Nyt kun on USA:n hämärähommat olleet viimeiakoina hyvin palstalla esillä, saadaan niistä sopivasti aasinsilta seuraavaan aiheeseen: Echelon vakoilujärjestelmä.
Echelon-järjestelmää on osattu epäillä ympäri maailmaa jo pitkään. EU-parlamentin raportti sanoo asiasta:
The system known as ECHELON is an interception system which differs from other
intelligence systems in that it possesses two features which make it quite unusual:
The first such feature attributed to it is the capacity to carry out quasi-total surveillance. Satellite
receiver stations and spy satellites in particular are alleged to give it the ability to intercept any
telephone, fax, Internet or e-mail message sent by any individual and thus to inspect its contents.
The second unusual feature of ECHELON is said to be that the system operates worldwide on
the basis of cooperation proportionate to their capabilities among several states (the UK, the
USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand), giving it an added value in comparison to national
systems: the states participating in ECHELON (UKUSA states9) can place their interception
systems at each others disposal, share the cost and make joint use of the resulting information.
This type of international cooperation is essential in particular for the worldwide interception of
satellite communications, since only in this way is it possible to ensure in international
communications that both sides of a dialogue can be intercepted. It is clear that, in view of its
size, a satellite receiver station cannot be established on the territory of a state without that
states knowledge. Mutual agreement and proportionate cooperation among several states in
different parts of the world is essential.
Possible threats to privacy and to businesses posed by a system of the ECHELON type arise not
only from the fact that is a particularly powerful monitoring system, but also that it operates in a
largely legislation-free area. Systems for the interception of international communications are
not usually targeted at residents of the home country. The person whose messages were
intercepted would have no domestic legal protection, not being resident in the country
concerned. Such a person would be completely at the mercy of the system. Parliamentary
supervision would also be inadequate in this area, since the voters, who assume that interception
only affects people abroad, would not be particularly interested in it, and elected
representatives chiefly follow the interests of their voters. That being so, it is hardly surprising
that the hearings held in the US Congress concerning the activities of the NSA were confined to
the question of whether US citizens were affected by it, with no real concern expressed regarding
the existence of such a system in itself. It thus seems all the more important to investigate this
issue at European level.
It is perfectly obvious that information in the following sectors is of particular interest:
biotechnology, genetic technology, medical technology, environmental technology, highperformance
computers, software, optoelectronics, image sensing and signalling systems, data
storage systems, industrial ceramics, high-performance alloys and nanotechnology. The list is
not comprehensive and changes constantly in line with technological developments. In these
sectors of industry, espionage primarily involves stealing research findings or details of special
EU:n raportin conclusion:
That a global system for intercepting communications exists, operating by means of
cooperation proportionate to their capabilities among the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia and
New Zealand under the UKUSA Agreement, is no longer in doubt.
EU sentään yritti nostaa metakaa asiasta, mutta niin vain hiljeni sekin? Tuntuu käsittämättömältä että meitä saadaan vakoilla rauhassa ja varastella yrityssalaisuuksia, eikä ketään näytä kiinnostavan?