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Re: What was the quid pro quo for Wassenaar countries?
One thing which came to me recently when I was trying to figure out what sort
of gun the US held to the rest of the world's head to get them to agree to
this: Could the Wassenaar outcome have been a sign of Echelon in action?
Consider this: Delegates from each country have been travelling to Vienna for
some months now to negotiate their countries position. During the
negotiations, they'll be contacting their governments via phonecalls carried
over microwave trunks, satellite links, or undersea cables to discuss the
progress of the negotiations and what position they should take. Just like
the negotiations which lead to the Five-Power Treaty in 1921, if one country
had the ability to intercept all the other countries communications it would
know how far they could be pushed, and where the most resistance was likely to
come from, allowing greater amounts of "persuasion" to be concentrated on them.
I can't think of a more appropriate application of Echelon (use worldwide
surveillance technology to perpetuate the usefulness of worldwide surveillance
technology), and it would go some way towards explaining the very peculiar
agreement which was reached.