Ex-Navy operative Lachlan Fox is now working as an investigative journalist. When a number of European power-brokers are killed he starts to suspect something very big is going on. His instincts are right. Since the forming of the UKUSA (pronounced U-KU-ZA) Treaty in 1948, the five member countries (USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) have developed ever-capable electronic Signals Intelligence services. Put simply, their intelligence agencies currently have the capability to intercept every spoken or written word that travels via telephone, fax, email, radio, microwave, satellite, fibre-optic transmission, etc. in the world. France has been vocal in their opposition but the truth is, they want in. While military and terrorist communications are targeted, Echelon (the main UKUSA program) spends most of its time and resources targeting political and economic assets around the globe. This information is disseminated to US companies via The Advocacy Centre, set up by the Clinton Administration in 1993, and that year alone added $35B to the US economy through export gains. Being responsible for the security of Echelon s information is an enormous burden.
If it were to fall into the wrong hands those outside the UKUSA treaty the consequences would be tantamount to national disaster. Lachlan Fox suspects that Echelon is under threat. He is the right man in the wrong place.
JAMES PHELAN is a Melbourne-based freelance writer who writes for a variety of publications, including The Age. He holds a Master of Arts in Writing and is currently working on his PhD. He teaches in the Swinburne University Master of Arts Writing program. James also runs James Phelan Literary Services, a business that caters for everything from website content to marketing material and copywriting. He lives in Canterbury, Victoria.