Big Brother is Always Listening

By:  Admin D

It is known fact that certain Government organisations in particular the American (National Intelligence Agency) or the NSA for short globally monitor and eavesdrop on phone calls and emails. They employ a very sophisticated program called “Echelon”, which monitors all electronic communications globally.

It is believed that the goal for this invasion of your privacy is to listen for terrorist activity or terrorist networks, but no one can confirm this. The very existence of the NSA was denied for many years and as a result it earned the jocular nickname “No Such Agency“.

This is how Echelon works:

Email Exchanges

When you send an email, the electronic signal carrying the email goes to your Internet Service Provider (ISP). From there it is sent via an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) to your friend’s ISP, and then on to your friend. To intercept your email without you knowing, the eavesdropper simply taps into the IXP. The NSA’s computers also continually search through every website on the internet in order to locate anything suspicious.

Telephone Cables

The cables that carried phone calls under the sea used to be made of copper wires. Eavesdroppers could listen in by sending divers down to wrap electric coils around the wire. This enabled listeners to hear the phone signals which “leaked” out from the copper. Today the cables are fiber optics, which are completely untappable… or are they?

Mobile Signals

When you call someone on your cell phone, microwave signals travel through the air to an antenna, from where they are relayed through other antennae until they reach the cell of the person you are calling. All an eavesdropper has to do is intercept the microwave signal as it travels between antennae.

Tapping Telephones

It is illegal to tap telephone calls in many countries, but eavesdroppers tap them anyway by connecting to major telephone exchanges. With the Echelon system, the security services are not listening in on particular people; they are listening to all calls, then homing in on people when they hear something suspicious.


Communications satellites allow telephone calls and television broadcasts to be bounced around the world almost instantly. But these communications can be intercepted from ground stations, which are often set up right next to the dishes that are sending the signals. Sometimes, the ground stations have intriguing codenames, such as the American NSA’s “Moonpenny,” which is located at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire, England, and intercepts all telecommunications between the UK and Europe.

Voice Recognition

There are too many telephone calls for spies to listen to every call, so computers are used to scan millions every second. Some work by “voice recognition,” in which the computer analyzes voices on the phone to detect a particular “wanted” voice.

Data Mining

Computers can be programmed to scan emails and look for suspicious words. In the 1990s, the Echelon program searched for the words “Greenpeace” and “Amnesty International.” It caused a scandal.


Computers are used to trace the phone calls and emails of anybody considered to be suspicious. The computers also look for any “links” with other people who have been in touch with the suspect.

Also of interest:

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