As Americans celebrated their freedoms
As Americans celebrated their freedoms yesterday, it is ironic that this article popped up at the BBC website.
Apparently the French are investigating the US satellite surveillance system known as ECHELON. Remember in Enemy of the State where they talk about the 14 acres of computers under Fort Meade that recorded certain telephone conversations? Well, ECHELON is our more modern spying system, recording telephone, fax, and email messages.
In September 1998, ECHELON was nothing more than a few rumors from paranoid privacy fanatics. But darn those foreign countries, they had to go and tell the public that the US government and certain EU governments were spying on the world.
For further ECHELON information: read Echelon Watch from the ACLU, and Interception Capabilities 2000. Also, Slashdot.org is a good source for ECHELON information and commentary.
If you're concerned about the privacy of your emails, I highly recommend using a cryptographic program (almost all of them are free), such as PGP (note: I highly recommend the international PGP versions, because it isn't restricted by US crypto laws, and is equally secure).
If you wish to send me encrypted email, you'll need my PGP key.