Echelon Chronology

01.06.2001

Key steps in the development of Echelon from 1964 to May 2001

Year  Development 
1964 International Telecommunications Satellite Consortium formed to launch civil communications satellites (comsats)
1967 First comsat interception station planned at Morwenstow, Cornwall, England
1970 First comsat interception station in operation at Morwenstow
1971 Second comsat interception station in operation at Yakima, Washington, USA
1981 Echelon II database in operation at Menwith Hill, Yorkshire, England; expansion of Echelon system planned
1982 Ladylove comsat interception station in operation at Misawa, Honshu, Japan
1985 Canadian comsat interception station in operation at Leitrim, Ontario, Canada
1986 Global expansion of Echelon system planned by UKUSA treaty partners
1988 Existence of Echelon interception system revealed for the first time in British magazine New Statesman
1989-91 New comsat interception stations start operation in Australia and New Zealand
1996 New Zealand researcher Nicky Hager publishes “Secret Power”, describing the Echelon system
1998 European Parliament publishes report on the “Technology of Political Control”, mentioning the findings of “Secret Power”
May 1998 Documents released to the National Security Archive in Washington confirm the existence of Echelon satellite interception stations, run by the U.S. military
March 1999 Martin Brady, director of the Australian signals intelligence organisation DSD, confirms that Australia takes part in UKUSA intelligence sharing system
May 1999 European Parliament published “Interception Capabilities 2000” (IC2000) report describing Echelon and other parts of the global interception system
February 2000 IC2000 report presented to European Parliament March 2000 Former CIA director James Woolsey confirms that U.S. intelligence uses interception systems and keyword searches to monitor European businesses
July 2000 European Parliament vote to set up temporary committee on the “Echelon interception system”
October 2000 French Assemblee Nationale publishes report on Echelon and affirms that “Echelon exists”
December 2000 Echelon Committee of European Parliament commissions further studies (IC2001) on the use of interception systems
January 2001 Dutch Parliament report on Echelon affirms that “Echelon exists”
February 2001 EU official Desmond Perkins tells the Echelon Committee that he gave samples of EU codes to NSA for testing, adding “the Americans read everything”
April 2001 New Zealand author Nicky Hager gives evidence to Echelon committee
14 May 2001 US government cancels all meetings with the Echelon Committee during their visit to Washington “at the last minute”.
23 May 2001 Draft final report of Echelon Committee leaked and published

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