(Fwd) FC: Ex-CIA chief on Echelon: "European technology isn't worth stealing."

From stu <lsi@space.net.au>
Date 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

1. guilty,
2. guilty;
3. guilty.


------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Fri, 17 Mar 2000 11:21:15 -0500
To:             	politech@vorlon.mit.edu
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject:        	FC: Ex-CIA chief on Echelon: "European 
technology isn't worth
Send reply to:  	declan@well.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, 
and they 
won't need to resort to bribery to compete. And then we won't need 
to spy 
on you."



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.

POLITECH -- the moderated mailing list of politics and technology
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------- End of forwarded message -------
. ^                       Stuart Udall
.~X\                 s_udall@yahoo.com
.~ \  http://cyberdelix.net/stuart.htm

          revolution through evolution

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