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Jam in the Echelon works

Action day against spynet planned by hacktivists

Internet activists have planned a day of chaos set for 21 October in a bid to block the infamous computer surveillance network Echelon.

'Jam Echelon Day', a protest against government eves dropping, has been organised by several groups of internet hackers including Cipherwar.com and the Hacktivists.

"We are encouraging all persons who utilise any form of global communications to inform their circle of friends [about] Echelon. Along with this we are urging the inclusion of as many 'trigger words' within those communications as possible," says the Cipherwar website.

"This is not an attack," said a member of Cipherwar, who prefers to be known as 'Scully'. "This is an educational campaign designed to raise awareness of Echelon."

The Echelon system is said to monitor emails, telephone calls and other forms of electronic communication for so-called trigger words such as 'bomb', 'hacker' and 'terrorism'. By encouraging people to send out messages containing as many of these words as possible, there are over 1,500 listed on Cipherwar website, the activists hope to overload the surveillance system.

But even the projects organisers doubt its success.

"While the goal of jamming up Echelon is an unattainable one, is it not better to signal displeasure at being monitored than passively allow it to happen?" asked Scully.


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