Onyx (interception system)

Onyx (Interception System)

Onyx (interception system)

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Onyx is a Swiss intelligence gathering system maintained by the Swiss Army. The costs of the system are not public, but the amount of 100 million Swiss francs has been mentioned several timesValérie de Graffenried, . Le Temps, 9 January 2006 , in particular in 2000 by Werner Marti, SP deputy to the National Council of Switzerland. In March 2005, journalist Urs Paul Engeler estimated that the costs (hidden in various military construction budgets) reached 400 million CHF Urs Paul Engeler, . Weltwoche 10/05, March 2005 . The Onyx system was launched in 2000, originally under the name SATOS-3 (the SATOS 1 and 2 systems were started in 1992, in particular to intercept faxes), and was completed in late 2005.


The goal of the system is to monitor both civil and military communications, such as telephone, fax or Internet traffic, carried by satellite. Onyx uses lists of keywords to filter the intercepted content for information of interest, and the choice of keywords by the intelligence community must be approved by an independent commission. The system is not supposed to monitor internal communications; however, the monitoring of a communication between a person in Switzerland and someone in another country is allowed. . Report from the National Council (Parliament) on Onyx, 10 November 2003 The Swiss Federal Council has indicated that Onyx is not linked to other...
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