from apperspective.net: The Australian government has been building a state-of-the art,
secret data storage facility just outside Canberra to enable
intelligence agencies to deal with a ”data deluge” siphoned from the
internet and global telecommunications networks.
Harman communications base will support the operations of Australia’s
signals intelligence agency, the top-secret Defence Signals
vault”, the data centre is one of the few visible manifestations of
Australia’s deep involvement in mass surveillance and intelligence
collection operations such as the US National Security Agency’s PRISM program revealed last week by US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.
what Defence intelligence officials describe as ”huge volumes” of
”immensely valuable” information derived from PRISM and other US
signals intelligence collection programs.
and Australian citizens who are of security and intelligence interest
to both countries.
the NSA and the US intelligence community more broadly,” an official
said on condition of anonymity.
leaked documents as the most prolific contributor to President Barack Obama’s daily intelligence brief.
surprise that this reporting is critical to Australian intelligence,”
one official said, adding that included ”what goes into the ONA
[Office of National Assessments] briefs for Prime Minister Julia
Gillard and the National Security Committee of Cabinet”.
military threats, information relating to Australian citizens involved
in fighting in Syria, missile technology acquisition efforts by Iran
and Chinese internal political and economic developments as recent
examples of the benefits of Australia’s intelligence ties with the US.
US data collection programme has ripples across the Pacific
capabilities, we would not have won the seat,” one Department of
Foreign Affairs and Trade officer recently said.
from co-operation with the NSA, Britain’s Government Communications
Headquarters, Canada’s Communications Security Establishment and New
Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau – an international
network known informally as the ”five eyes”.
to reporting from PRISM.
contribute between 5 and 8 per cent of the intelligence collection
efforts of the five-eyes community.
satellite communications interception facilities at Geraldton in
Western Australia and Shoal Bay near Darwin, are focused on south and
south-east Asia, east Asia and the Pacific.
the targeting of US intelligence gathering, including ”identification
of specific individuals of security concern”. But they also emphasise
that the DSD complies with legal requirements and ministerial
guidelines that limit reporting in relation to Australians, other than
those of specific security or foreign intelligence interest.
similarly limiting intelligence collection and reporting concerning
citizens of allies, including Australians.
Intelligence and Security Vivienne Thom indicates that, in 2011-12,
there were ”a low number of incidents where the privacy rules were not
applied” by the DSD and most involved ”a presumption of nationality
(that has later been found to be incorrect) or minor administrative
capabilities” in relation to internet service providers in Australia
as ”an inevitable response to the digital communications revolution”
with ”major challenges in terms of data storage and processing”.
factory”, is at Russell Hill in Canberra and the agency has expanded
into another high-security building near Canberra Airport.
intelligence from US and Australian capabilities, described by
officials as a ”data deluge”, has required construction of the
high-security communications and data centre at nearby HMAS Harman.
Project includes an extension to the existing Defence Network
Operations Centre, the central hub of Australia’s third-largest
telecommunications network, and the construction of what is described
as ”a co-located but stand-alone communication/data-room facility”.
project is 80 per cent over its original budget and five years behind
schedule, but is now near completion.
review by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works on the
grounds that scrutiny ”would not be in the public interest”.
whether US intelligence agencies have shared information gained through
we have in the intelligence area and I don’t provide comment on
operational matters arising in the intelligence sector,” he said.