Echelon singles out the Red Cross
A bombshell in the surveillance scandal: the organization is a possible surveillance target
The names of the organizations targeted by Echelon are now starting to surface. Today, we can reveal that the Red Cross has been singled out as a possible target for the world-wide surveillance system known as Echelon.
he Echelon surveillance system is an organization consisting of military intelligence services from the USA and all the other NATO member countries, including Denmark. Echelon is allegedly capable of listening in on nothing short of three million phone conversations, telefaxes and e-mails every minute.
The fact that the Red Cross has been singled out as a target for the spies is evident in new documents unearthed by Ekstra Bladet up from the hideaways of American military services.
Terrorists and dictators
The revealing documents come from an internal briefing session about new objectives for "Our Changing World". They involve a series of 25 slides which were used for a lecture during a conference held in 1999 by the US militarys Air Force Intelligence Agency.
The conference was held for representatives from the US computer and defense industries that deliver equipment to the electronic spies. The lecture was given by an unnamed officer from the 544th Intelligence Group of the Air Force Intelligence Agency.
This same intelligence group is directly connected with Echelon in official US documents.
Spies on e fishing holidays
The tenth slide depicts an angler - who represents the intelligence service. The fisherman has a large net for catching fish the bugged subjects. The next slide shows the monitored messages being forwarded to the customers, i.e. the military services, who get their intelligence information from the 544th Intelligence Group via Echelon.
Slide 17 shows some of the fish caught by Echelon. Saddam Hussein, Milosevic, Osama Bin Laden, terrorists and hostile dictators. The words Check 12! are written at the bottom of the slide. This is Air Force slang for look forward!. By looking forward in the slide series, you come to the revealing picture, slide 18.
Slide 18 shows some of the new fish the spies are trying to catch hackers, disgruntled employees, NGOs and the Red Cross.
"Friend or foe?" is the slides rhetorical question.
The 544th Intelligence Group spells it out on the slide:"Our world is changing. There are a lot of fish in a lot of unfamiliar ponds. They are mobile, diverse and technology has made them advanced."
The Echelon connection
The slide show was made to demonstrate to the American industrial representatives what the everyday work of the 544th Intelligence Group is all about and why the Group must constantly be on the lookout for potential new enemies and surveillance targets. This same 544th Intelligence Group is part of the Echelon network, which is specified in the Groups instructions from 1991 stating that they shall "maintain and operate an ECHELON service".
In 1994, the Echelon-related assignments of the 544th Intelligence Group were additionally expanded. This is stated in the services own 1995 yearbook in the chapter entitled "Activation of Echelon Units". To put it briefly, the 544th Intelligence Group is one of many special units behind Echelons operations.
Moreover, the 544th Intelligence Group has singled out the Red Cross and all kinds of other relief organizations and humanitarian associations as possible foes of the USAs intelligence service.