25, 2000 at 11:28:48 AM EST

As far as watching the watchmen is concerned, there are already rules and regulations in place regarding the montoring of wire taps and such, I would assume that these could probably be extended to the Echleon system. The watchmen would be watched by judges, legislators, councils, and boards of inquiry. There will always be someone listening without authorization, although with the proper regulations in place, abuse of the system would probably be minimal (hopefully).

Unfortunately, the NSA has already stated (through their actions at least) that they believe that they are above the law, by refusing to turn over documents about echelon to congress. Also, how hard do you think a polititian is going to push on this issue, when the NSA has such surveillance ability to find out every piece of dirt on said polititian in an instant. What do you do when the watchers have that much power and no accountability? There is no way to ensure that a surveillance system of this magnitude will be used responsibly... In fact, given the large body of evidence supporting the adage "absolute power corrupts absolutely", I would say it is impossible to use a system such as this responsibly for any length of time. And I'm not comforted knowing that the abuses of the sytem will be "hopefully minimal".

MBG



[ Parent ]
Tremendous. Just tremendous. Is the... (none / 0) (#1)
by rusty on Thu Feb 24, 2000 at 10:19:00 PM EST

rusty voted 1 on this story.

Tremendous. Just tremendous. Is there any privacy left today? Can we even fool ourselves any longer? Does it really matter?

____
Not the real rusty

People need to pay more attention t... (none / 0) (#4)
by Deven on Thu Feb 24, 2000 at 10:22:24 PM EST

Deven voted 1 on this story.

People need to pay more attention to this stuff. Liberty, once lost, is quite difficult to regain...

Deven

"Simple things should be simple, and complex things should be possible." - Alan Kay

Looks very suspicious. I don't beli... (none / 0) (#3)
by Imperator on Thu Feb 24, 2000 at 11:47:19 PM EST

Imperator voted 1 on this story.

Looks very suspicious. I don't believe all those claims based on the evidence given (virtually none).

Re: Looks very suspicious. I don't beli... (none / 0) (#6)
by techt on Fri Feb 25, 2000 at 06:19:06 AM EST

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" ;-)
--
Proud member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation!
Are You? http://www.eff.org/support/joineff.html
[ Parent ]
Re: Echelon Architect on 60 Minutes This Sunday (none / 0) (#5)
by zephc on Fri Feb 25, 2000 at 01:34:08 AM EST

a friend and I just finished a debate on this b/c of this article :) basically i dont care what they see about me, but the fact that they have the power to basically think they have more rights than other americans or even other humans is freaky and should basically be dealt with somehow...before they really have more power than us. All humans are equal, none more than others, in terms of the guarentee of rights (even though some may seem stupid or undeserving, that doesnt change a thing).
of course I'm also a Taoist, and that part of me can step back from humanity and look at its silly bickering like a soap opera... human silliness and pettiness is even better than TV! in 5 billion years, it will all be gone anyway :P

cheers, all!

Echleon (none / 0) (#7)
by Strider on Fri Feb 25, 2000 at 08:39:01 AM EST

I haven't heard much information about the Echleon project. I don't particularly trust the sources of the documents I have read. Is there any sort of definitive document on the matter, or is it all conjecture and circumstantial evidence. I heard that the danish were debating this online (but in danish, which I do not speak).

Currently, I am not concerned - I have nothing to hide, but there seems to be a potential for this to be abused. If it is what they say it is, then it is probably abused everyday.

It seems to me that the chances of world governments unmaking this beast are non-existent. What kind of regulations do you guys think would be put on it? Or what should the public response to such a system be?
---
"it's like having gravity suddenly replaced by cheez-whiz" - rusty
Re: Echelon Architect on 60 Minutes This Sunday (none / 0) (#10)
by Zer0 on Sat Feb 26, 2000 at 01:20:39 AM EST

Just one question.. in which country will this be shown? 60 minutes currently airs in many countrys and they are mostly different news teams.

Re: Echelon Architect on 60 Minutes This Sunday (none / 0) (#11)
by Demona on Sat Feb 26, 2000 at 11:50:19 AM EST

I imagine this would be in the united states. TVQuest is a site I've found to have reliable scheduling information based on your geographical location, but I don't know if it covers outside of North America.

-dj

[ Parent ]

Echelon Architect on 60 Minutes This Sunday | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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