I started collecting 'spook words' after hearing about a rumor that the major intelligence agencies would scan messages floating around on the Internet looking for something interesting, This is why some paranoid folks say the Internet is so slow, The NSA says that they don't, but that's what the NSA would say. Another rumor to the story is that the NSA and all those other three lettered agencies just don't have the bandwidth to look at all those messages, and that it is all those people farting around watching streaming porno movies from work eating up all that bandwidth.

There may be some truth to the rumors, digital wiretaps have been done on the Internet before looking for particular words used by criminal hackers and industrial spies with a few messages that weren't related to the case were captured and dissseminated. Also back in the late 1980's, New Zealand's largest intelligence agency, and the GCSB joined in with other Western allies to spy on all of the world's telephone, telex, and e-mail communications, with the ECHELON network.

Anyone who has viewed the source of my homepage or Prayers Pay will see the list below with some additions here and there, You might want to sprinkle some of these words into your X-headers for a little fun. All of these words have been collected using open sources, (books, online, seminars, conventions, broadcasts, movies, etc...) I've found a few sources for possible spook words at the Acronym Finder and at the LANL Master Acronym Master List, and you can also find out the meanings for most of these words. I have basically stopped adding new words to this list, But many have continued on finding new phrases and have created some interesting sites.

As for the many e-mails I have recieved over the months on whether these are the 'real' Echelon spookwords, I leave that as an exercise to the reader to decide if its true, a fake, or a meme. One thing is for sure, If you don't want to have third parties listening into your phone calls, faxes, telex, or e-mail, Use some form of encryption.

William Knowles <erehwon (at) c4i.org>
Last updated 11.18.2000


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William Knowles <erehwon (at) c4i.org>
Last updated 10.18.2004