mediafilter on Mon, 18 Oct 1999 08:30:26 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Jam Echelon Day or Hype Media Day?

>Jam Echelon Day or Hype Media Day?
>Monday, October 11, 1999 at 16:55:59
>by John Vranesevich - Founder of AntiOnline
>Come one, come all, and join the ranks of the elite hacktivists.

"Jam Echelon" day is a nice way to bring public attention to
the Echelon system of global surveillance of communications,
but it is no more than romance and cute naiivete to believe that
a handful of "hacktivists" sending email with what they believe
to be keywords that "trigger" Echelon, will "bring the system
to its knees".

A better analogy would be: a swarm of mosquitos flying into
a jet engine.  There will be no statistically significant impact
on the system.

The common misconception about Echelon is that it is monolithic,
and has "a" keyword dictionary.  False, false.  Echelon is a
distrubuted system with perhaps tens of thousands of different
dictionaries, with search criteria defined by the agents in charge
of a particular mission.  Not all the dictionaries are in the same place,
nor are the systems which use the dictionaries to define their
search criteria.

Better than trying to "hacktivise" Echelon, it may be more sensible
to use encryption in everyday communications.  Although Echelon
is capable of realtime searching and filing of messages, it still can't
brute-force decrypt PGP in realtime...but it may collect cyphertext...
so, if you really want to frustrate Echelon, ENCRYPT, ENCRYPT,
ENCRYPT....whether your mail is secret or not.

That's just my opinion, not a recommendation to do anything ;-)


for more info on Project Echelon, please read:

Exposing the Global Surveillance System
by Nicky Hager (author of Secret Power)

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