(10 February 1997)
„The EU, in cooperation with the FBI of the USA, is launching a system of global surveillance of communications to combat „serious crime“ and to protect „national security“, but to do this they are creating a system which can monitor everyone and everything. The EU will be able to trawl the airwaves for „subversive“ thoughts and „dissident“ views and, with its partners, across the globe.“
„It seems extraordinary given the concern over the Police Bill in the UK and the „Clipper chip“ in the USA that there has been no debate over the creation of a global telephone tapping system initiated by the EU and the USA and supported by Canada, Australia, Norway and Hong Kong.“
The EU-FBI initiative notes the demise of:
1. state-owned telephone companies
2. nationally-based telephone systems
And is concerned about:
3. the problems faced with intercepting „mobile“ phones and encrypted communications
And wants to ensure:
4. there is harmonisation of national laws on interception
5. to ensure that telecommunications provider business cooperate with the police and internal security
6. the equipment produced has standards which can be intercepted
7. as many countries as possible to sign up and thus create a de facto global system (through provisions of equipment etc to third countries)
A related disclosure in a book by Nicky Hager shows that instead of „suspects“ and „targets“ the ECHELON system simply trawls the airwaves for „subversive thoughts“ in written form and increasingly in verbal form.
ECHELON is run under the 1948 UKUSA agreement by the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
At the first meeting of the new Council of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Brussels on 29-30 November 1993 they adopted the following Resolution on „the interception of telecommunications“ which speaks for itself and reproduced here in full:
„COUNCIL RESOLUTION ON THE INTERCEPTION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS
1. calls upon the expert group to compare the requirements of the Member States of the Union with those of the FBI;
2. agrees that the requirements of the Member States of the Union will be conveyed to the third countries which attended the FBI meeting in Quantico and were mentioned in the memorandum approved by the Ministers at their meeting in Copenhagen (Sweden, Norway, Finland (countries applying for accession to the European Communities), the USA and Canada) in order to avoid a discussion based solely on the requirements of the FBI;
3. approves for practical reasons the extension to Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand (which attended the FBI seminar) of the decision on co-operation with third countries which was taken at the Ministerial meeting in Copenhagen;
4. hereby decides that informal talks with the above-named countries may be envisaged: to that end the Presidency and the expert group might, for example, organize a meeting with those third countries to exchange information.“
Source: „Interception of communications“, report to COREPER, ENFOPOL 40, 10090/93, Confidential, Brussels, 16.11.93.