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2000 04 03 * Ekstra Bladet * 'We listened in on Amnesty International and the EU' * Bo Elkjaer, Kenan Seeberg

"Echelon has singled out Europe as an enemy, and I saw a lot of messages about surveillance targets in Denmark," says the fourth Echelon agent to come forward in Ekstra Bladet.

  

Fred Stock was a secret agent in Canada's Echelon service until he was fired for asking too many questions. For almost fifteen years, thousands of messages on espionage targets passed through his hands. As a result, he now has a unique overview of what went on behind the barbed wire fences at Echelon's listening posts in Canada and the rest of the world.

"First of all, it's important to get one thing straight: all data intercepted around the world was sent right to the US's intelligence agency, the NSA. Then and only then would they decide what should be forwarded to all the other countries."

Both US and Danish authorities assert that only military espionage is being carried out. Is that correct?
"No, it is not. A change occurred around 1987. That was when I suddenly started seeing more and more messages dealing with Germany, France, The Netherlands, Denmark and other European allies. But it is important to emphasize that we performed a very valuable piece of work for the entire Free World during the Cold War. Including our European allies."

 

THE EU AS A NEW ENEMY

What did the change involve?
"It was very unpleasant to receive messages from the NSA telling us that the European Union, centering around Germany, was now an enemy. The messages also mentioned the Asian economy and Japan in particular. That was in 1990."

But they didn't actually refer to them as enemies, did they?
"Yes they did! And that was one of the things that really shocked me. The term they used was 'enemies'. I remember it very clearly because I went in to see my superior, Gerry Godin, and asked him what it was all about. I was very angry and asked him what they were up to. Why should our allies suddenly be redefined as enemies? I swear to you, the term was very clear."

How did your boss reply?
"He looked at it and said, 'It would be a good idea to see it as a more contemporary meaning for the word 'enemy'.' That infuriated me. Because the moment when we start thinking of allied nations as our enemies marks the prelude to starting more wars and conflicts. And from then on, I was not treated very well at CSE because I asked too many questions about our mission."

As a communications operator at the headquarters of the Canadian Security Establishment (CSE), Fred Stock estimates that he handled up to 3000 pieces of intelligence every day. There were 55 agents with the same duties as Stock.

 

60 MILLION MESSAGES

That means that CSE's headquarters received some 165,000 messages every single day. That's five million a month and roughly 60 million a year.
And after 1989, a large part of them were non-military targets.
It was only a drop in the ocean in relation to the volume received at NSA. Because they were the ones running the whole operation.

Were Danish targets monitored?
"I saw a great deal of intelligence that had been intercepted about Denmark, but don't ask me what it was about. Espionage was performed on legal political organizations and allied NATO countries, as well as on companies in Europe and Asia. I even saw papers about specific politicians."
"The messages I received had a subject and a country at the top of the page. The ones on which 'Denmark' was written were 'the final product' so to speak. The interception itself could have been made directly by a US spy station. But lots of intercepted messages about Europe came in. They had to have been intercepted by some of the UK's listening posts."

Canadian agent Fred Stock was fired in 1993 because he didn't care for the fact that the NSA, the US intelligence agency, depicted NATO countries as 'enemies' to be spied on.