Experts: 'Jam Echelon Day' is doomed

Summary:Internet activists are planning an international day of protest on Oct. 21 in an effort to jam Echelon, the super-secret global surveillance system.

Internet activists are planning an international day of protest on Oct. 21 in an effort to jam Echelon, the super-secret global surveillance system. But privacy experts warn the protest is unlikely to succeed.

Organizers of the cyber-event are encouraging the Internet community to send as many email messages as possible, containing certain "trigger words" that the Echelon system is believed to pick up on. They theorize that if monitored emails reach a critical mass, the Echelon intelligence system will be overworked.

A list of 1,700 suspicious words--including "hackers", "encryption" and "espionage"--have been listed on the Cipherwar Web site, to be included in email, telephone or fax communications on the "Jam Echelon Day".

Simon Davies, director of Privacy International, believes that sprinkling certain words in messages will not have much of an impact, saying, "The Echelon system works on a very sophisticated system of word relationships, rather than strictly on key words."

The goal may be unattainable, said the coordinator at cipherwar.com, who prefers to be known by his nickname, 'Scully'. Nevertheless, "is it not better to signal displeasure at being monitored, than passively allow it to happen?" -- ZDNet UK

Topics: Security

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