Keefe, Patrick Radden. CHATTER: Uncovering the Echelon Surveillance Network and the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping. Random House.

With all the publicity surrounding Wiki leaks´ technology, management and the revelation of many governments´ secret documents, we should not forget that our private communications are regularly hacked and monitored by a sophisticated system of spying posts and satellites by our government and others -using our tax money to fuel this clandestine industry.

Echelon is the network that the USA/UK has created to spy on any electronic or telephone message they choose. Menwith Hill in Yorkshire, England is one of the largest spy stations, known to some of us thanks to a brave group of activists who regularly demonstrate at the station and have sometimes, by simple means, breached its security and entered the post, staffed by USA military personnel.

Keefe quotes workers at spy posts as saying we are just the landlords and caretakers, only Americans do the spy work. USA listening posts are also known to be in Japan, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and to eavesdrop on the south part of the world at Australia´s Pine Gap station. Canada is an active part of this network; Echelon operates quietly with no concern expressed by politicians or citizen groups near Ottawa at the CF base at Leitrim.

Canada has also assisted the USA in bugging embassies in Ottawa for American spy systems. Keefe writes about a Canadian, Mike Frost, who co–wrote an earlier book on spying, titled Spyworld, he claims to have worked on this embassy bugging. Canada has a long and dirty history of complicity in USA global domination. As Linda McQuaig put it, we are always willing to hold the bully´s coat.

Most of this book is factual, well–documented reporting but Keefe warns, in his last words, “It may be that in our very passivity, in our refusal to confront these issues head on, we will end up not more free and less safe, or more safe and less free– but less safe and less free.”

Filed under Book Reviews, Patrick Radden Keefe