Echelon: Corporate Welfare?
ALAN PERROTT, INDEPENDENT, UK, JUL 14, 2001 - Echelon was set up during the Cold War by the United States, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia to collate electronic intelligence. The network has grown to keep pace with the explosion in information technology. Today it gives 55,000 British and American operatives access to data gathered by 120 spy satellites worldwide. Every minute of every day, the system can process three million electronic communications. . . This daily barrage is fed through a computer system which sifts out messages containing keywords or individual names and divides them between various intelligence agencies for further study. . .
Here it comes.... Wait for it, wait for it....:
One of Europe's main worries is the claim that Echelon gathers industrial espionage from European companies for American rivals. Boeing and McDonnell Douglas are said to have beaten France to a $6 billion contract to supply Airbus jets to Saudi Arabia, thanks to Echelon intercepts of faxes and phone calls. . .