Civil libertarians to keep an eye on spying

ACLU sets up Web site urging investigation into global surveillance network

Placing further pressure on the British and US government to reveal the extent of their international communications monitoring projects, the American Civil Liberties Union has set up a Web site to keep an eye on the activities of the "Echelon" global monitoring network.

The site contains information about the possible capabilities of Echelon, a rundown of US and European legislation on information monitoring, and a way for visitors to email their Congressman and urge him or her to investigate Echelon.

Although the existence of the Echelon spy network has always been officially denied by the British and American governments, evidence of its operation was uncovered in 1988 by maverick journalist Duncan Campbell and it has been ceaselessly speculated upon and investigated ever since.

There is increasing evidence that Echelon is capable of intercepting satellite, microwave, cellular and fibre-optic communications transmitted globally. It also appears that Echelon may well be capable of comprehensively monitoring all the majority of national and international telephone conversations and email messages.

They can see you... Read about how and why in Surveillance , a ZDNet News Special.