Print 19 comment(s) - last by StevoLincolnit.. on Dec 9 at 11:53 PM

The DSD offered to share information with major intelligence partners as well as non-intelligence agencies

Edward Snowden strikes again with more revelations on spy agencies, but this time, he's calling out Australia.

According to a new report from The Guardian, former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden leaked a confidential document that shows how an Australian spy agency offered to share bulk information collected about ordinary Australian citizens with major intelligence partners -- without privacy restraints. 

The 2008 document was constructed by Australian intelligence agency, then known as the Defence Signals Directorate (it's now called the Australian Signals Directorate) along with the other 5-Eyes countries, which include the US, Britain, Canada and New Zealand.

The DSD joined the rest of the 5-Eyes to discuss what could and what could not be shared at a meeting hosted by Britain’s GCHQ at its headquarters in Cheltenham from April 22-23, 2008. The document revealed by Snowden is part of the notes taken at that meeting. 

The document, which seems to be a working draft marked "secret," said DSD could share information about Australian citizens such as medical, legal or religious info in its raw state without redactions for the sake of privacy.

"DSD can share bulk, unselected, unminimised metadata as long as there is no intent to target an Australian national," said the notes from the intelligence conference. "Unintentional collection is not viewed as a significant issue."

This sort of data can reveal a lot about a person without privacy restraints, and for ordinary Australian citizens that are caught in the net of bulk data collection without any real reason, this can be very intrusive. 

However, the notes did say that a warrant was required if specific information was to be addressed further beyond just bulk collection.  

“However, if a ‘pattern of life’ search detects an Australian then there would be a need to contact DSD and ask them to obtain a ministerial warrant to continue," said the notes.

Edward Snowden [SOURCE: VentureBeat]

Leaving data in its raw state could pose a big problem. Human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson said such acts by the DSD would be a breach of sections eight and 12 of the Intelligence Services Act 2001. The act says that ministerial authorisation is required if the data of an Australian citizen is involved, and that the citizen must be a "person of interest."

It was also revealed that the DSD would share information with major intelligence partners as well as non-intelligence agencies, such as the Australian federal police. 
Snowden first called out the NSA earlier this year, saying its spying methods consisted of bulk data collection from sources like phone records, where the government took on a "collect now, filter later" approach. he agency has said that the bulk data collection was meant to identify terrorist threats, but it's been discovered that the data of Americans has been collected without any clear evidence of terrorist links. 
In fact, Democratic Sens. Mark Udall (Colo.), Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Martin Heinrich (N.M.) filed a brief last week in support of a lawsuit that aims to end the NSA's bulk collection of phone records, saying that a more "targeted" form of surveillance would be more effective. 

In August, reports said that the NSA admitted to touching 1.6 percent of total globe Web traffic. Its technique was to filter data after harvesting it, which led to over-collection on a major scale. It was later revealed that Snowden conned between 20 to 25 NSA employees to give him their login credentials and passwords while working at the NSA regional operations center for a month in Hawaii last spring. Snowden reportedly told the NSA employees that he needed their passwords in order to do his job, and after downloading secret NSA documents, he leaked the information to the media.

Source: The Guardian

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RE: Yup, that's our government.
By mike66 on 12/5/2013 7:17:25 AM , Rating: 2
Australians would be speaking Japanese right now

BS. We more than anyone else turned the Japs away from the northern part of Australia. We fought extensive battles with them for control of Papua. It would have been logistically impossible for the Japs to invade Australia much as it is almost impossible for the Indonesians to do so now (supply line to hard to Maintain).
Every wonder why McCarthy left the pacific arena early ? A little known fact is the main Pacific base was a town called Cains. One of the local girls was killed in a tragic jeep accident with American service men. The locals blamed the American forces and there was a riot in which for the first time in Australian history a state of civil disobedience was declared, this lead to a curfew and all sorts restrictions. It was the reason why the base was closed and McCarthy went home. The great legacy still heard today is the nick name given to all Americans (USA) Septic Tank (Yank).

RE: Yup, that's our government.
By Reclaimer77 on 12/5/2013 10:01:19 AM , Rating: 2
I certainly did not mean to hurt your national pride, or suggest you were a helpless people. I have a deep respect for the fine tradition your military has, and am proud to count you as an ally. We have benefited from the ANZUS treaty just as much as you have.

However to suggest that you could have fought off the main Imperial Japanese Navy is ludicrous. Or any significant naval force. And had things been allowed to run their course, Australia most certainly would have been forced under Japanese rule.

Your own leadership knew this once they and Britain lost control of Singapore. Australia was next on the chopping block. Which is why Australia turned to America for help.

Australia was also an ideal base to stage attacks on Japan, so it only made sense to make sure it's sovereignty was defended.

RE: Yup, that's our government.
By ClownPuncher on 12/5/2013 11:43:51 AM , Rating: 2
This is correct.

Though I still think Australia should take full responsibility for the issue in this article. Passive aggressively blaming the US is a cop out.

RE: Yup, that's our government.
By Reclaimer77 on 12/5/2013 11:59:18 AM , Rating: 2

Why does Australia even HAVE a spy agency?

By ClownPuncher on 12/5/2013 12:41:50 PM , Rating: 2
They are in close proximity to Indonesia and China.

RE: Yup, that's our government.
By mike66 on 12/6/2013 9:47:28 AM , Rating: 2
However to suggest that you could have fought off the main Imperial Japanese Navy is ludicrous.

The Japanese had no chance of ever taking Australia in WW2. They knew that and that's while they didn't even try, sure they bombed Darwin but every other city was out of reach, we had one Jap mini-sub invade Sydney harbor. That was all and there is much incentive for a foreign country to invade because of our resource wealth, so why didn't they do it ?because we are to far out of reach for any military invasion to maintain it's supply line. Sure you could bomb the north where there is virtually nothing but you couldn't do anything else.

RE: Yup, that's our government.
By Reclaimer77 on 12/6/2013 10:55:51 AM , Rating: 2
Yes and it was well believed the Japanese could never pull off Pearl Harbor either.

Every WWII historian of note disagrees with you guys here. I guess you know better.

And if Australia was so safe from invasion, why again did they request US assistance in fending off Japan?

RE: Yup, that's our government.
By mike66 on 12/7/2013 9:47:27 AM , Rating: 2
Australia was so safe from invasion

Any military force can invade anywhere at anytime but to maintain the occupancy is problem, An occupying force has to be able to supply themselves from their own country, that's why the Japanese abandoned Singapore, their supply lines were cut. The same would have happened if they had tried to invade Australia and the same problem is what protects us now. Our distance from anywhere in Asia would be a problem now because even if a bombing run was launched from lets say Jakarta, using any current airplane military hardware, you could reach Brisbane and drop the pay load but you would not have the fuel to return to home base plus add the fact that we would engage that force and delay them in their return and you end up ditching in the ocean. Hay but what do I know, probably nothing after having growing up in a military family and having worked for the ADF for the last fifteen years. PS. Lesson 1. Our only enemy in a capability sense is the USA so you think we actually trust you guys. LOL.

By StevoLincolnite on 12/9/2013 11:53:28 PM , Rating: 2
Japan was more or less interested in cutting off Australia and it's vast resources from the rest of the world than taking control of the continent.

Japan could not invade and control Australia back then with such limited supplies and man-power and hope to retain control of the entire continent, it would have been impossible.

You need to keep in mind that During World War 2 Australia had conscription and a relatively large and modern army (Easily punching above it's weight!), much larger than what we have today.

The USA needed Australia more than Australia needed the USA, Australia was an important strategic location to launch an assault from and maintain supplies to the pacific theater.
Australia itself however was entirely self sufficient back then, we had materials, oil, plentiful food, technology and factories to wait out the war.

However, there was fear of invasion, every country was in fear of that, the USA included, but hindsight has shown that it would been equally impossible for the Japanese to invade the USA much akin to how it is impossible for them to invade Australia.

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