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Computers are useless. They can only give you answers [when what I really want is absinthe and lots of sex]."
-- Pablo Picasso

Echelon Watch! Watch Me Watch You!

by Mr. Bad

1999-11-17 23:39:22

Well, SHIT. I guess I can't go on thinking that Echelon is a myth anymore. Once the ACLU develops a watchdog organization, man, you just got to admit that the damn thing exists.

bAs the story goes, "Echelon" is the super-extra-ultra-top-secret project by the National Security Agency (NSA -- see Enemy of the State for details) to monitor domestic phone lines and Internet traffic. As the story goes, the Spooks use keyword searches on ALL domestic communications to identify Bad People and read their email/listen to their phone lines.

NORAD CIA $400 million in gold bullion [Hello to all my fans in domestic surveillance] plutonium Saddam Hussein Kibo strategic Craig Livingstone arrangements Honduras Ft. Bragg DES colonel militia

This has been rumored for so long that it's become sort of the Internet boogie man. "Look out for what you say, or the NSA will GETCHA!!!" Then, just a few months ago, evidence came forward indicated that Echelon was for REAL. Meaning, all that porno and all that incendiary political shit and threats on the president's life that you've been sending to your friends and loved ones have been READ and ANALYZED by evil fuckheads with mirrorshades and bad suits. DAMN!

Qaddafi Vince Foster Rule Psix radar North Korea Saddam Hussein SEAL Team 6 ammunition Nazi FBI bomb smuggle Uzi Mossad Cocaine

Well, people are up in arms about this, of course. But what can you do? First and foremost, go get you some good encryption, like GnuPG, and use it for as much mail as you can. The Gnomes may be able to break this encryption -- there's really no way we can know that -- but at least they won't be able to keyword-scan you that easily.

Ft. Bragg NSA munitions radar BATF SEAL Team 6 Treasury COSCO Qaddafi Mossad spy NORAD nuclear colonel jihad

Second, if everyone starts using "incendiary" keywords in their e-mail and on Web sites, supposedly the Echelon computers will get "jammed" and will be unable to do their work. At the very least, it's FUN to say the real dirty words of the 21st century. Try it! (Emacs has a great "spook" function that auto-generates "forbidden" words and phrases. I've dropped a few into this article, as you can see.)

Khaddafi clones Vince Foster smuggle Treasury North Korea fissionable colonel supercomputer class struggle Semtex nuclear Rule Psix Ft. Meade White Water

Lastly, you can go the political route and lean on your Congressional representative to get some info about Echelon out to the public. That's what the ACLU started this EchelonWatch for, after all. As usual, an embarassment to liberals everywhere, but the conservative folks have a big jump on this and are making things kind of hot for the Clinton Administration over the issue. Go send some angry mail to Barb Boxer and Nancy Pelosi, and get them to hang up the other line! NSA out of my brain!

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

xxxlover@pigdog.org

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