It seems the U.S., Britian, and some other anglo-type nations have a very powerful, formerly secret spy network called Echelon. The countries involved denied its existence until recently, when folks at George Washington University published proof. Check out this article in the Telegraph for details. This powerful spy system may have been misused to help U.S. businesses get a leg up:
The Echelon surveillance system - run by five English-speaking nations but dominated by the US - is reportedly capable of monitoring telephone, fax and email communications relayed by satellite anywhere in the world.Naturally, the French are not amused. (It's not the Jerry Lewis spy network. Err.. This is why Citroen doesn't sell millions of cars per year in the U.S. I could go on...) Drudge is reporting that the French are prepping a class-action lawsuit over the issue.
The network is a legacy of the Cold War intelligence showdown with the communist bloc. But there are allegations in west European nations that Echelon is being abused by US espionage chiefs to spy on individuals and to pass on commercial secrets to American businesses.
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