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ECHELON: THE MOST SECRET SPY SYSTEM PART 2 OF 3
ECHELON is a name used to describe a highly secretive world-wide signals intelligence and analysis network said to be run by the UKUSA Community (composed of intelligence agencies of five English-speaking nations), that has been reported by a number of sources including, in 2001, a committee of the European Parliament. Its existence was first revealed by Duncan Campbell in a 1988 article, "Someone's listening," published in the New Statesman.
According to some sources ECHELON can capture radio and satellite communications, telephone calls, faxes, e-mails and other data streams nearly anywhere in the world and includes computer automated analysis and sorting of intercepts. The EP committee, however, concluded that "the analysis carried out in the report has revealed that the technical capabilities of the system are probably not nearly as extensive as some sections of the media had assumed"
The EP committee stated that "it seems likely, in view of the evidence and the consistent pattern of statements from a very wide range of individuals and organisations, including American sources, that its name is in fact ECHELON, although this is a relatively minor detail." The U.S. intelligence community uses many code names. See, for example, CIA cryptonym.
Margaret Newsham claims that she worked on the configuration and installation of some of the software that makes up the ECHELON system while employed at Lockheed Martin, for whom she worked from 1974 to 1984 in Sunnyvale, California and in Menwith Hill, England. At that time, according to Newsham, the code name ECHELON was NSA's term for the computer network itself. Lockheed called it P415. The software programs were called SILKWORTH and SIRE. A satellite named VORTEX would intercept communications. An image available on the internet of a fragment apparently torn from a job description shows Echelon listed along with several other code names.