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Author Topic: Original 'Echelon' secret UK-US spookery treaty published  (Read 3918 times)

Fansome

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The Register®

Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/25/echelon_publication/
Original 'Echelon' secret UK-US spookery treaty published

Plus old 1940s intercepts: US stuff out this arvo

By Lewis Page

Posted in Government, 25th June 2010 11:25 GMT

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Old news in the world of surveillance and spookery today, as the original 1946 secret treaty between the UK and US which set up the famous "Echelon" listening system is finally published.

The UKUSA agreement, drafted to formalise intel-sharing arrangements which had developed during World War II, formed the basis for the US-British (and later, other nations) partnership against the Warsaw Pact through the Cold War.

The treaty dealt primarily with communications intercept information, known as signals intelligence or "sigint". Back in the early days of UKUSA cooperation, many long-distance or international phone calls were carried by longhaul HF radio, and were comparatively easily intercepted by a worldwide network of listening posts.

Later on, it is widely believed, the allied Echelon capabilities - by now mostly being provided by the US, with useful access being supplied by Britain and other nations - became able to monitor huge numbers of calls automatically, with chosen key words or phrases flagging up a given conversation for investigation by human operators.

Now released along with the Treaty itself are some intercept products garnered up to the year 1949. The cooperative publication of British files from GCHQ and other organisations has already occurred courtesy of the National Archives, here [1]. The American end of the publications will go live on the NSA website [2] at 3pm UK time today. ®
Links

   1. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukusa/
   2. http://www.nsa.gov/

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Offline SW-J

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Re: Original 'Echelon' secret UK-US spookery treaty published
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2010, 1929 UTC »
Later on, it is widely believed, the allied Echelon capabilities - by now mostly being provided by the US, with useful access being supplied by Britain and other nations - became able to monitor huge numbers of calls automatically, with chosen key words or phrases flagging up a given conversation ...


I have always wondered, where is all this intel-screening, speaker-independent language/phrase inspecting taking place?

The gear isn't located in the local telco 'switch' building ... nor are there 'backhaul trunks' from the telco to where-ever it is the NSA has camp (and their super-computers) set up ... so, not all calls it seems are 'monitored'. Same is true of cellular; nowhere in the MTSO would one find govt-installed 'filtering' gear looking at conversations, nor were there digital 'trunks' (DS1, DS3 DSXXX) back to Langley or anywhere else (bear in mind the switch and all telco-connected gear requires provisioning of all incomng and outgoing trunks and circuits, and this is the province of the telco switch engineer) ...

So, no smoke - no fire?
o Icom IC-756ProII, ProIII, Alinco DX-70, Kenwood TS-680s
o WinRadio G303e, Degen/Kaito 1103/DE1103, Stoddart NM-25
o 1/2 wave 80m Dipole used with several tuners
o Tuned loops from 2' thru 16' diam. capable of 160m thru 10m

Offline Throbbing Gristle

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Re: Original 'Echelon' secret UK-US spookery treaty published
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2010, 2051 UTC »
So, you think you've never been "monitored" ???

Offline SW-J

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Re: Original 'Echelon' secret UK-US spookery treaty published
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2010, 2124 UTC »
So, you think you've never been "monitored" ???
Without disclosing any 'trade secrets' I don't quite know how to answer that ...

a) If I'm honest, I disclose things that certain 'employment agreements' I've signed probably prohibit

b) or I could come up with a really good 'cock and bull' story that would satisfy more so than the actual 'trvth' could.

Okay ... I can say that I have had a chance in the past to look at the listings of incoming and outgoing telco 'trunks' (T1's/DS1's T3's/DS3's etc) to the switch and, none of them were 'routed'/provisioned from the switch to say, NSA headquarters in Ft. Meade for starters ...

I may still have the 'CAD' that specified those too, as part of a cutover to an Ericsson RBS 882/884 based system ...

« Last Edit: June 26, 2010, 2317 UTC by SW-J »
o Icom IC-756ProII, ProIII, Alinco DX-70, Kenwood TS-680s
o WinRadio G303e, Degen/Kaito 1103/DE1103, Stoddart NM-25
o 1/2 wave 80m Dipole used with several tuners
o Tuned loops from 2' thru 16' diam. capable of 160m thru 10m