|ECHELON and COMSAT
Communications Satellite Cooperation
this decade the U.S.-based Comsat, Intelsat and Inmarsat
organizations, in fact, shared nearly all international satellite
traffic. So it was easy for NSA to eavesdropping on all
communications to and from the United states. Less than 60 miles from
Sugar Grove COMSAT runs a station in Etam, West Virginia, where more
than half of the commercial, international satellite communication
entering and leaving the US each day pass by. COMSAT provides
international communications solutions via the global, 19-satellite
INTELSAT system and 4-satellite Inmarsat satellite systems .
the INTELSAT system, COMSAT provides telecommunications,
broadcast and digital networking services between the U.S. and the
rest of the world. These services are used by Internet service
providers, multinational corporations, telecommunications carriers
and U.S. and foreign governments to extend their networks globally.
satellites lie in geostationary orbit 22,223 miles (35,786 km) out in
space. Each satellite covers up to one third of the Earth's surface
and is strategically positioned above one of the four ocean regions.
are beamed up to the satellite and back down to Earth, where special
gateway land earth stations re-route them through the appropriate
local or international telephone network. COMSAT operates Earth
Stations in each part of the world to route calls efficiently within
each ocean region. Earth Stations are located in Santa Paula,
California; Southbury, Connecticut; Ankara, Turkey; and Kuantan,
Grove Naval Communications Facility, near Sugar Grove, WV, may
intercept Pacific INTELSAT/COMSAT satellite communications traffic
routed through the COMSAT ground station at Etam, WV.
station in Winter Harbor, Maine serves as an excellent
platform from which to intercept signals to and from COMSATs Andover
station, 125 miles to the west.
the Westcost, COMSATs northern groundstation is situated in Brewster,
near to Yakima, so from the Yakima Research Station the
Pacific INTELSAT communications traffic can be intercepted.
other west-coast station is in Jamesburg, California, not so far away
from the Army Security Agency intercept station at Two Rock Ranch.
international communications network with its limited gateways will
probably always be easier to monitor than the large domestic networks
like in the US. But the use of microwave and domestic satellites is
increasing, and the construction of land lines is decreasing.
Report by Duncan Campbell: Interception Capabilities 2000
Bamford, The Puzzle Palace, Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1982,p222-228