Hello! You are part of a community of millions who seek out Democracy Now! each month for ad-free daily news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for our in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the voices of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We produce all of this news at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation. We do this without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on support from viewers and listeners like you. Today, less than 1% of our visitors support Democracy Now! with a donation each year. If even 3% of our website visitors donated just $10 per month, we could cover our basic operating expenses for a year. Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make a monthly contribution.

Your Donation: $
Wednesday, July 5, 2000 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | NEXT: Mexico’s New President Takes Power
2000-07-05

French Prosecutor Investigates US Global Listening System

download:   Audio Get CD/DVD More Formats
DONATE →
This is viewer supported news

A French state prosecutor has launched a preliminary investigation into the workings of the United States’ Echelon spy system of satellites and listening posts.

Echelon was set up during the Cold War by the US National Security Agency or NSA, the largest spy organization in the world. Echelon links the NSA to its counterparts in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and can intercept millions of telephone, fax and e-mail messages. Washington has been accused of using it for economic espionage against its allies, a charge it denies.

The French prosecutor has ordered France’s state counter-intelligence agency DST to find out whether Echelon’s activities could be qualified under French law as "harmful to the vital interests of the (French) nation."

The European Parliament is due to decide today whether to set up a commission to investigate if Echelon infringes upon the rights of European citizens and industries.

Late last year, a report submitted to the European parliament by a British researcher said Echelon’s eavesdropping activities had resulted in several major contracts going to U.S. rather than European firms.

In particular, it cited a 1994 attempt by the French-led European Airbus consortium to break the U.S. hold on airliner sales to Saudi Arabia.

In 1995, France expelled five U.S. diplomats and officials, one of them the alleged Paris station chief for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in connection with the case.

Guests:

  • Nick Hager, wrote the book ??Secret Power: New Zealand’s Role in the Global Intelligence Network. He joins us from New Zealand
  • Jim Bamford, wrote the book ??Puzzle Palace and is working on another book about the National Security Agency.

Related link:

Recent Shows More

Full News Hour

Stories

    Peoplesclimatemarchjustseedsimage
    A People’s Climate Movement: Indigenous, Labor, Faith Groups Prepare for Historic March
    New York City is set to host what could be the largest climate change protest in history. Organizers expect more than 100,000 people to converge for a People’s Climate March on Sunday. Some 2,000 solidarity events are scheduled around the world this weekend ahead of Tuesday’s United Nations climate summit. We spend the hour with four participants representing the labor, indigenous, faith and climate justice communities: Rev. Dr. Serene Jones is the president of Union Theological Seminary, which recently voted to divest from fossil...

Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.