27 December 1999

See related reports in series:


Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 21:17:40 +0100 (CET)
From: Bo Elkjaer <boo@apollon.datashopper.dk>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: STATEMENT: HITLER WOULD HAVE LOVED ECHELON - Sigint/Surveillance/Denmark

Printed in Ekstra Bladet, Denmark, Nov. 22, 1999


Echelon is the final struggle for the right to privacy and the right to talk and communicate freely.


Echelon is the end of our right to privacy as we know it today. The end of our right to speak, write and act as free and independent human beings. The global surveillance collaboration places all of us under constant surveillance whenever we use certain words and concepts. We are placed under suspicion from the moment we start communicating with other people.

On the telephone, computer, telex or telefax. Moreover if we voluntarily allow the state and its secret agencies to have access to everything we do, think and talk about, we simultaneously run the risk that someone will misuse this information.

Hitler would have licked his lips at the opportunity of having an Echelon system at his command. So would Stalin, Mussolini, Mao or Joe McCarthy. Push a button and Jews, gays, system critics, deviants and persons of the wrong political persuasion appear on a screen.

Or the address and phone number of every Danish police officer. That was basically what happened when Germany's plenipotentiary during the occupation of Denmark, Werner Best, took over the Copenhagen Police Force in 1943 and ordered the arrest of all Danish police officers. Until then, the officers had otherwise aided in rounding up Danish communists. So by then, most of the communists had already been 'fixed', jailed or had fled.


Up to the German occupation, Denmark had close ties with Nazi Germany through Interpol and other channels, which we even used to exchange information with the Germans. So who is to say that our good friends today will also be our chums tomorrow? Why should we let foreign countries and their businesses and industries have access to our most vital national information? The information on which we base our democracy and our financial strength. Danish laws that prohibit the coordination of data records are based on sound principles. As are other laws which state that the political conviction, race, religion and sexuality of Danish citizens may not be registered. And still more laws which state that only persons who are suspected of a very serious crime may have their letters opened and conversations tapped by the spies of the state.

We have learned from the past, and we are free to be whoever we are, and to do and believe in whatever we want to. As long as we do not go out and harm others on the basis of our beliefs.

Therefore, as long as we obey the law, the state had better do the same. This means stay out of our homes, our cars and our computers until the day we break the law.

Within the next ten years, most people will have a camera installed in their computers and the computer will be connected to their television, video, telephone, electronic kitchen appliances, front door, car and all other electronic equipment. Everything will be interconnected in one big network. And we will say 'dot-dot-dot' every other sentence.

The computer will know in advance who you vote for and with whom you are secretly in love. When you pick up a book, the computer will help you remember where you left off, remind you to take your birth-control pills, and flash a red warning light if you forget to change the baby. By so doing, your health, your tastes, your habits, your shopping and your perversities will be registered under your name, making your everyday life much easier.

But it will also make it easier for the spies behind the global surveillance systems.


Even the NSA says it is striving for '100% hearability'. Total coverage of everything that is communicated on the earth. So said former NSA agent Wayne Madsen to Ekstra Bladet two weeks ago. That was the objective of the global spies already in 1986. 13 years ago.

"Already in 1978, Echelon was capable of zooming in on individual persons and listening in on your conversation in real time," says Margaret Newsham today to Ekstra Bladet.

So imagine what they are capable of today, in 1999.

Another former agent who repents his NSA past is afraid to make a statement, but before he hangs up, he manages to say: "I am convinced that your perception of this surveillance is way below the mark. You have absolutely no idea of how extensive the surveillance is. We're talking 'big business' here."

So where Echelon is concerned, we must either accept that our democracy is now based on new ground rules, or believe that we can determine the direction of our own lives. If we do not succeed in getting our government to intercede, then we must accept the fact that the intelligence agencies, and with that the state, are allowed to listen in on our lives any time they want to and register whatever we are doing. Our constitutional right to privacy will disappear in the new millennium.

We also accept that as a little country we are subordinate to big countries and that they may at any time manipulate the very essence of our financial foundation: our business and industry. No population in the Western World has ever voted on a global surveillance system, no elected representatives of the people have ever approved it and few governments even know about it. Here in Denmark, three ministers have persistently maintained that they know nothing beyond what they have read about or seen in the media.

The question is simple:

Will we as free citizens living in a democracy accept the existence of global surveillance network known as Echelon?


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

Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 21:23:34 +0100 (CET)
From: Bo Elkjaer <boo@apollon.datashopper.dk>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: UKUSA BEHIND EU SURVEILLANCE PLANS - Sigint/Surveillance/Denmark

Printed in Ekstra Bladet, Denmark, October 5, 1999


The EU is currently applying the final touches to extensive surveillance plans. Today Ekstra Bladet discloses that the Echelon collaboration has more than just a hand in the EU plans.


The USA, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and New Zealand. Countries you don't normally associate with the EU. But when the discussion of surveillance arises, then the four above-mentioned countries (Hong Kong only up to 1996) were informal members of the European club. Ekstra Bladet discloses today that the Echelon countries are partners in a particularly extensive surveillance agreement to which the EU is applying the final touches.

The agreement will grant the European police forces and intelligence agencies highly expanded authorization to listen in on everything and everyone in Europe. The surveillance systems are quite plainly being standardized throughout the EU so Denmark's intelligence agency, the PET, would be directly capable of performing surveillance in Greece - and vice versa.

If everything goes according to plan, the surveillance plans will be adopted at the upcoming legal and internal affairs meeting of the Council of the European Union in Tampere, Finland on October 15 and 16, just three days after Minister of Justice Frank Jensen has been summoned to appear before a joint council in the Danish parliament regarding the EU's surveillance plans on October 12.

The USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - together with Great Britain - constitute the five most important countries in the Echelon collaboration. The remaining NATO countries, including Denmark, are part of the agreement as third-party partners.


The EU has big surveillance plans on the drawing board: In short, standardized surveillance options shall be built into all electronic communication throughout Europe. Access must be provided to everything: ISDN, the Internet, telephones, cellular telephones, pagers, satellite connections and encrypting.

The intention of the plans is that all electronic communication throughout the EU shall be placed at the continuous disposal of the police forces in the respective EU countries. This shall take place through a colossal surveillance network covering all of Europe based on surveillance centers located in the individual countries with their own cables linked up with every single telephone company and Internet provider in all of Europe.

Originally, the plans should have been adopted at a Council meeting in May this year, but a raging media debate in Germany temporarily fouled things up. Consequently, less than three weeks are now left before the plans will again be on the agenda of the EU's ministers of justice.

Full access shall occur via electronic 'back doors' in the computer systems of the telephone companies. The companies are responsible for establishing - and financing - the back doors. This is already occurring - in spite of the fact that the plans have not received final approval. From its inception, the new Danish GSM 1800 network has built-in back doors which the police can use to monitor cellular telephones.


The electronic EU back door in the new GSM network was a requirement of the Minister of Research at that time, Frank Jensen, when the Danish Parliament adopted the resolution to invite tenders for the network in 1996. The executive order of the Danish Parliament plainly states that the new telephone exchanges must be 'designed to include surveillance facilities'.

The extensive surveillance plans have been en route for quite some time. The classified plans were initiated by the FBI (US federal police force) more than six years ago. The FBI summoned to the so-called FBI Meeting at its headquarters in Quantico, Virginia, USA. The first result of these initial discussions was the creation of a task force named the International Law Enforcement Telecommunications Seminar - ILETS.

Since the US intelligence agency, the NSA, supports the FBI in an advisory capacity, this is where Echelon enters the picture. The NSA is the leading organization for the global surveillance collaboration known as Echelon.


Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 21:11:09 +0100 (CET)
From: Bo Elkjaer <boo@apollon.datashopper.dk>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com

FYI: Tele Danmark is the national tele communications company in Denmark. It was privatized in 1996 and sold to the U.S. company Ameritech. Tele Danmarks monopoly for 'providing the copper' in Denmark hasn't been broken yet.

The article was printed in Ekstra Bladet, Denmark, Sept. 26, 1999


Tele Danmark participates in a world-wide forum with the Echelon-organization NSA.


Tele Danmark cooperates directly with the US intelligence agency NSA. This collaboration takes place in an organization named Frame Relay Forum. In addition to Tele Danmark and spies from the NSA, there are representatives from just about every imaginable international data and telecommunications company. We name at random: Ericsson, British TeleCom, Nokia, Deutsche Telekom, AT&T, Intel, Hewlett Packard, IBM and Intelsat, as well as Tele Danmark's parent company, Ameritech.

Tele Danmark's representative is Chief Planner Jens Ulrik Mouritsen. Last Thursday, Tele Danmark's security manager, Jørgen Bo Madsen, stated that Tele Danmark did not cooperate with the NSA.

SINCE 1992

Nevertheless, this collaboration has actually existed since 1992, and ever since, the Frame Relay Forum has been working on the development of common standards for data transfer - something of great interest to the NSA, whose work involves monitoring these data transfers.

The disclosure that Tele Danmark consequently cooperates directly with the NSA is somewhat of a shock in the local discussion in Denmark on the Echelon surveillance network that involves a global surveillance alliance.

This alliance specializes in monitoring and tapping all communication - telephones, the Internet and telefaxes. The surveillance is carried out systematically, across a broad spectrum and without court orders.

In light of the fact that the NSA is running the illegal global surveillance through Echelon, today's disclosure of the cooperation between Tele Danmark and the NSA raises additional questions regarding security over the telephone and the Internet.


Jørgen Bo, do you have any comments to the fact that two days ago you said there wasn't any cooperation between the two organizations and our current information that shows you have a man participating in this forum?

"I don't know anything about this forum, but it is difficult for me to imagine that the NSA and Tele Danmark are cooperating just because a man from the NSA is listening in. That's not what I would call cooperation."

What would you call it then?

"Well, I have no idea what the NSA is doing in that context. Maybe they are there because encrypting is being discussed. They have a strong interest in keeping up with developments in this area. Maybe they are participating on a technical level, just to listen in. But we haven't sent any participants to the meetings for the past three or four years."


This must be somewhat of a surprise to you.

"I'm not so sure. If I was an intelligence agency, I would probably be interested in a forum where common standards are being developed, but I am surprised that they are participating in this context," says Jørgen Bo Madsen. 

You previously stated that Tele Danmark does not have any connection to the US intelligence agency.

"My statement was based on whether surveillance can be carried out. This current situation is more like subscribing to a technical journal. Furthermore, these communication standards are public, you know, so if the NSA was building in 'back doors' to intercept information, this would be discovered immediately."

Jørgen Bo emphasizes that Tele Danmark is obligated by the Ministry of Research to participate in international groups like Frame Relay.

"But we would probably participate even if we were not required to do so," he says.


The task of the Frame Relay Forum is to develop common standards for data transfer. Presently, these standards are in use around the world. In Denmark, the finance sector are primary users of Frame Relay to transfer confidential data between various bank branches and main offices.

Ekstra Bladet has also spoken with the Danish representative in the Frame Relay Forum, Chief Planner Jens Ulrik Mouritsen from Tele Danmark.

"I receive information from the Forum but do not participate in the meetings."

You are listed as a contact person on their papers.

"A department is responsible. They probably have the contacts. I participate… uh … I am only involved to keep up with what is happening."

Are communication standards established via Frame Relay?


And does Tele Danmark comply with the standards?

"Yes, to the extent we sell products that are covered by the standards, then we do. We have many different clients. The entire finance sector is connected to it."


At Christiansborg, seat of the Danish Parliament, Ekstra Bladet's disclosure is somewhat of a bombshell to Knud Erik Hansen (Socialist People's Party), who sits on the Parliament's Research Committee.

"It is easy to suspect the NSA for deliberately trying to get control with all telecommunications. Apparently, their strategy is to get surveillance backdoors established everywhere."

Tele Danmark says that it is required to participate in this group by the Ministry of Research.

"Yes, but I think it is okay that they develop common standards. But it doesn't seem right that the NSA is participating too, does it?"

What will you do about it?

"I certainly intend to investigate the issue in the Research Committee."

To get an idea about what the secret American intelligence agency was actually doing in the Frame Relay Forum, we tracked down the NSA's agent in the group, Colleen Russell at her office in the National Security Agency.


Hello, this is Ekstra Bladet from Denmark. Would you please tell us why the NSA is participating in this group?

"Uhh, I'm no longer the representative there."

But what is the NSA doing there?

"Well, mainly as an observer to keep an eye on upcoming new standards in the field of telecommunications."

Was the NSA invited to participate in the group?

"I can't really answer that question…"

Is the NSA also participating to keep an eye on developments in the field of encrypting?

Long pause. No answer. Then the connection to the NSA's agent was disconnected.

At Denmark's Ministry of Research, Head of Section Knud Larsen has never heard that the NSA participates in groups of this kind.

Will the Ministry take any steps in this matter?

"We will naturally try to verify your information and then discuss the matter with Tele Danmark."

The last meeting of the Frame Relay group was on September 14 this year in Paris. The next meeting will take place on October 13 and 14 in Huntsville, Alabama, USA.

Frame Relay Forum. Here you can check out if your local telco is in bed with the biggest of all big brothers: