Saturday, June 10, 2006

Are the Dutch listening?

And we are still on the topic of the strange spy number, still the Internet community, or at least a part of the Internet community is still interested in those 2 messages that appeared online and where referring to phone numbers which 'broadcasted' strings of strange numbers. Still people are trying to find a way to decipher those messages.

The messages appeared both on Craigslist and were both for 'Mein Fraulein'. As we are still hitting a wall and are unable to decipher the text I am thinking about sending a mail to Bruce Schneier to ask him if his is interested in checking some things on this subject.

Meanwhile it starts to remind me of the days I was more into these kinds of things. A couple of years ago I was starting to get interested in ways of communication used by intelligence agencies around the world and technology used to intercept those communications. Anyone interested in those subjects will end-up reading about the Echelon, carnivore and alike systems. Recalling those days and the information I gathered back in these reminded me on the things done in the Netherlands.

Satalite dish ZoutkampWe where still under the impression that systems like that where only used by larger countries and that the Netherlands where not involved in these kind of practices until some newspaper articles started to appear. A journalist of the technical weekly newspaper "Technisch Weekblad" was hassled and threatened by military police when taking photos in one of the provinces in the north of the Netherlands.

To find out if this was really true and to catch a glimpse of these satellite dishes run by the Dutch military intelligence agency I went up north during a weekend a couple of weeks after the news article appeared. We took the pictures and found out that indeed you could get some trouble. We where followed by a van of the security force of the base and finally pulled over by the local police and the driver was forced to give his name and address. Most likely only to scare as we never heard anything about it again.

However, reminding this I did a little google search about the military installation called Zoutkamp we visited and I found out that this is no longer the biggest installation. At this moment the Netherlands is trying to become a big player in the signal intelligence world. Originally it was planned to expand the location in Zoutkamp but the Dutch court decided against it, now a new installation will be build in Burum which is ‘conveniently’ on the same location as the satellite dishes of Xantic .

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