//
you're reading...
Australian Current Affairs

Australia’s links to US spy web revealed by Edward Snowden


HMAS Harman

HMAS Harman

United States intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has provided his first disclosure of Australian involvement in US global surveillance, identifying four facilities in the country that contribute to a key American intelligence collection program.

Classified US National Security Agency maps leaked by Mr Snowden and published by US journalist Glenn Greenwald in the Brazilian O Globo newspaper reveal the locations of dozens of US and allied signals intelligence collection sites that contribute to interception of telecommunications and internet traffic worldwide.

The US Australian Joint Defence Facility at Pine Gap near Alice Springs and three Australian Signals Directorate facilities: the Shoal Bay Receiving Station near Darwin, the Australian Defence Satellite Communications Facility at Geraldton and the naval communications station HMAS Harman outside Canberra are among contributors to the NSA’s collection program codenamed X-Keyscore.

The New Zealand Government Security Communications Bureau facility at Waihopai near Blenheim also contributes to the program.

X-Keyscore reportedly processes all signals before they are shunted off to various “production lines” that deal with specific issues and the exploitation of different data types for analysis – variously code-named Nucleon (voice), Pinwale (video), Mainway (call records) and Marina (internet records). US intelligence expert William Arkin describes X-Keyscore as a “national Intelligence collection mission system”.

Worldwide web

Pine Gap

Pine Gap

The documents published by O Globo show that US and allied signals intelligence collection facilities are distributed worldwide, located at US and allied military and other facilities as well as US embassies and consulates.

Fairfax Media recently reported the construction of a new state-of-the-art data storage facility at HMAS Harman to support the Australian signals directorate and other Australian intelligence agencies.

In an interview published in the German Der Spiegel magazine on Sunday, Mr Snowden said the NSA operates broad secret intelligence partnerships with other western governments, some of which are now complaining about its programs.

Mr Snowden said that the other partners in the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance of the US, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand “sometimes go even further than the [National Security Agency] people themselves.”

He highlighted the British Government Communications Headquarters “Tempora” program as an example:

“Tempora is the first ‘I save everything’ approach (‘full take’) in the intelligence world. It sucks in all data, no matter what it is, and which rights are violated by it. … Right now, the system is capable of saving three days’ worth of traffic, but that will be optimised. Three days may perhaps not sound like a lot, but it’s not just about connection metadata. ‘Full take’ means that the system saves everything. If you send a data packet and if makes its way through the UK, we will get it. If you download anything, and the server is in the UK, then we get it.”

Mr Snowden also argued that the “Five eyes” partnerships are organised so that authorities in each country can “insulate their political leaders from the backlash” when it became public “how grievously they’re violating global privacy”.

The Der Spiegel interview was conducted by US cryptography expert Jacob Appelbaum and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras via encrypted emails shortly before Mr Snowden revealed himself publicly as the source of leaks of highly classified information on US signals intelligence and surveillance programs.

Another US NSA whistle-blower William Binney also recently disclosed that Australia was involved in the trial of an earlier US-designed Internet traffic interception and analysis program codenamed “ThinThread“.

Other countries involved in the trials were the UK, Australia and Germany a decade ago. ThinThread was not adopted but Australia has also been directly involved with later collection programs codenamed “Trailblazer”, “Turbulence” and “Trafficthief”.

Stranded

The US government has charged Mr Snowden with offences including espionage and revoked his passport.

He has been stranded at a Moscow airport for two weeks after leaving Hong Kong where the US Government has sought his extradition.

Three Latin American countries, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua, have now offered Mr Snowden political asylum after European Governments last week denied their airspace to a plane carrying the Bolivian president Evo Morales home from a conference in Moscow after the US State Department alleged that the former US intelligence contractor was on board.

Russian officials have publicly urged Mr Snowden to take up Venezuela’s asylum offer. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said on Sunday that his government had not yet been in contact with Mr Snowden.

Mr Jaua said he expected to consult on Monday with Russian officials. Mr Snowden is being assisted by the anti-secrecy organisation, WikiLeaks.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald – Snowden reveals Australia’s links to US spy web
 

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Australia’s links to US spy web revealed by Edward Snowden

  1. Well done Down Under…TRUST NO GOVERNMENT, Sspecially when it is ILLEGAL…YES, our own Australian government is ILLEGAL….And so is the QUEEN’S rep’s as GOVERNOR GENERAL…. …… 😉

    READ, I mean READ EVERYTHING at this link, follow the CORRUPTION AND History of the
    ” Conspiracy or Class? The Whitlam Sacking “…LOTS OF LINKS TO BLOW YOUR MIND, so , DON’T BE SHOCKED 😉 This is Australia at worst 😉

    http://paulcalmanovici.tripod.com/issue78whitlamsconspiracy.htm

    SHALOM 😀

    Posted by Old Fart | July 9, 2013, 21:04
  2. Reblogged this on digger666.

    Posted by digger666 | July 10, 2013, 00:14

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 14,946 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

Cadence Column: Asia, September 20, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, September 20, 2021

China steps up expansion via Hong Kong elections. Seven editors are banned from Wikipedia on concerns of not acting in good faith and with relation to China. The US sails through the Taiwan Straight again, this time a destroyer. Taiwan wants more backup runways for fighter jets. Escalations only continue and no side shows any […]

China adds powerful new ship to maritime patrol fleet

China adds powerful new ship to maritime patrol fleet

China has added a new powerful ship to its fleet of maritime patrol vessels in the South China Sea, state media has reported. The 5,560-ton Hai Xun 03 was launched on Tuesday and will become the largest ocean patrol ship under the Hainan Maritime Safety Administration (MSA), the official China News Service reported, adding that […]

A lesson in political economy on investments in China

A lesson in political economy on investments in China

Paul Krugman, the eminent Nobel laureate in economics, recalls how companies are different from nations and their reasons. Business managers have different perspectives. It is economists – not managers – who place the question of foreign trade, the balance of payments and the exchange rate at the center of their reflections. Since 1989, China and […]

Are China’s climate promises just a load of hot air? (Yes!)

Are China’s climate promises just a load of hot air? (Yes!)

China is prepared to hold its cooperation on climate issues hostage to Western concessions elsewhere. Few cities in China represent the country’s addiction to coal more than Tianjin, where Alok Sharma travelled this week to talk about cooperation on climate issues. It sits on the coast of one of China’s most polluted regions, and its […]

The vanishing allure of doing business in China

The vanishing allure of doing business in China

It is nothing new for foreign firms to endure shakedowns by the Chinese Communist Party. As far back as revolutionary times, Chairman Mao’s victorious troops did not directly confiscate foreign-owned assets as their Bolshevik forerunners had done in Russia. Instead, they wore them down with higher taxes and fines so big that eventually companies gave […]

Wikipedia blames pro-China infiltration for bans

Wikipedia blames pro-China infiltration for bans

Wikipedia has suffered an “infiltration” that sought to advance the aims of China, the US non-profit organisation that owns the volunteer-edited encyclopaedia has said. The Wikimedia Foundation told BBC News the infiltration had threatened the “very foundations of Wikipedia”. The foundation banned seven editors linked to a mainland China group. Wikimedians of Mainland China accused […]

Diaries of former Mao aide spark custody battle over unofficial history of China

Diaries of former Mao aide spark custody battle over unofficial history of China

Today, “Li materials” are the subject of a legal battle between Stanford University and Mr. Li’s widow in Beijing. This is a battle for custody of an unofficial history of China. In millions of handwritten Chinese characters, Mr. Li documents his early days in the party, the revolution that brought him to power and his […]

World’s dirtiest cities list raises issue: Why don’t politicians call out China?

World’s dirtiest cities list raises issue: Why don’t politicians call out China?

Ponder this: A new tally of global cities’ emissions finds that the top 25 are responsible for 52% of the planet’s urban greenhouse gas emissions. Twenty-three of those are in China. New York City is the first American city to appear, at No. 26. Out of the top 75, just four other American cities are listed […]

Cadence Column: Asia, September 13, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, September 13, 2021

The easiest solution to China’s escalating situation in the South Sea is to enforce China’s own formal statements at face value. China says they respect other countries and do not want to militarize the South Sea. Leave it at that. Any disrespect toward other countries is not at the behest of Xijinping. Any militarization of […]

Why is Iran so keen on joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation?

Why is Iran so keen on joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation?

What Happened: Iran became an observer in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization – originally comprised of China, Russia, and 4 Central Asian republics – back in 2005. In the 16 years since, Tehran has consistently pushed for an upgrade to full membership, particularly after the SCO underwent its first expansion, adding India and Pakistan, in 2017. […]

%d bloggers like this: