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is a global signals interception system operated by the NSA
and includes facilities in the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
The Echelon system sweeps the radio spectrum worldwide, eavesdropping on phone calls, faxes and emails.
system then uses a network of super-computers maintained by the U.S. National
Agency (NSA) to filter the data - at the rate of two million calls per hour - looking for keywords,
voiceprints, or particular telephone numbers that are of interest.
countries avoid violating their own laws, which prohibit spying on their own
by having one of the other Echelon countries do the spying and then handing over the data.
Sugar Grove, West Virginia - Echelon outpost
the six antennae target European and Atlantic Ocean regional communications satellites
Waihopai, New Zealand - Echelon outpost
satelite communications interception station
maintained by New Zealand's GCSB (Government Communications Security Bureau)
Tangimoana, New Zealand - Echelon outpost
Radio Communications Interception Station
Menwith Hill, UK - Echelon outpost
January 1998 report to the European Parliament claimed that "within
Europe, all e-mail, telephone,
and fax communications are routinely intercepted by the United States National Security Agency."
Washington has maintained officially for more than a decade that the NSA targeted
and political antagonists, "Concern was aroused in particular by the assertion in the report that Echelon had
moved away from its original purpose of defense against the Eastern Bloc, and was currently being used
for purposes of industrial espionage." The Times mentioned the case of the European Airbus consortium that lost
a 3.5 billion pounds contract in 1995 after its offer was overheard and passed to Boeing, a U.S. firm. Although routinely
denied – for example by CIA director George J. Tenet – it is proven that commercial and economic intelligence
is now a major target of international SIGINT activity. Mike Frost, who worked 20 years for the CSE, the Canadian
secret service, confirmed this and claimed furthermore that the intelligence services of the UKUSA states also helped
each other by spying on each other’s behalf so that at least local intelligence services could not be accused of anything.
For instance, the Government Communication Headquarters (GSHY), Britain’s equivalent to the NSA, asked the CSE
to spy on two British government ministers when Prime Minister Thatcher wanted it to tell her if they were on her side.
Misawa Air Base, Japan - communications interception station
Collection Centers (includes satellite, radio and land based telecommunication)
1 New Zealand - Waihopai - Blenheim, South Island. (Satellite)
2 New Zealand - Tangimoana - North Island. (Radio)
3 Australia - Kojarena near Geraldton West Australia. (Satellite)
4 Australia - Pine Gap, near Alice Springs in central Australia. (Rec Satellite)
5 Australia - Shoal Bay, outside Darwin in northern Australia. (Satellite)
6 Australia – Bamaga, Cape York, northern Queensland. (Radio)
7 Australia – Tindal Air Force base northern Australia. (Radio)
8 Canada - Leitrim, just south of Ottawa. (Satellite)
9 Canada – British Columbia. (Radio ?) ?
10 Lackland Air Force Base San Antonio – Texas. ? (Radio ?)
11 NSA station at Sugar Grove, southwest of Washington, DC. (Satellite / Radio)
12 NSA Station Yakima in Washington State. (Satellite)
13 NSA Headquarters at Fort George Meade, Maryland. Only station with full access.
14 NSA Station Buckley Field – Denver Colorado. ? (Radio)
15 UK - Menwith Hill – Harrogate Yorkshire in northern England. Previously F83. (All))
16 UK - Chelteman headquarters of the GCHQ.
17 UK - Morwenstow, near Bude, Cornwall. (Satellite, Land)
18 Germany - Bad Aibling. Previously F91. (Rec Satellite)
19 Japan - Misawa in northern Japan. (Radio ?)
20 Denmark - Sandagergard located at Aflandshage on the island of Amager, south of the capital Copenhagen. (Radio ?)
21 Puerto Rico - Sabana Seca. (Radio)
22 China - Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Two sites ? (Radio)
23 Hong Kong - Chung Hom Kok. (closed downed 1994) ? (Satellite)
24 Ascension Island
25 Most Embassies and Consulates, irrespective of region or country have some method
of monitoring and passing on relevant information. (Radio)
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