Net protesters take on "Echelon"

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Net protesters take on "Echelon"

Internet protesters last week tried to overwhelm an ultra-secret spy network believed to be scanning overseas e-mails for subversive messages.

Organizers urged Internet users to send millions of e-mails with fabricated messages about bombs and terrorist plots to disrupt the mysterious high-tech listening system, code-named “Echelon.” A recent report commissioned by the European Parliament found that the network, coordinated by the National Security Agency, routinely monitors faxes, e-mails and telephone messages.

Even supporters of the jamming campaign were pessimistic that their efforts had much impact, suggesting the spy network was smart enough to ignore such e-mails, which typically contain simple lists of random words.

The NSA declined to comment on its alleged network or the potential impact of the e-mail campaign.

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