It has been suggested that British and American security services together operate a highly secretive world-wide signals intelligence and analysis network, code-named ECHELON.
It is alleged that this network intercepts electronic communications, searching for
- hints of terrorist plots
- drug-dealers' plans
- political and diplomatic intelligence
Some critics, including the European Union, claim the system is being used also for large-scale commercial theft and invasion of privacy.
A committee of the European Parliament looked into this allegation. Its conclusion: there is no serious threat. The technical capabilities of the system are probably not nearly as extensive as some sections of the media had assumed.
Intercepting private messages is an infringement of the human right to privacy and the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
What justification(s) can a government have for an illegal activity like this? Are you persuaded by this reasoning?
Read more about Project Echelon on wikipedia
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