Template:/box-header This Portal is dedicated to Wikipedia's coverage of Mass surveillance. Mass surveillance is when governmental organizations or corporations engage in the intricate surveillance, or monitoring, of an entire or a substantial fraction of a population. Mass surveillance has been criticised for:
- violating the privacy of individuals,
- limiting civil and political rights and freedoms, and
- being illegal under some legal or constitutional systems.
Currently, governmental organisations such as the NSA ( United States), CIA ( United States), GCHQ ( United Kingdom), RAW ( India), Mossad ( Israel), FSB ( Russia), PLA ( China), MISRI ( Iran) and BND ( Germany) amongst others engage in some degree of mass surveillance. Programmes such as PRISM and ECHELON that were revealed in documents leaked illegally by whistleblower Edward Snowden, have globalised mass surveillance by surveilling populations throughout the world, not limited to just one country. Since June 2013 when their existence was revealed to the world, there has been international debate regarding whether or not mass surveillance is a complete violation of the right to privacy. This portal is dedicated to Wikipedia's coverage of mass surveillance and the debate surrounding it. Template:/box-footer
ECHELON, originally a code-name, is now used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UKUSA Security Agreement (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, referred to by a number of abbreviations, including AUSCANNZUKUS and Five Eyes). It has also been described as the only software system which controls the download and dissemination of the intercept of commercial satellite trunk communications. It was created in the early 1960s to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the Cold War, and was formally established in the year of 1971.
By the end of the 20th century, the system referred to as "ECHELON" had evolved beyond its military/diplomatic origins, to also become "... a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications."
The system has been reported in a number of public sources. One of the earliest reports to describe the programme, code-named "ECHELON", was Duncan Campbell's 1988 article, "Somebody's listening", published in the New Statesman. The programme's capabilities and political implications were investigated by a committee of the European Parliament during 2000 and 2001 with a report published in 2001, and by author James Bamford in his books on the National Security Agency of the United States. The European Parliament stated in its report that the term ECHELON is used in a number of contexts, but that the evidence presented indicates that it was the name for a signals intelligence collection system. The report concludes that, on the basis of information presented, ECHELON was capable of interception and content inspection of telephone calls, fax, e-mail and other data traffic globally through the interception of communication bearers including satellite transmission, public switched telephone networks (which once carried most Internet traffic) and microwave links.
Bamford describes the system as the software controlling the collection and distribution of civilian telecommunications traffic conveyed using communication satellites, with the collection being undertaken by ground stations located in the footprint of the downlink leg.
Did you know...
Template:/box-header Links to related subjects
|Part of a series on|
- The Privacy Torts
- Given the 5 dialects that use the terms, UKUSA can be pronounced from "You-Q-SA" to "Oo-Coo-SA", AUSCANNZUKUS can be pronounced from "Oz-Can-Zuke-Us" to "Orse-Can-Zoo-Cuss".
- From Talk:UKUSA Agreement: Per documents officially released by both the Government Communications Headquarters and the National Security Agency, this agreement is referred to as the UKUSA Agreement. This name is subsequently used by media sources reporting on the story, as written in new references used for the article. The NSA press release provides a pronunciation guide, indicating that "UKUSA" should not be read as two separate entities. (The National Archives) (National Security Agency)
- "UK 'biggest spy' among the Five Eyes". News Corp Australia. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- Google books – Echelon by John O'Neill
- "AUSCANNZUKUS Information Portal". auscannzukus.net. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
- Bamford, James; Body of Secrets, Anchor, ISBN 0-385-49908-6; 2002
- "Q&A: What you need to know about Echelon". BBC. 29 May 2001.
- Nabbali, Talitha; Perry, Mark (March 2004). "Going for the throat". Computer Law & Security Review. 20 (2): 84–97. doi:10.1016/S0267-3649(04)00018-4.
It wasn't until 1971 that the UKUSA allies began ECHELON
- Schmid, Gerhard (11 July 2001). "On the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications (ECHELON interception system), (2001/2098(INI))" (pdf – 194 pages). European Parliament: Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- Campbell, Duncan (12 August 1988). "Somebody's Listening". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 2007-01-03. Retrieved 16 September 2013.