I rock! I got a front-page slashdot article!
Of course, my luck being what it is, later discussion with a member of the company in question, MetaCarta, convinced me that my article was very misleading. Dammit.
On the good side, it has been very interesting to see how tin-hattery propagates itself. In this situation, a rather vague statement by their Vide President for PR triggered a bbc article, which of course harped on the most interesting aspect - terrorist tracking. Which led directly to my reading the article, thinking "Good grief! They're out to track everyone!" and posting on Slashdot.
My analysis, after rational thought and some discussion with a guy claiming to be from MetaCarta, is that the system might well make a pretty front end for Echelon but is more likely to appear as an additional Google tool than anything else. Weren't they working on some kind of search-by-location thing?
In conclusion: fear the tinfoil hat! FEAR IT!!!