(Fwd) FC: Ex-CIA chief on Echelon: "European technology isn't worth stealing."
Sun, 19 Mar 2000 23:26:24 +0800
[: hacktivism :]
- where to start, well here is this in case you missed it
Woolsey says "we use keyword search" ... folks on this list have
already dug up patents on non-keyword based search, which
leaves me kinda wondering...
I'll leave out a diatribe on the ethics of "you started it" ...
Woosley sneers at Euro tech, but fails to acknowledge the
potential for bid prices and other commercially sensitive information
to be leaked.
Which means his article
1) is factually incomplete
2) fails to answer the most serious allegations
2) betrays his philosophical bankruptcy
Eg, he is
------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 11:21:15 -0500
From: Declan McCullagh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: FC: Ex-CIA chief on Echelon: "European
technology isn't worth
Send reply to: email@example.com
"Most European technology just isn't worth our stealing... Get
Europeans. Stop blaming us and reform your own statist economic
Then your companies can become more efficient and innovative,
won't need to resort to bribery to compete. And then we won't need
March 17, 2000
Why We Spy on Our Allies
By R. James Woolsey, a Washington lawyer and a former director of central
What is the recent flap regarding Echelon and U.S. spying on European
industries all about? We'll begin with some candor from the American side.
Yes, my continental European friends, we have spied on you. And it's true
that we use computers to sort through data by using keywords. Have you
stopped to ask yourselves what we're looking for?
The European Parliament's recent report on Echelon, written by British
journalist Duncan Campbell, has sparked angry accusations from continental
Europe that U.S. intelligence is stealing advanced technology from European
companies so that we can -- get this -- give it to American companies and
help them compete. My European friends, get real. True, in a handful of
areas European technology surpasses American, but, to say this as gently as
I can, the number of such areas is very, very, very small. Most European
technology just isn't worth our stealing.
Why, then, have we spied on you? The answer is quite apparent from the
Campbell report -- in the discussion of the only two cases in which
European companies have allegedly been targets of American secret
intelligence collection. Of Thomson-CSF, the report says: "The company was
alleged to have bribed members of the Brazilian government selection
panel." Of Airbus, it says that we found that "Airbus agents were offering
bribes to a Saudi official." These facts are inevitably left out of
European press reports.
That's right, my continental friends, we have spied on you because you
bribe. Your companies' products are often more costly, less technically
advanced or both, than your American competitors'. As a result you bribe a
lot. So complicit are your governments that in several European countries
bribes still are tax-deductible.
When we have caught you at it, you might be interested, we haven't said a
word to the U.S. companies in the competition. Instead we go to the
government you're bribing and tell its officials that we don't take kindly
to such corruption. They often respond by giving the most meritorious bid
(sometimes American, sometimes not) all or part of the contract. This
upsets you, and sometimes creates recriminations between your bribers and
the other country's bribees, and this occasionally becomes a public
scandal. We love it.
Why do you bribe? It's not because your companies are inherently more
corrupt. Nor is it because you are inherently less talented at technology.
It is because your economic patron saint is still Jean Baptiste Colbert,
whereas ours is Adam Smith. In spite of a few recent reforms, your
governments largely still dominate your economies, so you have much greater
difficulty than we in innovating, encouraging labor mobility, reducing
costs, attracting capital to fast-moving young businesses and adapting
quickly to changing economic circumstances. You'd rather not go through the
hassle of moving toward less dirigisme. It's so much easier to keep paying
The Central Intelligence Agency collects other economic intelligence, but
the vast majority of it is not stolen secrets. The Aspin-Brown Commission
four years ago found that about 95% of U.S. economic intelligence comes
from open sources.
The Campbell report describes a sinister-sounding U.S. meeting in
Washington where -- shudder! -- CIA personnel are present and the
participants -- brace yourself -- "identify major contracts open for bid"
in Indonesia. Mr. Campbell, I suppose, imagines something like this: A
crafty CIA spy steals stealthily out of a safe house, changes disguises,
checks to make sure he's not under surveillance, coordinates with a spy
satellite and . . . buys an Indonesian newspaper. If you Europeans really
think we go to such absurd lengths to obtain publicly available
information, why don't you just laugh at us instead of getting in high dudgeon?
What are the economic secrets, in addition to bribery attempts, that we
have conducted espionage to obtain? One example is some companies' efforts
to conceal the transfer of dual-use technology. We follow sales of
supercomputers and certain chemicals closely, because they can be used not
only for commercial purposes but for the production of weapons of mass
destruction. Another is economic activity in countries subject to sanctions
-- Serbian banking, Iraqi oil smuggling.
But do we collect or even sort secret intelligence for the benefit of
specific American companies? Even Mr. Campbell admits that we don't,
although he can't bring himself to say so except with a double negative:
"In general this is not incorrect." The Aspin-Brown Commission was more
explicit: "U.S. Intelligence Agencies are not tasked to engage in
'industrial espionage' -- i.e. obtaining trade secrets for the benefit of a
U.S. company or companies."
The French government is forming a commission to look into all this. I hope
the commissioners come to Washington. We should organize two seminars for
them. One would cover our Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and how we use it,
quite effectively, to discourage U.S. companies from bribing foreign
governments. A second would cover why Adam Smith is a better guide than
Colbert for 21st-century economies. Then we could move on to industrial
espionage, and our visitors could explain, if they can keep straight faces,
that they don't engage in it. Will the next commission pursue the issue of
rude American maitre d's?
Get serious, Europeans. Stop blaming us and reform your own statist
economic policies. Then your companies can become more efficient and
innovative, and they won't need to resort to bribery to compete.
And then we won't need to spy on you.
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. ^ Stuart Udall
.~ \ http://cyberdelix.net/stuart.htm
revolution through evolution
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