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Liberté / Libertés

Sylvia Ullmo

III. Libertés incertaines et nouvelles incertitudes

Democracy in an Electronic Era

William Schnabel

Texte intégral

  • 1 -Justice Louis Brandeis (Olmstead v. U.S., 1928).

1We live in a unique era of change. Our acts to defend democracy and human values, or our failure to act, will undoubtedly have a dramatic effect on the lives of our children and our grandchildren. The unprecedented development of electronic communications has been accompanied by an equally phenomenal development in surveillance capabilities, thereby changing our perceptions of democracy and privacy. Most people would agree that: “The right to be left alone-[is] the most comprehensive of rights, and the right most valued by a free people.”1 And yet, “privacy”, in a judicial context, is a broad, abstract and often ambiguous concept, as Justice Hugo Black has noted.

2The protean quality of the concept of privacy raises countless definitional problems that need to be examined. For example, if one considers the notions of “private property” and the “invasion of privacy”, it seems fairly obvious, that although related, they are inherently different. Furthermore, there is a sharp distinction between what we consider “public” and what we think of as “private”. This is a fundamental Lockean construct in America's liberal political tradition. “Public” means in the realm of government regulation, as governments are called upon to regulate the conditions of public life. In the United States, the federal Constitution was designed, among other things, to place limits on what the federal government can do with regards to the public sphere. “Private”, on the other hand, refers to what is protected against governmental interference. Another aspect of the Lockean heritage is the enforcement of contracts and the respect of ‘life, liberty, and property’. “Autonomy” is related to private too, and means an individual's ability and right to choose the way they want to live their lives, as opposed to having governments decide for them.

3Secrecy, a weighty concept with regards to the “invasion of privacy”, is determined by what aspects of life society decides should be protected against public regulation and, more importantly, against public interference. Not only does “secret” mean that a person does not make certain information or communications public, but that the individual has the right to choose who has access to information and, or communications. A related concept is that of “information control the control we have over information concerning ourselves.

4Certainly, there are varying degrees of democracy and freedom. It is probably safe to say that “democracy”, in its purest form, has never really existed anywhere in the world; nor is it possible to conceive of how it could be put into practice in our increasingly complex societies. However, in a democratic society, individuals want to possess an important control over the release of information – in its largest sense – about themselves. In a dictatorial state this democratic right is denied outright, or abused. Yet paradoxically, there is little, if any protection for such a right as defined in the Constitution of the United States. According to the Fourth Amendment, the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.” The Fifth Amendment states that no person shall “be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law.” Clearly, no mention of “privacy” is made, although it may be and has been inferred.

5The news media constitute a specific case. What happens, for example, when the media disclose information about someone that they would like to keep secret? Does the Constitution allow for protection against these specific invasions of privacy? When the information is truthful, albeit intrusive, it is not generally considered an invasion of privacy. It may however, be defined as defamation, or libel. Newspapers in the United States are awarded protection under the First Amendment – what is commonly referred to as freedom of the press. But what about personal information gathered by the intelligence community and not published? In democratic countries, people have basic expectations with regards to civil liberties. In Katz v. United States (1967), the Supreme Court extended the 4th Amendment's warrant requirement to wiretaps of telephone conversations. American citizens, the Court held, have a “legitimate expectation” that their conversations will remain private, and any violation of this expectation would require the demonstration of probable cause necessary to get a search warrant. But what about the gathering of information via communications networks by government agencies? The concepts of public and private form an integral part of the rights inferred by the Constitution. It is difficult to imagine a democracy, in whatever form, that denies a “right to privacy”. And the more democratic a nation, the greater its respect for privacy.

6COPPA, or the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, was signed into law on October 21, 1998 by the American Congress, and was implemented on April 21, 2000 by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It is interesting to note that the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), along with publishers and the Internet industry, criticized COPPA in its first year of implementation. The CDT filed an amicus brief in the federal Court of Appeals in Philadelphia in September of 1999, arguing that the act was unconstitutional because it would inhibit freedom of speech and the publication of speech that is not harmful to children. More recently, however, it has been widely accepted by the Internet industry.

7In its practical applications, COPPA requires commercial Web sites and online services directed at children twelve and under that collect information, to provide parents with notice of their information practices, and obtain parental consent prior to the collection of personal information from children. Furthermore, these web sites are required to allow parents to review and correct the information their children collected on the Internet. The original rule of 1998 was modified, thus clarifying issues of coverage and liability, and modifying definitions that would have interfered with children's right to participate, express their opinions and seek information. For example, child oriented web sites offer « chat » lines without parental consent, provided personal information is suppressed before communications are publicly displayed. Similarly, children may ask questions via email without parental involvement, and sign up for newsletters provided their parents may cancel it. But to protect children, the new law requires child-directed web sites that provide email accounts to obtain parental consent prior to issuing a child the account. Longer methods of verification such as fax-back, postal mail, 1-800 telephone numbers, credit card verification, digital certificates, or email combined with a password issued through one of the other verifiable methods must be used. But a distinction is made between general audience web sites and child oriented web sites, since for the latter the requirements do not hold true. One of the basic problems of the Act is definitional. The FTC seeks to consider a variety of factors in determining whether a site is “directed to children”; the “overall character of a site and not just the presence or absence of one or more factors” needs to be examined.

8The passage of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act is a watershed legislative event in the sense that it is the first effort by a federal agency to implement rules specifically for the Internet environment. It is probably too early to judge the efficacy of the Act, but the success of COPPA will undoubtedly have an impact on the future of privacy, free speech, and commerce on the Internet It should be remembered that COPPA was enacted by Congress to replace the Communications Decency Act (CDA) – ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 1997. In a landmark decision, the Court ruled that the Internet is a unique medium entitled to the highest protection under the First Amendment, giving the Internet the same free speech protection as printed matter. The Internet is the first electronic medium to achieve this because of its accessibility, its unique diversity and its lack of gatekeepers.

9The CDA (1996), which was the first congressional attempt at online censorship, prohibited posting “indecent” or “patently offensive” materials in a public forum on the Internet, including web pages, newsgroups, chat rooms, or online discussion lists. Unfortunately, well-known literary works such as Catcher in the Rye and Ulysses would have been censored, not to mention the fiction of Henry Miller or Bukowski. As was noted by some, child pornography, obscenity, or preying on children were already illegal. Justice John Paul Stevens stated that “the CDA places an unacceptably heavy burden on protected speech” and found that all provisions of the CDA are unconstitutional as they apply to ‘indecent’ or ‘patently offensive’ speech.” The Supreme Court ruling against the CDA was unanimous.

10Electronic communications systems are part of almost everyone's life in the industrialized world: the Internet, cellular phones, telexes, faxes, and email. As a result, individual privacy and national security often come into conflict. While many software producers are trying to make sure their consumers’ privacy is protected, law enforcement officials have expressed the desire to impede the free flow of information, to limit individual privacy and enable intelligence to gather information on individuals, foreign corporations, and associations. This campaign has made it obligatory for digital telephone switches, cellular and satellite phones and developing communication technologies to build in surveillance capabilities and to restrict the use of encryption software enabling users to scramble their communications and files to prevent others from reading them.

11The Federal Bureau of Investigation, in its first step to increase surveillance capabilities, has forced telecommunications companies to use equipment that enhances wiretapping capabilities. The objective is to ensure that the United States and friendly intelligence gathering services can listen in on communications everywhere in the world. In the late 1980s, when George Bush, former DCI (Director of Central Intelligence) was President of the US, the FBI and law enforcement officials demanded that telephone companies change their equipment to make wiretapping easier. Not surprisingly, the companies refused, but after a massive lobbying campaign, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) was passed by Congress in 1994.

12According to CALEA, cellular phone services and terrestrial carriers must make sure their equipment enables the federal government to intercept “all wire and oral communications carried by the carrier... concurrently with their transmission.” Communications must be “interceptable in such a form that they could be transmitted to a remote government facility.” The law allows Federal US courts to fine companies in the US up to $10,000 a day for each product that fails to comply with federal standards.

13At the same time that the FBI was pressuring the Congress to yield to tougher standards, it was pressuring its allies to adopt CALEA as an international standard. In 1991, high-level meetings were conducted by the FBI with the European Union in an effort to get its members to adopt CALEA into European law: firstly, to establish a set of norms and procedures, and then sell their goods to Third World countries. Once a country accepts these standards, the US intelligence community via the UK-USA signals intelligence network, particularly the NSA (National Security Agency), can secretly intercept their telecommunications with or without an interception order. The massive effort by the FBI resulted in an EU Council of Ministers resolution that was quietly adopted in January 1995, though not publicly made known until 1997. There is virtually no difference between this text and the one establishing domestic US standards.

14Obviously, it is one thing to intercept telecommunications and another to understand them. Thus the FBI impeded the development of cryptography and other measures to ensure personal privacy. In the 1970s, the FBI and the NSA claimed that encryption technology was classified information, the same as atomic bomb materials. Not too much was said about this publicly until the US came out with the so-called “Clipper Chip” in 1993, which is encryption material to be included in consumer products. This special chip ensured privacy, but the federal government made sure it had a “pass-key” so it could read anything that was encrypted with the Clipper Chip. Furthermore, United States federal law prohibits the exportation of encryption software and hardware the NSA cannot decode. However, a US federal court has ruled that these export controls are a direct violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution concerning freedom of speech.

15Member States of the European Community have been divided over the encryption issue. In October of 1999, the European Commission published: “Ensuring Security and Trust in Electronic Commerce,” stating that e-commerce could be seriously damaged if intelligence has access to encrypted communications. In fact, the global surveillance of telecommunications systems has led to the abuse of privacy. The following are some of the more notorious examples:

16Example 1: On 15 January 1990, the telephone network NuPrometheus had distributed AT&T's key-code for the operational system of AT&T Macintosh computer without an authorization (Barlow, 1990).

  • 2 - From: B. Martnet and Y.M. Marti, “L'intelligence économique. Les yeux et les oreilles de l'entre (...)

17Example 2: On June 25, 1998, an A-320 aircraft of the European Company Airbus Industries, crashed during a demonstration flight in Absheim, Germany. One person died and twenty others were injured. After the accident and before publication of the official report, hostile messages against Airbus Industries and Aerospatiale appeared on the Internet, stating that the accident was to be expected and that in the future there would be similar accidents because European engineers were less competent than American engineers. Aerospatiale's representatives attempted to find the sources for these messages, but the senders’ identification data, addresses and Internet nodes were all false. The source messages came from the US, from computers with misleading identification data and transferred from anonymous servers in Finland.2

  • 3 - From: “Echelon est au service des intérêts américains,” Libération, 21 April 1998.

18Example 3: Edouard Balladur, former French Prime Minister, went to Ryadh, Saudi Arabia in January 1994, to negotiate an important contract for more than 30 billion francs for the sale of weapons and Airbus aircraft, but the contract was awarded to the American firm McDonnell-Douglas, an arch rival of Airbus Industries. The NSA had reportedly used Echelon to intercept communications about the negotiations.3

  • 4 - This information is available online: < >

19The phenomenal growth in telecommunications has been accompanied by a disturbing intrusion of privacy by government surveillance. Wiretap activity is published by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts every spring.4 The following highlights of the 1999 report for criminal cases is revealing:

Number of wiretap requests approved: 1,350
Number of requests denied: 0
Average number of conversations intercepted per
wiretap: 1,921
Average number of people intercepted per wiretap: 195
Approximate number of conversations intercepted: 2.6 million
Longest running wiretap: 510 days
Percentage of intercepted conversations deemed « incriminating »: 28.8%
Average cost per wiretap: $57,511
Cost of the most expensive wiretap: $ 1,073,048

20Last year, on July 11, 2000, the FBI acknowledged the existence of its Internet monitoring system called “Carnivore”. According to James Dempsey, Senior Staff Counsel for the Center for Democracy and Technology, Carnivore serves two functions. The surveillance system is installed at an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to monitor communications on the network and record messages sent or received by the target user. Reportedly, Carnivore is also capable of isolating “the origin and destination of all communications to and from a particular ISP customer.” After the disclosures, Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking the public release of all FBI records referring to Carnivore. The FBI has released some documents, but has refused to release others.

21The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), which strongly protested against Carnivore, stated that the interception system violates the Fourth Amendment, as related to search and seizure issues, since Carnivore “breaches the Internet provider's rights and the rights of all its customers by reading both sender and recipient addresses, as well as subject lines of emails, to decide whether to make a copy of the entire message.” Although the system is connected to the ISP, it is controlled exclusively by the police and other law enforcement agencies. “The FBI is placing a black box inside the computer network of an ISP. Not even the ISP knows exactly what that gizmo is doing,” states James X. Dempsey. Barry Steinhardt, associate director of the ACLU says: “Law enforcement should be prohibited from installing any device that allows them to intercept communications from persons other than the target.” In short, the FBI's latest surveillance system is inconsistent with the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution and federal wiretap statute, Title III, requiring a court order.

  • 5 - The EU-FBI surveillance plan: See Statewatch, 2001.

22Few Europeans seem aware of the fact that there is a close collaboration between the United States and Europe as far as information gathering is concerned. On January 17, 1995, the EU adopted the “Requirements” developed by the FBI.5 According to its demands, network and service providers will supply the FBI with both data and real-time access to communications. Essentially, this means that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has the legal and technical capability of intercepting communications transmitted in the European Union. This agreement is better known as the EU-FBI surveillance plan.

23Currently under discussion is the question of the erasure of data from communications. Six EU governments are opposed to erasure of traffic data from communications: Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The Council of the European Union conclusions state: “The obligation for operators to erase and make traffic data anonymous ‘seriously obstructs’ criminal investigation.” (ENFOPOL 23 30.03.01).

24Henceforth, law enforcement agencies in the EU have focused their attention on “data retention,” or the recording and stocking of communications, asking for “every phone call, every mobile phone call, every fax, every email, every website's contents, all Internet usage, from anywhere, by everyone, to be recorded, archived and be accessible for at least seven years.” (Statewalch, 2001). However, in her annual report, Elizabeth France, the UK Data Protection Commissioner said: “The routine long-term preservation of data by Internet service providers (ISPs) for law enforcement purposes would be disproportionate general surveillance of communications.”

25The European Parliament's decision was supposed to be known in September 2001. The new proposals are being addressed by European Parliament committees under the co-decision procedure. The plenary session will take place on 3 September 2001. The support of law enforcement agency demands is “in direct opposition to the strongly held views of the Data Protection Commissioners,” notes Statewatch. Mr Cappato of the EU parliament issued a draft report with two salient features: 1) a ban on general surveillance by authorities of data and thus on the storing of traffic and location data for longer than necessary for traffic management or service providing, and 2) the question of an opt-in or opt-out for spamming. The amendment on a prohibition for “any form of wide-scale general or exploratory electronic surveillance” was easily adopted. Also, an amendment providing for an opt-in for spamming was adopted. However, the entire package of amendments as a whole was unacceptable for the majority of MEPs in plenary. Thus the Cappato-report was referred back to the responsible committee, where the rapporter will have to draw up a new text to be debated in plenary.

26Echelon, a word that is coming more and more under media scrutiny, is the code name for “the most extensive espionage network in the world.” Echelon is a very broad topic as far as electronic surveillance is concerned because of the issues it raises and because of the scope of the network. However, despite several official reports and some incisive investigative journalism under difficult conditions, the network is still shrouded in much mystery.

27But there is no longer any doubt that Echelon exists. This has been confirmed by the recent investigation conducted by the European Parliament's “Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System,” which published its draft report on 18 May 2001. The first STOA (Scientific and Technological Options Assessment) report of 1997 had been commissioned by the Omega Foundation for the European Parliament. The report states that all email, telephone and fax communications in Europe were intercepted by the National Security Agency of the United States.

  • 6 -

28Echelon is an automated surveillance system, globally coordinated by the American National Security Agency (NSA).6 Five nations are part of the pact, all of which are English speaking countries: the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Historically, the system began with the signing of the UKUSA agreement in 1948 by the five-member pact, but probably developed as we know it today in the early 1970s. What makes Echelon different from other electronic interception systems is that “its purpose is to intercept private and commercial communications, and not military communications.” Parabolic antennae are used as receiving antennae at strategically located communications receiving stations all over the world, capturing satellite, microwave, cellular and fiber-optic traffic, including communications to and from North America. This tremendous quantity of voice and data communications is analyzed by using filtering technologies, voice recognition, and optical character recognition, which look for key words or phrases. This sophisticated communications processing is done by the so-called Echelon dictionaries, which are in fact extremely powerful computers. It has been said by intelligence experts that Echelon processes about three billion pieces of communication daily. This is perhaps a conservative estimate, in light of the rapid expansion of the Internet. Once a computer identifies a code word–which may be virtually anything that you can feed into a computer: the name of a person, place, a telephone number, an address-the entry is forwarded to the respective intelligence agency headquarters that requested the communication. Echelon intercepts electronic communications via satellite: phone calls, email, Internet downloads and visits, satellite transmissions, faxes, telexes.

29According to Mike Frost, a former high-ranking spy for twenty years, during an interview on CBS television's 60 Minutes, broadcast February 27, 2000: “The entire world, the whole planet – covers everything. Echelon covers everything that's radiated worldwide at any given instant. Every square inch is covered.” And when asked how deep Echelon can go, he replied: “Right down to the bowels, if you want. As far as you want to go, Echelon can go into your private life–that includes your private life with your doctor, your minister, your lawyer, you stock broker, your wife, your girlfriend, your children, your business partner, your business enemies-as far as they want to go” (Zimmerman, 1999).

30Is Echelon an infallible system? The following example speaks for itself. A woman was having a telephone conversation with a friend about her son's school play. She had felt that his performance was far from remarkable, and she said to a friend that « He really bombed last night! » Because she used the word “bombed”, her communication was identified and she was labeled a possible terrorist.

31Margaret Newsham, a former NSA employee from 1974 to 1984 had been stationed at the largest intercepting station in the world at Menwith Hill, England. She recalls how Echelon was used to listen in on a conversation between US Senator Strom Thurmond and somebody else. There are other examples too, of course, as little by little people realize the danger of such a system for democracy. One can imagine how the heads of state could take advantage of Echelon. Former conservative Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, allegedly ordered surveillance of two cabinet members that “weren't onside”, as the former PM put it. The NSA's admitting that it held “1,056 pages of classified information about the late Princess Diana” has been much publicized. Wayne Madsen, a former NSA employee, together with Fred stock, a former Canadian secret service employee, have said that economic intelligence gathering has top priority and is used to the advantage of the US.

32The Echelon system is suitable for industrial spying, and this can be substantiated with at least a few examples. As previously noted, in 1994, the NSA intercepted faxes and telephone calls between Airbus and the Saudi Arabian national airline. The American firm, McDonnel-Douglas, won the contract for $6 billion. The NSA also intercepted communications to and from Thomson-Alcatel concerning a contract for the satellite monitoring of the Amazon Basin. Raytheon Corp., a US firm that supplies the NSA with technical equipment, won the contract. Washington's official position is that communications interception is used to discover “bribes”, that according to R. James Woolsey, a Washington lawyer and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, never originate in the US.

  • 7 - Article 12, Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Article 17, United Nations Covenant on Civil (...)

33Acts involving the interception of communications and for recording of data are obvious threats to individual privacy. Behavior of this kind is usually considered endemic of totalitarian regimes. International law specifies respect for privacy as a basic human right.7 However, when considering the compatibility of Echelon, or other interception systems, with Union law, things are slightly more complicated. The processing of personal data and privacy in telecommunications does not apply when it is a question of public security, defense, state security, or activities with regard to criminal law. In short, if Echelon is used for “intelligence” purposes, European Union law is not breached. The European Parliament obviously needs to take action to ensure data protection, because the existing statutory framework is archaic. In the US, wiretapping, under Title 18 of the criminal code and under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (50 USC Sec. 1801 et seq.), is done pursuant to a court order. Furthermore, this condition includes a limitation that “there is substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party.” Echelon intercepts a broad range of communications, clearly violating these principles and it intercepts communications without judicial or legislative oversight, thus conveniently dodging any checks or balances on the power of the NSA. In its very essence, its actions are unconstitutional. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution affirms the right to be secure in one's person, house, papers, and effects. Clearly, the unauthorized gathering of communications is in direct contradiction with the Constitution of the United States.

34In light of American global objectives, it is highly improbable that the NSA will change its policies, or that the European Union will be able to put adequate pressure on them. Members of the European Community can probably best protect themselves or their business interests by using and developing encryption so that it becomes a viable norm. The European Union could conduct investigations of receiving stations within its borders, notably at Menwith Hill in England, and Bad Aibling in Germany, and make the results publicly known. But after the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001, this will probably never de done. And contrary to what law enforcement officials have claimed, they are constantly developing new and sophisticated surveillance technologies, rather than losing ground on digital communications technologies. And not only are we being spied on by law enforcement agencies, but also by multinationals because it is profitable for them. Massive amounts of personal data are collected about us every day, and this trend will increase in the near future. Somewhere along the line we will be forced to redefine democracy and privacy.

35It is not always easy to reconcile individual privacy and national security in a democratic state. Privacy and human rights are general terms that vary from one country to the next, and from one decade to the next. In a moment of national crisis, personal expectations with regards to these principals may be waived. The crime against humanity on the 11 of September 2001-fifty-nine different ethnic groups were murdered – is a case in point. Law enforcement officials and citizens do not always see things eye to eye, but the attacks on civilian targets in Manhattan have triggered national and international outrage in the Western world. Privacy and civil liberties take on a different meaning when a nation's national security and the security of its citizens are threatened. Privacy and the respect of human rights are important expectations in a democracy, and the stability and faith in a country's institutions can be measured by its latitude concerning them. Threats to a nation's stability, be they internal or external, will be concomitant with a restriction of these basic democratic principles. Surely the greatness of a democracy can be assessed by its ability to overcome times of crisis and reestablish trust and mutual respect. This is, however, a complicated social process in which innumerable variables have to be weighed. It is questionable, in the decades to come, whether these concepts will have exactly the same meaning in the United States.


Works, articles and reports cited

“ACLU Urges Congress to Investigate ECHELON Surveillance System,” American Civil Liberties Union, “In Congress,” April 6. 1999 <>

“The ‘Agencies’ Demand... in ‘A Safe and Free Society’ Everyone is a Suspect,” Statewatch, vol. 10 n° 6. November-December, 2000. London.

An Appraisal of the Technologies of Political Control, An Omega Foundation Summary & Options Report for the European Parliament, September. 1998. <>

Barlow, J. P. “A not terribly brief history of the Electronic Frontier Foundation,” 8 November 1990.

« The Carnivore Controversy: Electronic Surveillance and Privacy in the Digital Age, » Testimony of James X. Dempsey (Center for Democracy and Technology) before the Senate Judiciary Committee, September 6 2000. <>

Daley, Suzanne, “Europe Accuses U.S. of Economic Spying, SF Gate/San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday, February 24, 2000. <>

Development of Surveillance technology and Risk of Abuse of Economic Information (An appraisal of technologies of political control). European Parliament Scientific and Technological Options Assessment (STOA). Working document for the STOA panel, Luxembourg, May 1999. PE 168.184/Int.St./

« Echelon est au service des intérêts américains », Libération, 21 avril 1998.

“Echelon spy system”. Report by the European Parliament press service on the plenary session in Strasbourg on 5 September 2001. Gerhard Schmid (PES, D).

“Europol Given the Power to Initiate Criminal Investigations,” Statewatch, vol. 10 n° 5 September-October 2000, London.

2001.“EU Governments to Give Law Enforcement Agencies Access to All Communications Data,” Statewatch, vol. 11 n° 2 March-April 2001, London,

On the Existence of a Global System for the Interception of Private and Commercial Communications (ECHELON interception system), Draft Report. European Parliament, Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System, rapporteur: Gerhard Schmid, 18 May 2001. PR\439868EN.doc, 113 pages.

Hager, Nicky, 1996. Secret Power – New Zealand's Role in the International Spy Network. Nelson, New Zealand: Craig Potton Publishing.

Herbert, Ian, “Court Case May Force MoD to Reveal Details of the Golf Balls,” The Independent. Monday, 19 June 2000

Loeb, Vernon, Saturday, December 12, 1998. “NSA Admits to Spying on Princess Diana,” The Washington Post, p. A13. <>

—, 1999. “The Tables Are Turned on a Super-Secret U.S. Spy Agency,” International Herald Tribune. Monday, November 15, 7.

Martnet B. and Y.M. Marti, “L'Intelligence économique. Les yeux et les oreilles de l'entreprise. Paris: Éditions d'organisation, 1995.

Mathiesen, Thomas, November 1999. On Globalisation of Control: Towards an Integrated Surveillance System in Europe, London: Statewatch.

Woolsey, R. James, “Why We Spy on Our Allies,” The Wall Street Journal. March 17 2000.

Zimmerman, Erin and Dale Hurd, “Surveillance Society: A Spy's Story.” The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN News). December 16 1999.


This is the website of the Federation of American Scientists. It gives detailed information about the NSA as well as other American intelligence agencies.

The website for the Covert Action Quarterly gives information about Echelon and other spy networks.

This is the website for opponents of the spy base at Menwith Hill, in England.

Paul Wolfs website gives detailed information about Echelon, particularly from international sources. is the website for Privacy International. It gives detailed information concerning violations of privacy and civil rights.

“The Nature and Scope of Governmental Electronic Surveillance Activity,” September 25,2000.

< overview.html>


1 -Justice Louis Brandeis (Olmstead v. U.S., 1928).

2 - From: B. Martnet and Y.M. Marti, “L'intelligence économique. Les yeux et les oreilles de l'entreprise, Éditions d'organisation,” Paris 1995.

3 - From: “Echelon est au service des intérêts américains,” Libération, 21 April 1998.

4 - This information is available online: < >

5 - The EU-FBI surveillance plan: See Statewatch, 2001.

6 -

7 - Article 12, Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Article 17, United Nations Covenant on Civil and political Rights; Article 7, European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights; Article 8, European Court of Human Rights, et al.


William Schnabel est né en Californie mais a fait toutes ses études supérieures en France, avec deux incursion auprès de l'Université de Californie à Berkeley. Il a soutenu une thèse en 1995 intitulée« Les monstres familiers de H.P.Lovecraft : une analyse des images tératologiques dans la vie et l'oeuvre de HP. Lovecraft », pour laquelle il a obtenu les félicitations du jury. Il est aujourd'hui directeur du groupe de recherches sur le fantastique de l'université Stendhal de Grenoble où il a été nommé Maître de Conférences.

© Presses universitaires François-Rabelais, 2005

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