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Jamming: sensitive words inserted into an email

Jamming is a practice which has proved popular in the UK and Europe. This is largely a response to ECHELON, a communications interception network, which is operated by AUSCANZUKUS, which includes,

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

An investigation of what ECHELON does was undertaken by the European Union in 2001. It concluded that the network intercepted and scanned the contents of communication for key words and phrases. The communication technologies it intercepted were as follows,

  • Telephone calls
  • Fax
  • E-mail
  • Proposal to monitor sites such as facebook and twitter.

A further antagonisation for jammers was the introduction of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act in 2000. The act allows UK intelligence agencies to intercept and read the contents of emails sent by suspected criminals.

The role of jamming is to introduce sensitive words into harmless email messages: which will then force authorities to monitor an account and basically to waste their time. The function of jamming is two fold: either as an annoyance, or to intentionally divert the time and effort of intelligence agencies. There is also a theory that once an email account has tripped the monitor - and has been noted as harmless - then the account will be free of any further monitoring.

 


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