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The Echelon Surveillance Network

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posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 11:52 AM
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I am compiling information on the echelon system so I can make a report on it but I don’t have sufficient data and am asking you to put down what you know and here’s what I have so far.

Echelon is a top-secret surveillance system developed during the cold war by the US and UK to spy on the soviets and it was also used on there own people.

The bases in which it is stationed are many bud the 2 major ones that I know of are Area 51 and Menwith Hill.

The system uses the echelon dictionaries to find key words or phrases on the web, phone and fax any if any are found the conversation or page will be recorded and archived for further investigation and the people involved put under surveillance. Key words may include Jihad, Iraqi resistance, echelon, area 51, the list goes on…




posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 11:59 AM
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Inside Menwith Hill

The Menwith Hill facility is located in North Yorkshire near Harrogate, England. The important role that Menwith Hill plays in the ECHELON system was recognized by the recent European Parliament STOA report:

Within Europe, all email, telephone and fax communications are routinely intercepted by the United States National Security Agency, transferring all target information from the European mainland via the strategic hub of London then by satellite to Fort Meade in Maryland via the crucial hub at Menwith Hill in the North York Moors of the UK.

The existence and importance of the facility was first brought to light by British journalist and researcher Duncan Campbell in 1980. Today, it is the largest spy station in the world, with over twenty-five satellite receiving stations and 1,400 American NSA personnel working with 350 UK Ministry of Defense staff on site. After revelations that the facility was coordinating surveillance for the vast majority of the European continent, the base has become a target for regular protests organized by local peace activists. It has also become the target of intense criticism by European government officials who are concerned about the vast network of civilian surveillance and economic espionage conducted from the station by the US.

The beginnings of Menwith Hill go back to December 1951, when the US Air Force and British War Office signed a lease for land that had been purchased by the British government. The NSA took over the lease of the base in 1966, and they have continued to build up the facility ever since. Up until the mid-1970s, Menwith Hill was used for intercepting International Leased Carrier (ILC) and Non-Diplomatic Communications (NDC). Having received one of the first sophisticated IBM computers in the early 1960s, Menwith Hill was also used to sort through the voluminous unenciphered telex communications, which consisted of international messages, telegrams and telephone calls from the government, business and civilian sectors looking for anything of political, military or economic value.

The addition of the first satellite intercept station at Menwith Hill in 1974 raised the base’s prominence in intelligence gathering. Eight large satellite communications dishes were installed during that phase of construction. Several satellite-gathering systems now dot the facility:


STEEPLEBUSH – Completed in 1984, this $160 million system expanded the satellite surveillance capability and mission of the spy station beyond the bounds of the installation that began in 1974.

RUNWAY – Running east and west across the facility, this system receives signals from the second-generation geosynchronous Vortex satellites, and gathers miscellaneous communications traffic from Europe, Asia and the former Soviet Union. The information is then forwarded to the Menwith Hill computer systems for processing. RUNWAY may have recently been replaced or complemented by another system, RUTLEY.

PUSHER – An HFDF system that covers the HF frequency range between 3 MHz and 30 MHz (radio transmissions from CB radios, walkie-talkies, and other radio devices). Military, embassy, maritime and air flight communications are the main target of PUSHER.

MOONPENNY – Uncovered by British journalist Duncan Campbell in the 1980s, this system is targeted at the communication relay satellites belonging to other countries, as well as the Atlantic and Indian Ocean Intelsat satellites.

KNOBSTICKS I and II – The purpose of these antennae arrays are unknown, but they probably target military and diplomatic traffic throughout Europe.

GT-6 – A new system installed at the end of 1996, GT-6 is believed to be the receiver for the third generation of geosynchronous satellites termed Advanced Orion or Advanced Vortex. A new polar orbit satellite called Advanced Jumpseat may be monitored from here as well.

STEEPLEBUSH II – An expansion of the 1984 STEEPLEBUSH syst



posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 12:10 PM
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Satellite: Advanced KH-11
No: 3
Orbit: 200 miles
Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin
Purpose: 5-inch resolution spy photographs


Satellite: LaCrosse Radar Imaging
No: 2
Orbit: 200-400 miles
Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin
Purpose: 3 to 10-foot resolution spy photographs


Satellite: Orion/Vortex
No: 3
Orbit: 22,300 miles
Manufacturer: TRW
Purpose: Telecom surveillance


Satellite: Trumpet
No: 2
Orbit: 200-22,300 miles
Manufacturer: Boeing
Purpose: Surveillance of cellular phones


Satellite: Parsae
No: 3
Orbit: 600 miles
Manufacturer: TRW
Purpose: Ocean surveillance


Satellite: Satellite Data Systems
No: 2
Orbit: 200-22,300 miles
Manufacturer: Hughes
Purpose: Data Relay

Satellite: Defense Support Program
No: 4+
Orbit: 22,300 miles
Manufacturer: TRW/Aerojet
Purpose: Missile early warning

Satellite: Defense Meteorological Support Program
No: 2
Orbit: 500 miles
Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin
Purpose: Meteorology, nuclear blast detection

[edit on 1/14/07 by hect3a]

[edit on 1/14/07 by hect3a]



posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 01:39 PM
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Wow someone's done his homework! Very interesting reading and good information. Wonder if any of the satellites can be seen on J-Track 3D? Java client is here - science.nasa.gov...

Probably not, considering the US government would filter them out. Even if you could see them what good is it? Still interesting to see though.


sip

posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 03:28 PM
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Good post. I think it would be interesting to find out how Echelon and AT&T (and other phone companies/ISP's) are colluding. Would be nice to know what hardware Echelon uses and where it exists.

sip



posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 03:33 PM
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Im in the military, and there is a website that posts different jobs that you can voulnteer for within your career field. From time to time Menwith Hill pops up on that website. I would have jumped at the opportunity to work there, but the jobs are rank specific, and I am not the right rank for the job....maybe one day though.

Also, I think that in the job description it even says that you would be working on the ECHELON system...i might be wrong though.



posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 04:47 PM
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Originally posted by sip

Good post. I think it would be interesting to find out how Echelon and AT&T (and other phone companies/ISP's) are colluding. Would be nice to know what hardware Echelon uses and where it exists.

sip


It's distributed.

They buy a lot of vector processors, DSP boards and "sea of FPGA" boards.

NSA is, in fact, the world's largest consumer of DSP blades and vector processors.

They use a lot of different algorithms, some run on one type of board and some another. The voice recognition algorithm they're using now is a NRL job from a few years back, I think it was published in 1999 and snagged up, it works like a champ.



posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 04:57 PM
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Personally I believe the HUB (the acres of supper computer that echelon is said to run on) or some other major component in Area 51, but that is a gut felling and probably nothing more



posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 05:05 PM
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Second try

Ok, apparently you can't just say a location, so I'll expand on my suggestion for you to look at Ft Meade by adding a few extra words.

Area 51 is a flight test base, not an intel one. You won't find it at Dugway or UTTR either, look around the NSA's home base and there you go.

On the other hand, there are a lot of data processing centers in places you wouldn't believe, with the advent of high speed backbones you can put stuff anywhere.



posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 11:51 PM
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There are many many Echelon stations. Pine Gap in central Australia and the one in New Zealand are just a few examples. The NZ one is called the 'Waihopai Valley Government Communications Security Bureau.' ROFL!!!! Located at 41° 34' S 173° 44'E, or in degrees lat -41.576° lon 173.738° if you wanna check it out.



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 11:37 AM
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Originally posted by hect3a
Personally I believe the HUB (the acres of supper computer that echelon is said to run on) or some other major component in Area 51, but that is a gut felling and probably nothing more


As posted earlier, Area 51 isn't involved in ECHELON. Try reading "Body of Secrets" (more recent) and "Puzzle Palace", both by James Bamford for some more accurate info. There's also ECHELON all over the net. Fairly easy to find lists of sites, info etc.

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 04:56 PM
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hi there

i notice that there is no mention on the lists of the base at Scarborough in Yorkshire U.K.

it is linked to Menwith hill.

thanks
snoopyuk



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 11:16 PM
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There are secret satellites as well, and this is a great read

www.wired.com...

Apparently amateur spotters keep track of them all, but a few



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 09:11 PM
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The Pine Gap facility in central Australia (Northern Territory)

Pine Gap, near Alice Springs, employs nearly 1,000 people, mainly from the CIA and the National Reconnaissance Office. Originally code-named MERINO, it is the ground station for a satellite network that intercepts telephone, radio, data links, and other communications around the world. The facility currently includes 12 radomes, a 5,600 square metre computer room, and 20-odd service and support buildings. Two of its ground antenna are part of the U.S. Defense Satellite Communications System.

Adelaide furniture provider allegedly trucked enough furniture for a 30 story office building when the facility was under construction.



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 09:32 PM
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So if ECHELON tracks keywords typed into a search engine, which I've heard it does, why haven't any of us had any issues?

I'm sure some of us who are heavy into researching, would've triggered a bunch of alarms by now.

I haven't had any visits from anybody, or cars trailing me (which I do occassionally check for). Has anybody else had anything weird like that happen to them?



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 10:35 PM
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Echelon is a network dating back to the cold war days. Its establishing probably dates back to the early internet days, 60's something.

After the end of the cold war it's been used mainly for industrial spionage.

What I know about is from the Danish press who exposed it some 10-15 years ago. Very large and visible instalations on the southshore of the island of Amager, which is part of Copenhagen, at Dragør was being updated.

Any country the U.S. can access, ie all but a handful, has instalations in the Echelon net. It listens to every signal transmitted on this globe and they are sorted out and stored by huge mainframes, most likely in a network with numerous geographical sites. It is done by DATAMINING.

Little-known data-collection system could troll news, blogs, even e-mails.



posted on Jan, 20 2007 @ 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by seifera003
So if ECHELON tracks keywords typed into a search engine, which I've heard it does, why haven't any of us had any issues?

I'm sure some of us who are heavy into researching, would've triggered a bunch of alarms by now.

I haven't had any visits from anybody, or cars trailing me (which I do occassionally check for). Has anybody else had anything weird like that happen to them?



There's several reasons why.

It isn't used to do routine surveillance of US citizens. Usually.

When you get a directory hit, you get a transcript of so many seconds around the hit. It's more than just matching a word, the system has some smarts. There are guys that sit around and read the transcript fragments all day long (can't imagine how boring that must be) and if it looks innocuous, they just wipe it.

Also they are generally after targeted individuals. So they're not willy-nilly scanning your home phones or email traffic. They look for traffic from certain people and known associates, that's where some of the new software for building relationship trees from other data comes in. Also pay phones, phones used near airports, in-flight phones, there's a list of "always monitored" stuff because that's the sort of thing you use when you're up to no good.

The system can also identify individuals given a good enough sample of their voice. So where they're listening to a wide input they're generally using vorec to weed out people with distinctive voices.

As to "have you ever heard of anyone being caught by it", yes indeed. Generally you don't because they don't use it as information in a court of law, they find out what you're going to do and stick some cop there to "catch you", that way they don't have to introduce it as evidence, which they generally won't do.

However, I've seen it in action, up close and personal. Which was sort of funny. To set the stage, first, everyone in my family but Mom has some sort of clearance either in military or civilian life or both. So you got five kids and Dad. That's another group that generally is monitored, btw. Only in that case, you agreed to it. Take the way-back machine to 1982, when Dad was still active, the oldest O'Bedlam brother is ETS'd from a Navy Crypto post, the next two oldest are in RIP and AIT respectively, and the two youngest are home.

Ok. Youngest brother William is "Mr Action Sports" and is always screwing up his knee or some other body part, so he is a Tylenol junkie. He's off on a trip somewhere to break another bone. The word flashes across the TV that some Tylenol has been poisoned.

Dad is off somewhere. He gets on a pay phone at the base and calls next youngest Todd and says in the middle of a somewhat cryptic conversation "Tell William to dump the Tylenol".

Now, the truth is, Dad can't say where he's at or going, and only has about 30 seconds before he has to go. So he's making these really terse statements like "We're ok, the plane's going to be touching down in Camp S (Fort Sherman) at 2AM, the last of the weapons are loaded so we're about to roll, Have you heard the news? Tell William to dump the Tylenol. I'm ok, will be in touch later when we get in from the field." So, in retrospect, it sounds really weird if you don't know what is going on.

What adds to the festivity is that apparently one of the suspects was named "Williams".

A few days pass. *knock knock knock* Hello, we're the FBI. Are you Todd O'Bedlam? Come with us. On go the handcuffs, and off goes the Todd to the local FBI stronghold.

So they strap his big ass to the chair, put the light in his eyes, and sit there looking at him, smacking their fists into their palms, reading out of a file, and giving him mean looks. I think he was maybe 20, so he's somewhat intimidated as you might imagine.

"Well, son, what do you know about these Tylenol murders?"

"Uh, someone's putting poison in Tylenol and they haven't caught him?"

"No, son, I think YOU had something to do with it"

"ME? Dude, this is Georgia. That's in Chicago or something. I've never been to Chicago. You're nuts"

"We have it on good authority you have some connection to these people"

"Bulls--t"

"Well, son, what do you have to say to THIS!!!"

At this point, the FBI guy whups out a transcript printed with a line printer on greenbar. It is the entire phone conversation from one end to another. Only, it got the name William as "Williams".

Todd starts laughing. The FBI guy looks pissed.

"Do you find something funny about this?"

"Yes. That's Dad, he's calling from Fort Stewart. He's about to get on a plane for somewhere. He's telling me to pass the word on to my brother William to dump that big bottle of Tylenol he just bought. Dad didn't have William's phone number there and didn't have time to get it before his plane rolled out"

"Who's your Dad?"

"Go call Colonel -- at Fort Stewart. It's MSgt Casey O'Bedlam, he might tell you where he's going, he might not"

FBI guy goes off, calls, comes back, turns off the light, unshackles Todd.

"Sorry about that, we'll take you home"

"Hey, where did you get that transcript? I didn't know our phone was bugged. What's up with that?"

"We don't have to say"

"Well, you will when I call the Colonel and tell him that you're monitoring our phone line. Dad's got clearance. This will cause a stink if you don't have an order. YOU will get the visit by G2. And I bet they outrank you."

So, Todd sets about causing a little payback for Mr FBI. And when he gets back, Dad explains about Echelon.

In this case, the words "William(s)" and "Tylenol", probably with "dump" and/or "news" caused the initial hit, but that conversation would have been more than enough to get it a further look.



posted on Jan, 20 2007 @ 11:17 AM
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Originally posted by khunmoon
It listens to every signal transmitted on this globe and they are sorted out and stored by huge mainframes, most likely in a network with numerous geographical sites. It is done by DATAMINING.

Little-known data-collection system could troll news, blogs, even e-mails.


No, no, no. Data mining is something else entirely. Echelon listens for this stuff in near real-time.

Data mining is the process of going through websites and accessible computer data bases looking for relevant data or data that links people to each other in relationship trees. Google would fit the definition of a data miner. The only link between data mining operations and Echelon would be to establish filters by identifying possible suspects and their possibly related contacts.

There are lots of data mining ops going on. ADVISE is one of Homeland Security's, but there are several others that *I* know of that aren't in the news. Which means there's probably hundreds neither of us have heard of, either overt sweeps or other ways to tag and collate people such as SWIFT.

It's relatively cheap, it's the 21st century thing to do. I think everyone that can use that sort of info has got an installation or is getting one. There are companies that build a nearly off-the-shelf data mining facility. If you're a governmental agency and you've got 20 million bucks on hand they will put you one in too. Actually, they not only put it in, but they'll man it for you.



posted on Jan, 23 2007 @ 11:35 PM
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Haha thats a great story, , i can picture that image of ben stiller in along came polly when he gets arrested by the fibbies for being a hitchhiker killer and has no idea what they are talking about and admits to it..even though you didnt admit to it..lol, the thought came to mind.



posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 10:54 AM
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Originally posted by Morkoc96
Haha thats a great story, , i can picture that image of ben stiller in along came polly when he gets arrested by the fibbies for being a hitchhiker killer and has no idea what they are talking about and admits to it..even though you didnt admit to it..lol, the thought came to mind.


We still start off calls to Todd with "Tell Williams to dump the Tylenol" sometimes.

Actually, there's a couple of such data mining ops going on in your neck of the woods. More than a couple, I suspect, but I only know the addresses of one or two.



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