Worldwide Spying Network

     In doing this article I wanted to inform you of different spying technology that is being used and invented. I have researched and taken information from different sources. This is only the tip of the iceberg, by Jane Morgan

Worldwide spying network is revealed
by Stuart Millar, Richard Norton-Taylor and Ian Black of The Guardian

     For years it has been the subject of bitter controversy, its existence repeatedly claimed but never officially acknowledged. At last, the leaked draft of a report was published in 2001 by the European parliament removes any lingering doubt: Echelon, a shadowy, US-led worldwide electronic spying network, is a reality. Echelon is part of an Anglo-Saxon club set up by secret treaty in 1947, whereby the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, divided the world between them to share the product of global eavesdropping.
     Agencies from the five countries exchange intercepts using supercomputers to identify key words. The intercepts are picked up by ground stations, including the US base at Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire, and GCHQ’s listening post at Morwenstow in Cornwall. In the cold war, eavesdropping—signals intelligence, or Sigint as it is known in the trade—was aimed at military and diplomatic communications. Helped by increasingly sophisticated computers, it has now switched to industrial, commercial targets and private individuals.
     Echelon computers can store millions of records on individuals, intercepting faxes, phone calls and e-mails. The MEP’s report—which faced opposition from the British and American governments and their respective security services—was prompted by claims that the US was using Echelon to spy on European companies on behalf of American firms. France, deeply suspicious of Britain’s uniquely close intelligence links with the US, seized on reports that Echelon cost Airbus Industrie an £8bn contract with Saudi Arabia in 1994, after the US intercepted communications between Riyadh and the Toulouse headquarters of Airbus—in which British firms hold a 20% stake.
     The MEPs admitted they had been unable to find conclusive proof of industrial espionage. The claim has been dismissed by all the Echelon governments and in a new book by an intelligence expert, James Bamford. More disturbing, as Mr. Bamford and the MEPs pointed out, was the threat Echelon posed to privacy. "The real issue is whether Echelon is doing away with individual privacy—a basic human right," he said. The MEPs looked at statements from former members of the intelligence services, who provided compelling evidence of Echelon’s existence, and the potential scope of its activities.
     One former member of the Canadian intelligence service, the CSE, claimed that every day millions of e-mails, faxes and phone conversations were intercepted. The name and phone number of one woman, he said, was added to the CSE’s list of potential terrorists after she used an ambiguous word in an innocent call to a friend. "Disembodied snippets of conversations are snatched from the ether, perhaps out of context, and may be misinterpreted by an analyst who then secretly transmits them to spy agencies and law enforcement offices around the world," Mr. Bamford said. The "misleading information", he said, "is then placed in NSA’s near-bottomless computer storage system, a system capable of storing 5 trillion pages of text, a stack of paper 150 miles high".
     Unlike information on US citizens, which officially cannot be kept longer than a year, information on foreigners can he held "eternally," he said. The MEP’s draft report concludes the system cannot be as extensive as reports have assumed. It is limited by being based on worldwide interception of satellite communications, which account for a small part of communications. Eavesdropping on other messages requires either tapping cables or intercepting radio signals, but the states involved in Echelon, the draft report found, had access to a limited proportion of radio and cable communications. But independent privacy groups claimed Britain, the US and their Echelon partners, were developing eavesdropping systems to cope with the explosion in communications on e-mail and Internet.
     In Britain, the government last year brought in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, which allowed authorities to monitor e-mail and Internet traffic through "black boxes" placed inside service providers’ systems. It gave police authority to order companies or individuals using encryption to protect their communications, to hand over the encryption keys. Failure to do so was punishable by a sentence of up to two years. The act has been condemned by civil liberties campaigners, but there are signs the authorities are keen to secure more far reaching powers to monitor Internet traffic.
     Last week, the London-based group, Statewatch, published leaked documents saying the EU’s 15 member states were lobbying the European commission to require that service providers kept all phone, fax, e-mail and Internet data in case they were needed in criminal investigations.
     Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2001

     In April, 2001 Popular Mechanics Magazine ran a story with a graphic art of the satellites going around the world. In their article Jim Wilson said "based on what is known about the location of Echelon bases and satellites, it is estimated that there is a 90 percent chance that NSA is listening when you pick up the phone to place or answer an overseas call. In theory, but obviously not in practice, Echelon’s supercomputers are so fast, they can identify Saddam Hussein by the sound of his voce the moment he begins speaking on the phone."
     There are listening post in different areas of the U.S. and around the world in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Turkey, England, Germany, Canada and more.
     In his article he also says that "NSA is shifting to a new, more tightly focused espionage strategy, using a ground-based technology code-named Tempest. . . "NSA is said to have perfected Tempest to the point at which it can reconstruct the images that appear on a video display or TV screen in your home."
     When our local newspaper ran an article a few years back on the phone spying systems that were in place, people were saying to me, I thought that wasn’t legal. I personally don’t believe that has anything to do with the government agencies that go beyond the law to do what they want to do. All parts of our government is loaded with this kind of thinking and they try to bring new laws before Congress to make their actions legal, so they can be legal when they get caught. Some agencies just plain don’t care because they are going to do it anyway.
     When they put up the spy cameras at the Super Bowl game this year in Atlanta, they were looking at thousands of images of people, trying to find some criminals that might be there. Depending on which report you read, some said none were found and some reports said 10 or 12 were spotted and no arrest were made. Our understanding is that this system was donated to Atlanta to use and try out by the company who is selling it. 
     There are cameras everywhere you turn now. On the freeways hanging off the overpasses, when you get off the freeway on lightpost, sensors in the pavement, on light signals in town, and on and on. We have become a high tech society but probably not the way we wanted to. Even cameras on the cell phone towers, which also have some highly sophisticated equipment that when it turns on the birds fly away.
     What bothers me about this kind of events is where does it stop? If we are complaining to our congressmen, and we are, and they aren’t doing anything about it, what next? How do you stop a run-away government when it gets certain things entrenched? Is this what happened to other countries when their freedoms were slowly eroded away. Where do we make a stand to our congressman that they must put politics a side and do the best for the citizens of this great country?
     There are many websites that deal with spying-espionage. This site has literally thousands of pages to look at on many subjects. It would take days to go through.
     I just had to put in the next part of this article. If they get these enacted they will have to get some new laws put in place or they might already have them in place as being attached to other bills that were passed in Congress.

Nowhere to hide. We can tell you if you’re guilty or innocent. You can’t fool the lie detector that knows what you are thinking.
by John McCrone investigator

     YOU have just been arrested on suspicion of murder. You’re sweating it out in the interrogation room with a pair of beefy detectives. But your lips are sealed—you know your rights.
     Then with a smirk they slip a thing like a hairnet covered in dozens of tiny electrodes over your head and sit you down in front of a computer. Pictures of the crime scene begin to flash up on the screen interspersed with multiple-choice questions. Flash! A photo of a brick wall. Flash! "What lies behind this wall?" Flash! "Cement and blacktop?" Flash! "Sand and gravel?" Flash! "Weeds and grass?"
     You said nothing. You were even trying not to think. But sorry buddy, your brain just gave you away. It couldn’t help but show an electrical start of recognition at the image matching the memory of hurdling a wall and wading through a backyard of weeds as you fled.
     An Orwellian fantasy? No, this technique was actually used in a recent test case at a County Court in Iowa. The brain reading technology was developed in university labs with CIA money. And it’s not the only way that researchers are searching for new ways to probe a lying mind. The US Department of Defense is funding research into the use of multimillion dollar brain scanners. Other labs are looking at more low-tech methods, such as a simple reaction time test that can be an astonishingly reliable way of discovering "guilty knowledge" you might rather conceal.
     The field of lie detecting is long overdue for a shake-up. The polygraph is still hugely controversial, based as it is on emotional responses such as sweaty palms and changes in blood pressure or breathing patterns. Polygraph results can be offered as evidence for the defense in US courts, and the American Civil Liberties Union estimates that more than a million tests are performed each year. But many people believe the polygraph is unreliable—the Internet will tell you how to fool the machine by clenching your buttocks or biting your tongue. However, the test is still widely used by security forces in the US, Israel and Japan. In the US, the FBI and CIA screen potential employees, and the US government is even pushing through the polygraph for scientists working at national research labs.
     But what if you could get inside someone’s head? Forget about easy-to-fake emotional responses. Just look for the differences in brain signals that reveal when someone is lying, or even probe directly for the information they’re trying to conceal. Believe it or not, brain researchers can already do this with startling accuracy.
     It all began in the early 1990s when the CIA gave a little money to Emanuel Donchin, a psychologist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and his student, Lawrence Farwell, to see what they could do with an EEG test. The EEG, or electroencephalograph, uses super-sensitive electrodes to measure fluctuations in electrical potential caused by patterns of brain activity. Donchin is an expert on a particular characteristic bump in the EEG trace called the P300, which happens about a third of a second after you notice something significant. It’s like a mental click of recognition. Crucially, it’s automatic and utterly predictable.
     How would the P300 expose a lie? There are two ways of using a polygraph. The standard way is to first ask a stressful, but general, question like "Have you ever driven while slightly over the limit?" This creates a baseline reading before you jump in with the serious questions such as "Have you had unauthorized contact with a foreign national?" The rationale is that only guilty people will react strongly to actual accusations. It is of course the ease with which the knowledgeable can pump up their arousal during the baseline readings, disguising any later lies, which has brought the polygraph into such disrepute.
     But there is an alternative, little-used form of testing, known as the "guilty knowledge test." Subjects are probed with pictures or phrases significant only to them. A suspected KGB agent might have been tested for an emotional reaction—such as a skip of the heart or ragged breathing—to KGB code words. A suspected criminal would be tested for knowledge of a particular crime.
     Donchin and Farwell realized that the guilty knowledge test dovetailed neatly with P300 recording. People with secret knowledge should show a P300 to otherwise innocent-looking pictures or phrases. They set up a lab test in which subjects had to play-act spy scenarios—fictitious missions like delivering the "owl file" to a contact in a blue coat in a particular street. Then they recorded brain responses to lists of words which included innocuous alternatives like the "fog file" and a contact in a red scarf. Analysis of P300 responses picked out nearly 90 per cent of the "spies." More importantly, there were no false positives where "guilty" brain waves betrayed innocent people.
     Although the researchers published their findings in 1991 in the journal Psychophysiology, nothing much more happened until this year when a hearing at Pottawattamie County Court in the backwoods of Iowa suddenly grabbed international headlines. Someone was trying to use P300 evidence to get a convicted murderer released.
     Terry Harrington was jailed for life in 1978 for shooting a security guard in the street. Harrington was just 17 at the time and claimed he’d been miles away at a pop concert. But he was convicted on the testimony of several witnesses, some allegedly his accomplices, and forensic evidence including gunpowder traces found on his jacket. In a bid to win the right to appeal, Harrington came to court to show that his brain did not react to any memories of the crime scene but responded strongly to phrases connected with events at the concert.
     A cut and dried case? Unfortunately for Farwell and Harrington, it does not seem so. In court, expert witnesses, including Farwell’s old professor Donchin, said the procedure was still too much of an unknown art, even though the science was certainly sound. Farwell says he is saddened, but at least he presented his Brain Fingerprinting evidence before a judge, which sets a precedent for its use in future hearings.
     Studies of what characterizes a lying brain are suddenly abundant. At the high-tech end of the market, the US Department of Defense is funding Stephen Kosslyn, a psychologist at Harvard University, to do magnetic resonance brain imaging studies. Kosslyn says his first results are not that encouraging. People’s brain activity seems to be far from consistent when they are lying—but it is early days.
     At least half a dozen other US labs are working on EEG measures. Perhaps the most successful is Peter Rosenfeld from Northwestern University in Illinois. Whereas Farwell’s technique depends on a guilty knowledge test that shows whether a person has a memory for a particular fact, Rosenfeld has recently discovered a detectable distortion in the P300 signal just because you need to concentrate when telling a lie.
     And then taking everyone by surprise was the publication in February of a low-tech version of the guilty knowledge test which needs no scanner or electrodes, but just measures reaction times. Travis Seymour and Colleen Seifert from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, repeated exactly the same spy scenario as Donchin and Farwell, but they simply looked for hesitations in the subjects’ answers. "All you need is an ordinary PC and a keyboard. No electrodes." However, he adds that it would require much more work to take such lab demonstrations further.
     Rosenfeld agrees, saying researchers have been surprised at what you can do in the lab but no one is doing the extra work to prove the techniques would be safe for the interrogation room. Even if the scientists do a good job on the test protocols, he feels that won’t stop brain wave and reaction time technology being abused just like the polygraph.
     He says the FBI knows that the polygraph is unreliable. But they still value it as a prop because people can easily be frightened into confessing if they believe the machine is reading their every emotion. How much better a prop would a set of electrodes and a box of expensive electronics make? The scientific validity of brain measures would be almost beside the point.
     And yet there seems real potential in the recent EEG work. Civil rights activists take note. Tomorrow we may still enjoy the right to remain silent. But that might be pointless if the investigator can read your mind.

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