CIAO DATE: 11/01

European Parliament Report on Echelon Interception System

European Parliament
July 11, 2001

Report on the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications
(ECHELON interception system)

Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System
Rapporteur: Gerhard Schmid

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

1.1. The reasons for setting up the committee
1.2. The claims made in the two STOA studies on a global interception system codenamed ECHELON
1.2.1. The first STOA report of 1997
1.2.2. The 1999 STOA reports
1.3. The mandate of the committee
1.4. Why not a committee of inquiry?
1.5. Working method and schedule
1.6. Characteristics ascribed to the ECHELON system

2. The operations of foreign intelligence services

2.1. Introduction
2.2. What is espionage?
2.3. Espionage targets
2.4. Espionage methods
2.4.1. Human intelligence
2.4.2. Processing of electromagnetic signals
2.5. The operations of certain intelligence

3. Technical conditions governing the interception of telecommunications

3.1. The interceptibility of various communication media
3.2. The scope for interception on the spot
3.3. The scope for a worldwide interception system
3.3.1. Access to communication media
3.3.2. Scope for the automatic analysis of intercepted communications: the use of filters
3.3.3. The example of the German Federal Intelligence Service

4. Satellite communications technology

4.1. The significance of telecommunications satellites
4.2. How a satellite link operates
4.2.1. Geostationary satellites
4.2.2. The route followed by signals sent via a satellite communication link
4.2.3. The most important satellite communication systems
4.2.4. The allocation of frequencies
4.2.5. Satellite footprints
4.2.6. The size of antennae required by an earth station
4.3. Satellite communications for military purposes
4.3.1. General
4.3.2. Frequencies used for military purposes
4.3.3. Size of the receiving stations
4.3.4. Examples of military communications satellites

5. Clues to the existence of at least one global interception system

5.1. Why is it necessary to work on the basis of clues?
5.1.1. Evidence of interception activity on the part of foreign intelligence services
5.1.2. Evidence for the existence of stations in the necessary geographical areas
5.1.3. Evidence of a close intelligence association
5.2. How can a satellite communications interception station be recognised?
5.2.1. Criterion 1: accessibility of the installation
5.2.2. Criterion 2: type of antenna
5.2.3. Criterion 3: size of antenna
5.2.4. Criterion 4: evidence from official sources
5.3. Publicly accessible data about known interception stations
5.3.1. Method
5.3.2. Detailed analysis
5.3.3. Summary of the findings
5.4. The UKUSA Agreement
5.4.1. The historical development of the UKUSA Agreement
5.4.2. Evidence for the existence of the agreement
5.5. Evaluation of declassified American documents
5.5.1. Nature of documents
5.5.2. Content of documents
5.5.3. Summary
5.6. Information from authors and journalists specialised in this field
5.6.1. Nicky Hager's book
5.6.2. Duncan Campbell
5.6.3. Jeff Richelson
5.6.4. James Bamford
5.6.5. Bo Elkjaer and Kenan Seeberg
5.7. Statements by former intelligence service employees
5.7.1. Margaret Newsham (former NSA employee)
5.7.2. Wayne Madsen (former NSA employee)
5.7.3. Mike Frost (former Canadian secret service employee)
5.7.4. Fred Stock (former Canadian secret service employee)
5.8. Information from government sources
5.8.1. USA
5.8.2. UK
5.8.3. Australia
5.8.4. New Zealand
5.8.5. The Netherlands
5.8.6. Italy
5.9. Questions to the Council and Commission
5.10. Parliamentary reports
5.10.1. Reports by the Comité Permanent R, Belgium's monitoring committee
5.10.2. Report by the French National Assembly's Committee on National Defence
5.10.3. Report of the Italian Parliament's Committee on Intelligence and Security Services and State Security

6. Might there be other global interception systems?

6.1. Requirements of such a system
6.1.1. Technical and geographical requirements
6.1.2. Political and economic requirements
6.2. France
6.3. Russia
6.4. The other G-8 States and China

7. Compatibility of an 'ECHELON' type communications interception system with Union law

7.1. Preliminary considerations
7.2. Compatibility of an intelligence system with Union law
7.2.1. Compatibility with EC law
7.2.2. Compatibility with other EU law
7.3. The question of compatibility in the event of misuse of the system for industrial espionage
7.4. Conclusion

8. The compatibility of communications surveillance by intelligence services with the fundamental right to privacy

8.1. Communications surveillance as a violation of the fundamental right to privacy
8.2. The protection of privacy under international agreements
8.3. The rules laid down in the ECHR
8.3.1. The importance of the ECHR in the EU
8.3.2. The geographical and personal scope of the protection provided under the ECHR
8.3.3. The admissibility of telecommunications surveillance pursuant to Article 8 of the ECHR
8.3.4. The significance of Article 8 of the ECHR for the activities of intelligence services
8.4. The requirement to monitor closely the activities of other countries' intelligence services
8.4.1. Inadmissibility of moves to circumvent Article 8 of the ECHR through the use of other countries' intelligence services
8.4.2. Implications of allowing non-European intelligence services to carry out operations on the territory of Member States which are ECHR contracting parties

9. Are EU citizens adequately protected against the activities of intelligence services?

9.1. Protection against the activities of intelligence services: a task for the national parliaments
9.2. The powers enjoyed by national authorities to carry out surveillance measures
9.3. Monitoring of intelligence services
9.4. Assessment of the situation for European citizens

10. Protection against industrial espionage

10.1. Firms as espionage targets
10.1.1. Espionage targets in detail
10.1.2. Competitive intelligence
10.2. Damage caused by industrial espionage
10.3. Who carries out espionage?
10.3.1. Company employees (insider crime)
10.3.2. Private espionage firms
10.3.3. Hackers
10.3.4. Intelligence services
10.4. How is espionage carried out?
10.5. Industrial espionage by states
10.5.1. Strategic industrial espionage by the intelligence services
10.5.2. Intelligence services as agents of competitive intelligence
10.6. Is ECHELON suitable for industrial espionage?
10.7. Published cases
10.8. Protection against industrial espionage
10.8.1. Legal protection
10.8.2. Other obstacles to industrial espionage
10.9. The USA and industrial espionage
10.9.1. The challenge for the US Administration: industrial espionage against US firms
10.9.2. The attitude of the US Administration towards active industrial espionage
10.9.3. Legal situation with regard to the payment of bribes to public officials
10.9.4. The role of the Advocacy Center in promoting US exports
10.10. Security of computer networks
10.10.1. The importance of this chapter
10.10.2. The risks inherent in the use by firms of modern information technology
10.10.3. Frequency of attacks on networks
10.10.4. Perpetrators and methods
10.10.5. Attacks from outside by hackers
10.11. Under-estimation of the risks
10.11.1. Risk-awareness in firms
10.11.2. Risk-awareness among scientists
10.11.3. Risk-awareness in the European institutions

11. Cryptography as a means of self-protection

11.1. Purpose and method of encryption
11.1.1. Purpose of encryption
11.1.2. How encryption works
11.2. Security of encryption systems
11.2.1. Meaning of 'security' in encryption: general observations
11.2.2. Absolute security: the one-time pad
11.2.3. Relative security at the present state of technology
11.2.4. Standardisation and the deliberate restriction of security
11.3. The problem of the secure distribution/handover of keys
11.3.1. Asymmetric encryption: the public-key process
11.3.2. Public-key encryption for private individuals
11.3.3. Future processes
11.4. Security of encryption products
11.5. Encryption in conflict with state interests
11.5.1. Attempts to restrict encryption
11.5.2. The significance of secure encryption for e-commerce
11.5.3. Problems for business travellers
11.6. Practical issues in connection with encryption

12. The EU's external relations and intelligence gathering

12.1. Introduction
12.2. Scope for cooperation within the EU
12.2.1. Existing cooperation
12.2.2. Advantages of a joint European intelligence policy
12.2.3. Concluding remarks
12.3. Cooperation beyond EU level
12.4. Final remarks

13. Conclusions and recommendations

13.1. Conclusions
13.2. Recommendations

Read full report here (PDF, 194 pgs., 1.0 MB)

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