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ECHELON

UKUSA Community
Map of UKUSA Community countries

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ECHELON, originally a secret government code name, is a surveillance program (signals intelligence / SIGINT collection and analysis network) operated on behalf of the five signatory nations to the UKUSA Security AgreementAustralia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, also known as the Five Eyes.

The ECHELON program was created in the late 1960s to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the Cold War, and was formally established in 1971.

By the end of the 20th century, the system referred to as "ECHELON" had allegedly evolved beyond its military and diplomatic origins, to also become "…a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications."

The European Parliament's Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System stated, "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).

Former NSA employee Margaret Newsham claims that she worked on the configuration and installation of software that makes up the ECHELON system while employed at Lockheed Martin, from 1974 to 1984 in Sunnyvale, California, in the United States, and in Menwith Hill, England, in the UK. 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 intercepted 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.


List of intercept stations according to Edward Snowden's documents
Operated by the United States
Country Location Operator(s) Codename
 Brazil Brasília, Federal District SCS
 Germany Bad Aibling, Munich GARLICK
 India New Delhi SCS
 Japan Misawa, Tōhoku region LADYLOVE
 Thailand Bangkok (?) LEMONWOOD
 United Kingdom Menwith Hill, Harrogate MOONPENNY
 United States Sugar Grove, West Virginia TIMBERLINE
Yakima, Washington JACKKNIFE
Sábana Seca, Puerto Rico CORALINE
Not operated by the United States (2nd party)
Country Location Contributor(s) Codename
 Australia Geraldton, WA STELLAR
Darwin, NT  ?
 New Zealand Waihopai, Blenheim IRONSAND
 United Kingdom Bude, Cornwall CARBOY
 Cyprus Ayios Nikolaos Station SOUNDER
 Kenya Nairobi SCAPEL
 Oman SNICK

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