..., bitten off, and eaten for dessert. (none / 0) (#18)
by Hubris Boy on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 07:29:37 PM EST
Protests against Echelon are not about protests against intelligence gathering.
Truth. Most protests against Echelon are simply social occasions, which offer pimply-faced undergrads the opportunity to get the panties off of ideology-addled college girls. Usually, these people have absolutely no idea what they're protesting, or why.
Nowhere did I mention the CIA or KGB.
Actually, the CIA doesn't concern itself with signal intelligence. That's another agency. If you're really interested, the ODCI has an excellent graphic here which shows (very generally) the organizational breakdown of the American intelligence community. You may find it instructive.
Echelon is about the large scale, wholesale monitoring of large volumes of (pay attention here) private, civilian electronic communication of (pay attention here again) friendly, allied nations with whom (and pay attention here too) no war is being waged, and no hostile relations exist.
So? Get over it. They do it to us, too, to the extent that they're able. Remember (pay attention here) Jonathan Pollard?
Keeping tabs on the political status of your friends and allies (in the military, cultural and economic senses) is one thing. Large scale monitoring of private, friendly civilian communication is another thing entirely.
No, it's not. They're exactly the same thing... Ohhhhhh! Now I get it! You're not being deliberately obtuse, you truly don't understand how the process works. Silly me. I made the mistake of assuming that you knew what you were talking about. Listen... you're confusing intent with method. As far as method goes, "keeping tabs on the political status of your friends and allies and "large scale monitoring of private, friendly civilian communication" are the same thing. A Wullenweber antenna farm, for example, sucks in everything, the same way a whale sucks in a cloud of krill. There's simply no way to selectively monitor electronic communications. You cast your net upon the waters...
It serves no clear military purpose whatsoever.
Wanna bet? How about if I manage to intercept a phone call from an "enemy" tank crewman to his mother, complaining that he's going to miss her birthday party because his division is deploying to the field? Don't scoff... that sort of thing happens all the time. That's how intelligence works. You take lots of little fragments and put together a big picture.
Or, how about if I intercept a fax from a front company, physically located in a "friendly, allied nation", attempting to purchase proscribed technology or materials for the "hostile" country that owns it. If you don't believe that that sort of thing happens, go ask the Pakistanis how they managed to detonate a nuclear weapon. Or ask the North Koreans where they get the machine tools to build the delicate bits of their Taepo Dong II missile system.
It is a police state apparatus.
No, it isn't. This is just how intelligence gathering works in the 21st century. Gentlemen used to read each others mail, now they monitor their phone calls. It isn't pretty. We wish it weren't necessary. But there it is. Whatever it is, it certainly is not the apparatus of a police state. Most police states can only dream of deploying a system like this! Instead, they content themselves with less advanced but nevertheless effective techniques, such as kneecapping, sleep deprivation, and attaching the leads from a hand-cranked generator to your testicles. Obviously, you've never lived in a police state. (Go ahead... ask. I dare you!)
It is as immoral as they come.
Boo-hoo. Which would you prefer: A well-informed Superpower making rational decisions based on good intelligence, or a Superpower stumbling around in the dark, lashing out blindly at ghosts, shadows and rumor?
And I am willing to lay good odds that Echelon is the only project of it's kind in the world.
No doubt. And a good thing, too. I certainly wouldn't want anyone else to be able to deploy this kind of system!
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