23 December 1999

See other articles in the series:


Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 15:27:01 +0100 (CET)
From: Bo Elkjaer <boo@apollon.datashopper.dk>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: NEW EXPOSURE ON ECHELON - Sigint/Surveillance/Denmark

I have posted a couple of articles on Echelon, that I and my colleague Kenan Seeberg have written for the Danish daily Ekstra Bladet. The posted articles - in English - are just a few of approx. 50 articles we have written on sigint, surveillance and eavesdropping.

This mail is just to inform that our site on Echelon will be up and operating today Dec. 23. 1999. I'm afraid that the articles on the site are still in Danish - but the pictures are pretty and we'll have the English translations on site shortly.

Site adress is http://www.eb.dk or direct link


The site will remain under construction until we have written guarantees, that all illegal surveillance has been stopped!


Bo Elkjaer and Kenan Seeberg, Denmark

We will continue to post the translated articles on Cypherpunks as soon as we get them.

>>Bevar naturen: Sylt et egern.<<
>>URL: http://www.datashopper.dk/~boo/index.html<<
>>PGP-encrypted mail welcomed and preferred.<<

Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 15:09:41 +0100 (CET)
From: Bo Elkjaer <boo@apollon.datashopper.dk>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: US CONGRESSMAN: INVESTIGATE ECHELON - The constitution is under fire - Sigint/Surveillance/Denmark

Published in Ekstra Bladet, Denmark, December 10. 1999:


US congressman to Ekstra Bladet: The constitutions of both the US and Denmark have come under fire.


Washington DC - Ekstra Bladet

Bob Barr is a Republican and considers himself to be a true American. There is a replica of the Statue of Liberty as tall as a person standing in his office - right next to the Stars and Stripes. Outside the statesman-like offices, the flag of Georgia waves in the breeze - an image of the southern state he represents in the Congress. Barr is an old-fashioned conservative who believes that fair is fair and the law must be obeyed. Which explains why Echelon makes his blood boil.

"We're talking about infringement of privacy, and even of the very Constitution itself, which I fear is being heavily violated by a system like Echelon. Our administration of justice act is also endangered. Spying on American citizens across a wide front is out of line. The law simply forbids it, and I'm afraid that that is exactly what is happening."


Echelon is an American based system. How do you feel about the fact that the USA spies on its allies and their citizens?

"I don't like it. And it is also out of line to use these systems to evade the law. We suspect that the involved countries are gathering information about other countries after which they exchange this collected information. It's nothing but a way to evade the law."

Bob Barr knows something about the work of the secret agencies, since the congressman is himself a former CIA agent. In his own words, he mainly worked on legal issues. The CIA is one of the intelligence agencies that cooperates closely with the NSA in areas like Echelon.

"We simply must find out what the NSA is doing with these global surveillance systems. Whether it takes open or closed hearings or in the way in which the NSA prepares some of its reports. But as a representative of the people, we politicians must be able to assure the people that all these initiatives are obeying the law. And I really hope that the NSA will not exploit American law to keep silent."

"The population has a right to know what is going on, particularly when we have a powerful suspicion that monitoring is not only directed at specific targets, but also at common citizens, companies and so on."

Isn't it reasonable for an intelligence agency to keep these things secret?

"Yes, of course. They can't reveal everything. And we must make sure, especially in the field of conventional surveillance, that they can carry out their work satisfactorily. But we must also keep an eye on them. Ever since the Watergate Scandal, we have kept a closer eye on the intelligence agencies, and this has actually functioned quite well. But we haven't been told anything about the case you are working on. Therefore, we need to be fully informed."


What would you encourage Denmark's politicians and the Danish government to do?

"The individual members of parliament must discuss the issue so that their electorate can see that they are concerned about bringing out the truth. And if there is the slightest suspicion that the law has been broken, and the populace is worried, then the Danish Government should investigate what is happening. They must demand to be fully informed by their intelligence agencies so they can tell the Danish people what is happening."

"I'm quite amazed that the countries operating the system along with the NSA haven't demanded to be informed before now, i.e. the so-called UKUSA partners: Canada, Australia, England and New Zealand. Furthermore, to the best of my information, it seems that almost every west European country is participating. "

Why are you sounding the alarm now?

"Because we didn't realize what was happening until this past year as a result of things like a conference organized by the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). The more we get to know, the more I realize that we've got a serious problem on our hands."

"You must realize that the way in which the intelligence agencies work has changed enormously in recent years. That's why it is very urgent we examine what they're up to. Our Congress has not examined the work of its intelligence agencies for the past twenty years. During this time, they have acquired a totally new potential to collect and forward information. Therefore, I have demanded congressional hearings that will commence early next year."

Together with fellow congressman Dan Burton from Indiana, Barr is currently preparing a large congressional hearing together with a number of previous NSA agents and intelligence experts.

Bob Barr has previously worked for the US government as a district attorney.


>>Bevar naturen: Sylt et egern.<<
>>URL: http://www.datashopper.dk/~boo/index.html<<
>>PGP-encrypted mail welcomed and preferred.<<

Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 15:16:23 +0100 (CET)
From: Bo Elkjaer <boo@apollon.datashopper.dk>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com

According to their mission, the 650th Military Intelligence Group acts as "single point of contact" for the intelligence agencies in NATO - including the different branches of US intelligence, that maintains the listening-posts at Menwith Hill in the UK and Bad Aibling in Germany which are part of the UKUSA system.


Disclosure: Ekstra Bladet maps out Danish participation in Echelon's European espionage network.


Since 1997, Denmark has intensified its participation in the global surveillance network known under the code name of Echelon. The Danish reinforcements occurred in connection with the reorganization of the NATO headquarters, BALTAP, in Karup, Denmark.

Today, Ekstra Bladet exposes the direct connection between the two Danish intelligence agencies - the PET and the FE - with the American intelligence agencies that constitute the primary core of the Echelon collaboration.

Minister of Defense Hans Hækkerup and Minister of Justice Frank Jensen have denied any knowledge of the Echelon system on several occasions. Most recently, in an article published in Dansk Forsvar [Danish Defense], Minister of Defense Hans Hækkerup directly denied that Denmark participates in Echelon.

"Let me get right to the point: Denmark's armed forces, including the Intelligence Agency of the Danish Armed Forces (FE), do not participate in a world-wide surveillance network known as Echelon," he writes. Ekstra Bladet can now conclude either that the minister is being kept in the dark or else the intelligence system has changed the code name for Echelon. The third possibility is that Hækkerup's denial is simply and positively incorrect, to put it nicely.

The key to the disclosure of Denmark's participation in the Echelon system is located in Karup, Denmark in the Jutland peninsula where the NATO headquarters named BALTAP - short for Baltic Approach - are located.

NATO's unitary command - a Danish-German joint command with affiliated officers from Great Britain and the US -  is stationed at the base.  In 1997, the ministers of defense for the 16 NATO countries reached an agreement on reorganizing the entire structure for NATO's headquarters.

In the same breath, the Americans were - secretly - given  the authority to spy on Danish soil - against the Danish population. This occurred when the US 650th Military Intelligence Group was given the authority to perform what is known as counterintelligence affiliated with the NATO headquarters.


Not surprisingly, it has been impossible to wrench even a partial confirmation out of either the Ministry of Defense or the Ministry of Justice.

Nevertheless, Ekstra Bladet has unearthed a US mission statement for intelligence agencies. It states that "the 650th Military Intelligence Group is part of Europe's allied command, ACE, under NATO, and that the group is "dedicated to acquiring support for the counterintelligence services for the Supreme Allied Headquarters Europe (SHAPE), its subsidiary commands and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR)."

Furthermore, the mission statement reveals that the 650th MI Group shall carry out counterintelligence activities for American units in Europe as well as for, among others, BALTAP in Denmark.

The mission statement of the 650th Military Intelligence Group states that it is the Group's task to coordinate the intelligence cooperation between the intelligence agencies of the various NATO countries - including Denmark's PET and FE - with the American intelligence agencies. This entire intelligence collaboration is coordinated under the auspices of NATO.


Minister of Defense Hans Hækkerup admitted at a joint council in September that the Danish military intelligence agencies "cooperated with foreign intelligence agencies" on surveillance.

The task of the 650th MI Group is to monitor the threat situation surrounding the NATO headquarters in Karup. One of the methods used by the group to protect the Karup headquarters is known in spy jargon as "Offensive Counterintelligence Operations - OFCO. For the time being, the purpose of these offensive counterintelligence operations remains unknown. They are classified as top secret.

One thing is for sure however: The Group's assignment is to coordinate the intelligence collaboration in the NATO region. By virtue of this role, the Group is a very tangible link between the two Danish intelligence agencies and the extensive Echelon apparatus which manifests itself in several European locations.


Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 15:23:05 +0100 (CET)
From: Bo Elkjaer <boo@apollon.datashopper.dk>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com

Printed in Denmark, Ekstra Bladet, Nov. 26. 1999.

"In 1985, their long-term goal was "total hearability", i.e. the capability to listen in on all communication around the world."


Former Echelon agent warns Danish politicians against confidential conversations over the phone.


The Echelon system not only listens in on private persons, companies and interest groups, Danish politicians and ministers are also the target of the NSA's extensive espionage, reveals Wayne Madsen to Ekstra Bladet, who meets him in Washington D.C. Wayne Madsen was once a spy for the National Security Agency NSA - the intelligence service behind Echelon - but he has severed connections with his former employer.

We are crossing the border into the state of Maryland. Behind us lies Washington D.C., the US capital - and somewhere in front before us lies Fort Meade in neighbor-state Maryland. 'The Fort' is the headquarters for world-wide espionage and the workplace for 38,613 of the most talented secret agents in the world.

Wayne Madsen is very familiar with Fort Meade. For several years, it was his clandestine workplace. He has a pistol in the glove compartment of his car. Loaded. Wayne Madsen is always armed wherever he drives.

"I don't carry a gun because I think it's cool to have a pistol. But based on the sources I still have in the NSA, I know there are people in the intelligence services who do not care for people who talk about the secret services. Since they are armed, I had better be prepared, too."

Wayne Madsen is an experienced man in regards to secret projects and surveillance. Since 1975, he has been operating the most sophisticated computer technology in existence. First as a marine in the US Navy, then as an agent for the National Security Agency, NSA, and most recently as an employee at two of the NSA's partners, RCA and the Computer Science Corporation.

"Whenever anyone criticizes the NSA, it is important to remember that they have done a lot of important work, too. Both during the Second World War and the Cold War, when they were talented at breaking the codes of the Nazis and the East Bloc countries respectively."


To prove to us that the NSA does more than just 'black work', Wayne Madsen wants to show us an unusual museum, the NSA's Center for Cryptologic History.

"Since it is located at the same address as NSA headquarters, Fort Meade, we can see the buildings I worked in at the same time - from the outside at least."

Just before we get to Fort Meade, Wayne Madsen points down an access road. "I went through a lie-detector test and a voice-test analysis over there, before I was approved by the NSA," Wayne tells us with a faint, shy smile.

He was a lieutenant in the Navy at the time with ten years of experience in tracking Soviet U-boats and monitoring computer security.

What is the role of the NSA now that the Cold War is over?

"Primarily, they have a global network of computers known as Echelon. The computers are connected with their intelligence satellites and listening posts all over the world. And they still do military work. The difference is, however, that today they monitor everything and everyone. Politicians, organizations, companies, private individuals, even friends in allied countries. In 1985, their long-term goal was "total hearability", i.e. the capability to listen in on all communication around the world."


Is Denmark part of this system?

"Yes. Denmark is a third-party partner in the surveillance agreements. On the other hand, however, Danish ministers and politicians must assume that they are under surveillance."


"Yes, that is part of the way they work. At their embassies, they have groups called 'Special Collection Elements' that monitor local low-frequency communication. Anything of interest is forwarded here to Fort Meade where it is analyzed."

"If something can't be intercepted from the embassies, they try to intercept it from the listening posts in the various neighboring countries. So is it very risky for Danish ministers to talk on cellular and satellite telephones alike," says Wayne Madsen as we enter the NSA museum.


Inside the museum, Wayne Madsen asks whether Jack Ingram is at work today.

A moment later, a tall man appears. Ingram has been an NSA spy for many years. Now he administrates the museum. He shakes hands with Wayne, and the pair quickly strike up a conversation about common acquaintances at various intelligence agencies and companies.

Shortly after, we walk around looking at the NSA's exhibits of cast-off super-computers and code deciphering equipment - debris from more than fifty years of intensive espionage in world-wide communication. Wayne Madsen continues:

"Denmark doesn't get very much out of being a third party, because NSA is the first party and decides which information the other countries receive. So obviously, whenever they monitor specific politicians or companies in a certain country, they naturally don't tell the local government about it. The information they give to Denmark is something that promotes their own interests or something they themselves consider to be a threat. For example something about Tamilians or the PKK, the Kurdish resistance movement. If it involves information which promotes their own financial interests, then naturally they use it for their own benefit."

Do you have specific examples of what you are saying?

"Mike Frost, who worked for Canada's intelligence service, which also participates in Echelon, has personally monitored both politicians and companies in other countries. He told me among other things about monitoring the Chinese embassy in Canberra, Australia. All the information was forwarded here, to Fort Meade. The Australians never saw the information because the US could use it to control the world wheat trade. Although I write books and articles about the NSA, I still have good contacts in intelligence circles at present," states Wayne Madsen.

As we drive back to Washington, he turns briefly toward Fort Meade's parabolic antennas with a serious look on his face:

"The problem is that the NSA has lost sight of its purpose. It's not right that taxpayers' money is used to help major shareholders in large corporations to earn huge profits. Or for that matter the fact that the NSA puts ordinary people, legal organizations and politicians under constant suspicion."


In a joint council in September, Minister for Defense Hans Hækkerup admitted that Denmark cooperates with other countries on surveillance. However, Hans Hækkerup would not reveal which countries and intelligence agencies Denmark cooperates with. It does appear, however, in the archives left behind by the former head of the Danish Defense Department's Intelligence Service, Commander Mørch.

Sources in Mørch's archives show that Denmark entered into an agreement with the US on surveillance cooperation all the way back in 1947 - the same year that the UKUSA - the pact behind Echelon - was established. The UKUSA pact is controlled by the National Security Agency in the US, in which the Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and British intelligence services participate as second-party partners. Most NATO countries - including Denmark - officially entered the pact as third-party partners in 1950.

According to documents in the possession of Extra Bladet, the National Security Agency has now confirmed that it has third-party partners.


Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 15:28:51 +0100 (CET)
From: Bo Elkjaer <boo@apollon.datashopper.dk>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com

Printed in Denmark, Ekstra Bladet, Sept. 17 1999

Photo of listening post will be posted at www.eb.dk as soon as possible.


The Intelligence Agency of the Danish Armed Forces (FE) is expanding: Ekstra Bladet can now prove that the FE is expanding its secret espionage facilities in Denmark.


Take a good look at this picture. Note the large crane. It is in the process of installing almost ten million DKK (1.4 mill. USD) worth of secret surveillance equipment for the FE.

The disclosure of the fact that the FE is expanding its secret surveillance facilities is poorly timed for Minister for Defence Hans Hækkerup. Today he has an appointment with the Danish Parliament's Europe Committee to give a full accounting of Denmark's participation in the global surveillance ring known by the code name of Echelon.

The expansion work revealed today by Ekstra Bladet is taking place in Skibsbylejren near Hjørring, Denmark at one of the FE's three large listening posts. The addition of the new installations considerably enlarges the FE's capacity.

According to British technology expert Duncan Campbell, the intelligence agency's facilities near Hjørring are part of the global surveillance system known as Echelon. 


With camera in hand, Ekstra Bladet  paid a discrete visit to Echelon at Skibsbylejren near Hjørring. As seen in the photos on this page, the large cranes are in the process of expanding the military installation. This fits in well with another piece of information of which the public is also totally ignorant.

Last year, the Ministry for Defence granted 9.5 million DKK (1.25 mill. USD) for Skibsbylejren. According to the appropriation from the Building Services of the Defence Department, the grant is earmarked for 'erecting antennas'. The purpose of the antennas - ten years after the end of the Cold War - is still all in the air for the time being. Ekstra Bladet naturally contacted Skibsbylejren to get an explanation:

What is going on here?

"They are in the process of replacing the old facilities with new equipment. New parabolic antennas are being set up. The old ones were ten metres in diameter and that's not enough. The new ones will be 18 metres in diameter," explains major Bjarke Steen Larsen from the Danish Army's Maintenance Services which administers the base area and equipment.

"They will be used for tasks like communicating with our units in Kosovo and our observers in the Middle East."

Since the appropriation for the new installations and the 'antennas' was granted in 1998 - more than one year before the armed forces moved into Kosovo in the spring of 1999 - the installations must have another purpose. What else will they be used for?

"I have to pass on that question. I don't really know anything about the operational aspects."

Is the FE in charge of the operation?

"I really don't know, You got me there," says major Bjarke Steen Larsen to Ekstra Bladet.


The FE, Denmark's military intelligence agency, expands. In 1998, the FE received a grant of 9.5 million DKK (1.25 mill. USD) for new antennas at  the Skibsbylejren surveillance post near Hjørring, Denmark. (Photo: Bo Elkjær)