Saturday, February 28, 2004

The UN bugging scandal: we're a part of it

There's mention in this story that Hans Blix was bugged, and that

each time he entered Iraq, his phone was targeted and recorded and the transcripts were then made available to the United States, Australia, Canada, the UK and also New Zealand

For people who don't understand why we're on that list, it's because we are involved in a little thing called ECHELON, where we help the US, UK and Australia listen in on international phone calls (and possibly domestic traffic, helping the spies get around government limits on domestic espionage) in a network of mutual back-scratching. And now it's led us to spy on our friends.

Why are we doing this again? Why are we helping the unilateralists undermine the multilateral institutions we depend on? How exactly is this in our interests? Are our secret services even working for us, or are they taking their orders from London and Washington?

I'm expecting fireworks in the House next week as Keith Locke tries to get to the bottom of this, and it looks as if the opening salvo has already been fired...