A Higher Echelon

By Derek Sooman on March 11, 2003, 8:53 AM
Anyone been watching Alias recently? The spy thriller series about Sydney Bristow, a double agent for both the CIA and the rather more dubious SD-6? I've just been watching a whole bunch of them, but anyway, I digress.

In one episode, entitled "A Higher Echelon", a highly advanced surveillance system called Echelon becomes the focus of the balance of power. You know, all that sort of stuff that spies have to worry about. Even pretty ones like Jennifer Garner.

Well, whoever writes Alias must be doing at least some homework, because it appears that Echelon is a real life electronic surveillance network, which was recently used in the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

[COLOR=royalblue]"Echelon reportedly monitors phone numbers and voices, then uses satellite triangulation to locate the user. The Swiss justice ministry has confirmed reports that the September 11 hijackers used pre-paid Swiss cellular phones, not registered in any name and thus hard to trace, in preparing the attack."[/COLOR]

A very good read here will give you a quick run down on the story, and an little explanation of this computerised system.

There's more on Echelon here, and especially here. Its quite shocking what sort of uses technology can be put to, particularly in the area of intelligence gathering.

User Comments: 6

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DigitAlex said:
Huh Echelon's existance is well known in Europe since at least five years. I already read about it on the Internet and in a scientific magazine in 1998 I think. We all saw photos of white globes scattered through fields in England ....
running said:
Echelon is real, because I saw it in Deus Ex ;)
ToRN said:
I knew about Echelon for about 5 years to. They have 'weather stations' in the UK, Autralia, States, Canada, Japan, ... they monitor al communications worldwide. You say Sadam and bomb and president and the system flags you. Search /. for more info on it.
Rick said:
I've read that the project was originally joined together by the U.S and Austrailia. CNN reported a long time ago that the Aussie government admitted the existence of Echelon.. Of course, the U.S(even to this day) still disputes its existence.I know it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but I've seen some interesting things and it isn't too far fetched. There seems to be bits and pieces I've heard on CNN too.. I realized Echelon was in use during the 9/11 disaster when CNN reported that the FBI was "currently analyzing phone conversation logs from across the country", or a sentence very simliar to that.... That kind of says it all.
running said:
"Total surveillance control". Hm, no wonder I've been hearing more and more references to "1984".So much for a conspiracy, when it's happening right at home.
tomei said:
Echelon, Ufo's, Conspiracy, Alien Encounters, New World Order is more like it. Echelon is 20 yr old technology and isn't even the tip of the iceberg. Want to know more?ArizonaXFiles[url]http://www.arizonaxfiles.com[/url]
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