Older books about computer security

Reviews of the book Secret Power

Older books about electric security. This page was restored from 1999.


  • Spying on your calls Green Left Weekly, 30 July 1997, p. 27.
    ”The book spells out the basic operation of the highly secret ECHELON system–so secret that even its name is secret….SIGINT is remarkably useless. It is hard to point to a single ”success,” namely a benefit to society that would justify the expenditure on this sort of spying. In the one major instance of terrorism in New Zealand–the French bombing of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in 1985–GCSB provided no information at all. In the 1987 Fiji coups, GCSB provided little useful information before or afterwards.
  • Review by Graham-John Bullers Moderator of alt.2600.moderated
  • Book review by Grey Power
    ”Geared to serve an alliance with the United States, New Zealand’s spies, for example, failed to warn of the Rainbow Warrior bombing, and proved useless during the Fiji coup. SECRET POWER provides compelling arguments for strengthening New Zealand’s independence by leaving that alliance.”
  • ”Secret Power” Claims to Expose Secret International Spying Networks” 26 Jun 1997, comp.risks Volume 19, Issue 23
    ”What follows explains as precisely as possible – and for the first time in public – how the worldwide [spy]system works, just how immense and powerful it is and what it can and cannot do. The global system has a highly secret codename: ECHELON.”
  • Spy Power Boost for Secret Station – Satellite move clears way for phone taps The New Zealand Herald, 1997-07-21
    ”Some political sources last night suggested both the exemption and expansion, which will boost Waihopai’s contribution to intelligence-sharing arrangements with United States, Australian and British agencies, was targeted at China following the closure of a British monitoring station in Hong Kong.”
  • The ECHELON System The New Zealand Herald, 1997-07-21
    ”This is the work of the Dictionary program. It reads every word and number in every single incoming message and picks out all the ones containing target keywords and numbers. Thousands of simultaneous messages are read in ‘real time’ as they pour into the station, hour after hour, day after day, as the computer finds intelligence needles in the telecommunications haystack.”
  • Cryptography Manifesto, Part 1 By guy@panix.com, 20 Jun -97
    ”Massive Domestic Spying via NSA ECHELON. This is highly detailed documentation of NSA spying. This spying is illegal, massive, and domestic. The documentation is comprehensive, especially since it is now brought together in this one section.”
    Part 2.
    ”The best set of keywords for each subject category is worked out over time, in part by experimentation.
    The staff sometimes trial a particular set of keywords for a period of time and, if they find they are getting too much ‘junk’, they can change some words to get a different selection of traffic.
    The Dictionary Manager administers the sets of keywords in the Dictionary computers, adding, amending and deleting as required.
    This is the person who adds the new keyword for the watch list, deletes a keyword from another because it is not triggering interesting messages, or adds a ‘but not *****’ to a category because it has been receiving too many irrelevant messages and a lot of them contain that word.”
    Part 345 and 6 do not have any direct connection to Echelon.
  • Space: intelligence technology’s embattled frontier, Loring Wirbel,  EETimes, CMP Media Inc. April 21, 1997
    ”What’s more, high-ranking British and German officials have found it virtually impossible to challenge the bases or even to inquire about their operations. ”
  • The World’s Biggest Spy Secret, Sleuth’s Corner, Rossco’s Investigative Journalism Page, Sunday, Australia, 1997
    ”…the automatic nature of the Echelon system means that there is concern even from within these super-secret institutions that countries like Australia, New Zealand and Canada might be providing the U.S with a foolproof way of beating them to the next big contract with countries in the World’s fastest growing economic powerhouse: the Pacific Rim. ”
  • Global Electronic Espionage Dec 1996, Issue Number 63, Secrecy & Government Bulletin
    ””Secret Power” is a dense and sometimes difficult read. It reveals more than many readers will want to know. But as long as governments reveal less than their publics want to know, books like this are essential to public accountability.”
  • The benefits of NZ’s electronic intelligence-gathering apparatus, The Christchurch Press, August 21, 1996
    ”Hager claims that New Zealand routinely listens to (”spies on”) the radio traffic of friendly States such as our South Pacific neighbours or even Japan. True or not, this hardly seems to be of earth-shattering importance. The satellite station at Waihopai was established explicitly to do that, and it would be perverse of any country to exclude itself from knowledge of its surrounding environment.” [This link was broken 1 Mars -98. It remains here for archival purposes]
  • Global Eavesdropping 19 Aug 96, Vladimir Z. Nuri” as posted (to Cypherpunks)
    ”I heard an amazing news report on the radio today, that confirmed what I’ve heard and suspected for a long time – all international communications *are* continually being monitored!! The report was on ”The World at One” news report on BBC Radio 4 … Those of you who have often said that such wide-scale monitoring is ”obviously impossible” might be wise to re-evaluate your positions!”
  • NZ spies on Pacific nations, claims author 15 August 1996 Sydney Morning Herald (Aust)
    ”Mr Peters said there was a clear implication in the book that the GCSB was working on behalf of foreign powers who wanted information on other foreign powers with which New Zealand had cordial and profitable trading relations. ”Who is running the GCSB — New Zealand or some other nation?” he said yesterday.”

Latest change, 3 Juni -98