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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Australia spies on its neighbours from diplomatic posts

From places like this, the embassy in Jakarta, Australia spies on local internet, radio and phone traffic, we're told by the Sydney Morning Herald's Philip Dorling.
Fairfax Media has been told that signals intelligence collection takes place from embassies in Jakarta, Bangkok, Hanoi, Beijing and Dili, and High Commissions in Kuala Lumpur and Port Moresby, as well as other diplomatic posts.
Codenamed 'Stateroom', the program is linked to Australia's legacy status as a member of the Five Eyes group of countries: the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The leak that reveals the extent of Australia's spying on neighbours is contained in a document produced by Edward Snowden.
The National Security Agency document also observed the facilities were carefully concealed: "For example antennas are sometimes hidden in false architectural features or roof maintenance sheds."
The Department of Foreign Affairs would neither confirm nor deny the charge of spying but last month I reflected on the likelihood of Australian involvement in mass surveillance. Whether the Australian signals intelligence agency is also spying on its own citizens is yet to be revealed.

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