(Fwd) ECHELON spamming is harmful

From MR JAVIER BERNAL <988005350@98.lincoln.ac.uk>
Date Sat, 27 Nov 1999 14:29:43 -0000

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A subject for debating...

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date sent:      	Thu, 25 Nov 1999 23:57:54 -0800
From:           	Lucky Green <shamrock@cypherpunks.to>
Subject:        	ECHELON spamming is harmful [was: RE: xechelon.org - archnemesis of
	the global spy network]

(Reading the supposed ECHELON trigger words on the site, I could not help
but notice the term "retinal fetish". Pray tell, what is a "retinal

As many Cypherpunks know, these ECHELON "flood"  campaigns do more harm
than good. Already, I am reading reports on the Net about how ECHELON was
put on the brink of inoperability by flooding and will soon experience a
complete meltdown. Dream on. A system that uses space-based antennas over
twice the size of a football field, features a 1 petabyte RAID array for
caching data requiring over 1Gbps of continuous input to not suffer from
starvation, and features 12 hectare ground-based antennas is not going to
be put out of business by a few, or even a few thousands, of "spiked"

See Rop's excellent post on this topic attached below.

[Forward with permission. Author: <rop@xs4all.nl> ]

I've spoken out about jamming Echelon the last time the idea came up, and
I vowed to keep my mouth shut this time. But I have received just too many
mails on too many mailing lists that had this crazy list of
all-capitalized naughty words stuck at the end.

N o w   l o o k   h e r e:

The people you're protesting against are professionals.  They've been
systematically monitoring citizens like us since the early sixties. In
their history, they've spied on much larger and much more powerful popular
movements with more determination to have an impact on government
interests. They have yet to show any sign of being impressed by anything
less than a direct hit from a nuclear warhead on their Fort Meade
facilities. I say that these people are not going to lose any sleep over
these protests.

But much more importantly:

Suppose you own a global multi trillion dollar SIGnals INTelligence
operation that can detect keywords in speech on _many_ simultaneous
channels in many simultaneous languages, as well as demodulate all the
modem carriers in these channels, and do speaker recognition as a bonus.
Suppose your operation is also nicely plugged into the Internet. Then how
hard would it be to write a little script (in whatever scripting language
you are already using to detect interesting content in your normal
operations) that detects this is one of those 'Jamming Echelon' mails ?

If this is the case, all that is left from these protests is some extra
information in the databases. For instance: have you noticed everyone
picks different words? The spread of certain words from individual to
individual and the selection of them for the signature probably gives away
more about the image this person has of the NSA as well as of his/her
activities then most stuff written in their e-mails. Think about it.

The only way this protest would disturb anything is if the NSA did not
have their act together. And then we would not need to protest, right ?

Now don't get me wrong: Generating attention so that people understand
what the NSA does is nice. But let's not do it by spreading misinformation
about what can be done against it. Believe me: next time I stand before a
non-technical audience and talk about the need for mass-encryption,
someone will get up and say: "Oh yeah, that Echelon thing. That was a real
problem until people started jamming it. I heard it basically exploded
from reading all these keywords."

Let's instead focus on getting the mass of people to understand that their
only way out of this is to use encryption. It's much more difficult, less
glamorous, and the satisfaction is less instant. But it needs to be done,
and all this half-assed crap diverts from that mission.



P.S.: Feel free to repost this in any forum you feel is appropriate.


--Lucky Green <shamrock@cypherpunks.to>

  "Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look
upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest."
  - Mohandas K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, pg 446


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-cypherpunks@Algebra.COM
[mailto:owner-cypherpunks@Algebra.COM]On Behalf 
Of Lord of the Flies Sent:
Thursday, November 25, 1999 22:38 To: 
cypherpunks@toad.com Subject:
xechelon.org - archnemesis of the global spy network


Most of you know what Echelon is, some of you may not.  Either way, stop
by http://www.xechelon.org/ - the new web site of the global anti-Echelon
movement, dedicated to providing tools and information with which you can
object to and thwart this massive multinational spy network.  If you're
not into pissing off the NSA and their friends, at least stop by and learn
a little about Echelon's purvasiveness and the government's ability to
snoop all of your digital communication (email, fax, telephone, and more).
 Please forward this to anyone you think might be interested, and anyone
you think should know about Echelon.

the Lord of the Flies


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