or how the government keeps an eye on you
Satellite collaboration between 5 countries
Anyway, here it goes: Like a huge digital vacuum cleaner, the Echelon monitoring network sweeps away all signals from the atmosphere, all the bits and pieces that appear in the communication between people. The satellite collaboration between the USA, England, Canada, Australia and New Zealand is the world’s largest signal intelligence and its main task is to intercept all telephone calls, faxes and e-mails worldwide.
The network sucks like hungry piglets on countless secret teats along the north-south line between the continents, puts its love on backdoors and had already been inside the world’s largest manufacturer of SIM cards, Gemalto N.V in the Netherlands, where it stole encryption keys. Echelon is therefore never unsure where to look.
Intercepting leaders in all countries
This means that the system can at any time intercept Angela Merkel or the French Prime Minister without going through the lengthy process of the German security service Bundesreichsdienst or the French edition-DGSD. Not that permits to intercept his own head of state will ever be granted. It is not needed.
…The network sucks like hungry piglets on countless secret teats along the north-south line between the continents …
NSA alone has 850000 employees
But even though the US National Security Agency (NSA), with its 850,000 employees and 30,000 mathematicians, is constantly solving algorithms and cracking codes, it is an almost impossible task to look at all the information that is collected.
They are reading 150 billion e mails – a day
Fifty billion phone calls a day and more than one hundred and fifty billion emails just can’t be read. With 6 million calls listened to in real time per hour, the system is built as a huge rubbish bin where sophisticated algorithms lock and filter calls to hundreds of places at lightning speed.
Via ingenious computer programs, it arranges everything in more understandable sound, speech, writing and images. Finally, there are a dozen binders with information that are distributed to selected decision makers and analysts for further action.