Espionage Allies Found!!!! Australia And Others Help With Spying!!!

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Revealed: How Australia spies on its neighbours

Australia’s electronic spy agency is using the nation’s embassies to intercept phone calls and internet data in neighbouring countries, according to new information disclosed by intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden and a former Australian intelligence officer.

The secret Defence Signals Directorate operates clandestine surveillance facilities at embassies without the knowledge of most Australian diplomats.

Fairfax Media has been told that signals intelligence collection occurs from Australian embassies in Jakarta, Bangkok, Hanoi, Beijing and Dili, the high commissions in Kuala Lumpur and Port Moresby and other diplomatic posts.

A secret US National Security Agency document leaked by Mr Snowden and published by Germany’s Der Speigel magazine reveals a highly sensitive signals intelligence collection program conducted from US embassies and consulates and from the diplomatic missions of other “Five Eyes” intelligence partners, including Australia, Britain and Canada.

This is getting to be pretty funny.  And, a bit maddening.  If the LSM and other news outlets don’t stop with this stupidity, I’m going to have a stroke. 

Shock news!!!!  Countries spy on each other!!!! 

I’m having a difficult time imagining what the surprised people seemed to think what certain organizations were for? 

What does the CIA and the NSA do as a function for the US?  What does SIS and MI6 do?  What are they suppose to be doing?  What about ASIS and the DSD do for Australia?  What about CSIS/SCRS for Canada?  Did we think these were just groups of people hanging out waiting around for something? 

The cynic in me is saying this is all staged.  This isn’t a story here.  We’ve spy agencies, and spy agencies engage in spying and intelligence gathering.  IT’S WHAT THEY DO!!!!

There is a much larger story here which is being supplanted by these stories.  The story isn’t whether or not our spy agencies are spying.  And, it’s not a newsflash that we’d actually spy on our allies. 

But, while we’re hear discussing who our agencies are spying on, why doesn’t the world’s media actually ask the question they’re not asking?  Who are they spying on?  In the US, we already know our NSA is spying on US citizens.  I don’t  mind that the NSA spies on foreigners, either in our out country.  It horrifies me that they’re spying on American citizens. 

But, then let me ask you this.  If the US, Australia, Canada, the U.K. are collaborating in their efforts with foreign agencies, what makes you think they’re not collaborating domestically?  Well, we absolutely know that they are. 

Merkel is upset that the US is spying on her.  But, I don’t recall screams of protests when it was obvious that German authorities were collaborating with US authorities on their own citizens. 

US Military and German Police Respond to Facebook Post about …

That’s the story!!!  Now, how much of this information is a two-way street?  That is to say, how much information on US citizens is our NSA sharing with our allies, and how much on our allied citizens is coming back to the US?  And, visa versa.  It’s a tit for tat. 

People, it’s a horrid new world out there.  We’d best start to realize what’s happening. 

h/t Kelly

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16 Responses to Espionage Allies Found!!!! Australia And Others Help With Spying!!!

  1. Bruce says:

    The SMH, also known as the Silly, is trying to give the Abbott government a hard time because (a) he is doing remarkably well already and (b) his poll numbers are getting even better as the clueless propaganda believers realise that he is actually a good guy and is rather competent.

    The ABC is doing the same, although they have to be more careful as if they go too hard they will be hit, since they are 100% funded by the government.

    When conservatives are in they always moan endlessly about the Pine Gap installation and US sigint cooperation, but not when the left are in power. There was almost no mention of these installations for the last 6 years, so why now eh?

    The other thing annoying these two lefty organisations is that right now the Abbott government is not telling them anything. The old government used to leak like crazy, and spit out press releases literally every hour. And hold reams of press conferences. (This is known in Oz politics as ‘feeding the chooks’). Of course they did that because they could get an easy run from the overwhelmingly lefty journos. It was interesting that they happened to boycott the few righty journos for some unknown reason.

    So Abbott is not giving them a chance to screech and ask gotcha questions. Meanwhile the government has managed to reduce illegal boat arrivals by almost 90% in a month, as promised. The amazing thing is how fast they’ve managed to do it. The Foreign Minister is visiting Iran to negotiate a repatriation treaty. And it has put the repeal legislation for the carbon and mining taxes out for public comment in preparation for the first session of the Parliament.

    None of which SMH or the ABC likes reporting.

  2. philjourdan says:

    I offer my apologies to Kelly. Clearly this “revelation” is to take some of the heat off Obama, so in effect, Australia is falling on the sword. For us?

    Nations do spy. That is not news. What is news is the revelation (It was always the secret crazy uncle of international relations). And this has the hands of Obama all over it. Why? Because once again, he misses the target due to his stupidity.

    Getting Oz to come out with this is not going to change the fact that no ally is going to trust the US to keep a secret. THAT is the scandal.

    • Bruce says:

      Its completely confected. Oz has been running intel out of the Indo embassy for two very good reasons: people smugglers and Bali (the bomb, not the surfing). Also the numpties blew our Jakarta embassy up with a truck bomb not so long ago. I think I’d prefer this didn’t happen again if I was an Oz diplomat piloting a desk in that building.

      The Indos, some of them, have squawked recently because their Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa got his ass handed to him by his boss. Yudhoyono decided to help Abbott control the illegal migration conduit and Natalegawa had spouted off some populist anti-Oz things about sovereignity etc. Yudhuyono reined him in somewhat firmly. Oz-bashing is an accepted tactic in certain quarters, especially since we fostered East Timor in their breaking free of Indo.

      SMH is just looking at ways to attack the government. We have almost zilch to do with the NSA overreach. But any stick will do for the Silly kolkhozniks.

      As for the other embassies, I could go into details why they have their own briefs. Sufficient to say there are quite valid reasons: Vietnam, China, Japan, East Timor, all have Oz specific issues requiring valid intel work.

      • philjourdan says:

        Bruce, my disagreement, and hence apology, with Kelly was that I told him that Oz danced to London, not Washington. That may be the case, but this “revelation” of the spying seemed to be too conveniently timed with the Washington mess, and hence a way of diverting attention (or even adding to the meme of “everybody does it”) from the failures of Washington.

        But your explanation of the intricacies is interesting and appreciated. We (you, I and the rest of the commenters here) know that all governments do it. But most people fall into the “low information” category. Where if it is out of sight, it is out of mind, and this latest kerfuffle is a rude awakening for them.

    • kelly liddle says:

      Phil
      I find your comment interesting because I was thinking and wondering what the arrangement is exactly. I think unless it is terrorism or crime related we should not be co operating with the US. Trade issues we are often competitors. We co operate with everyone if it is crime or terror related anyway.

      The other thing that all this was set up for in the begining is military intelligence and in my opinion you have to go a long way away from Australia where that might be an issue in the near future. But all agencies gather information on telecomunication networks because that will be the primary target in any developed nation. By developed I don’t mean wealth but use of banking etc. by the average person.

      Bruce
      To be fair Indo bashing is fully acceptable by some Australians.

      • philjourdan says:

        I have no idea of the arrangement, but I am also not one that dismisses coincidence in politics. I would think that Oz has different interests than the US and there fore would demonstrate a greater degree of independence (as evidenced by the apparent great concern with Indonesia, while the US barely knows where it is). But this coincidence is just TOO convenient for me to think it was not planned.

    • suyts says:

      Well, people do tend to bash on people who blow your people up.

      Kelly, as my post stated, I don’t believe this is a nation vs nation or group of nations vs other group thing.

      I believe our national governments are simply spying on everyone. And, I believe it’s a two way street for those nations participating. It doesn’t make sense otherwise.

      Australia is spying on you, and giving the US information. The US is spying on you and giving Australia the information. Australia is probably spying on any interaction I may have with Australia and sharing the info back to the US, and the US is spying on me and send that info to whomever may want it or thinks its relevant.

      Of course, I’m just using you and I as examples. I don’t believe we’d raise an eyebrow in either nation. But, there are those who would in both, and then it’s just a matter of cooperation ….. which is already established.

      • kelly liddle says:

        The Indonesia bashing was stirred up by the previous government it is not about some bombings that happened in their land quite a long time ago. When those bombings did happen Indonesia invited the AFP (Australian Federal Police) to help out.

        The Indonesia bashing is because the previous Australian government changed polices regarding refugees which led to large numbers of arrivals from Indonesia (not Indonesians) so who to blame of course it was not our governments fault it must be the Indonesians. The other thing was cutting the live cattle supply without even telling the Indonesians and making them out to be barbarians based on a few video shots of cattle slaughter. If Australians in general don’t like the Indonesians why do we travel there so much. http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/overseas-travel-booms-as-locals-shun-home-20120803-23l4m.html

        • DirkH says:

          “making them out to be barbarians based on a few video shots of cattle slaughter.”

          Indonesia is Muslim and Halal meat is produced by cutting the throat of a conscious animal, and is illegal under German law due to animal cruelty laws – but of course Muslims get exemptions because the regime in Germany is always very happy to cowtow to them.

          There might have been only a few videos but that would be because they don’t always film it; it’s always the same procedure. Do I care? Yes. I don’t like how they express their brutality in everything they do; they just can’t do anything like a civilisation would.

        • kelly liddle says:

          Dirk
          You must think that Australian’s are barbarians too, when this errupted I remember one Aussie farmer saying they do that but at least is with a sharp knife. The cruelty issue was about the blunt knives and other bad treatment. Officially in Indonesia stunning an animal before slaughter is halal. Most Indonesians would take this position I think otherwise it could not become the government position.

      • suyts says:

        Kelly, I can only discuss in generalities. And, yes, I’m sure your former govt. carries much of the blame, from an outside view, they seemed to do a lot of things which made little or no sense, and when things went bad, they did what all good leftists do, point the finger of blame towards people responding to the left’s inanity.

        As to the specifics about Australia, I wouldn’t presume to know more about why Aussies do what Aussies do than an Aussie. So, I’ll have to bow to your knowledge about Australians and Australia over mine.

  3. Bruce says:

    The specific treaty is the “British-US Communication Intelligence Agreement” which was extended to include Australia in 1956. It also covers Canada and NZ.

    It may have been news in 1956. Why is it news in October 2013? What has changed…recently?

    As I said this is pure SMH crocodile tears, which is what I’ll shed when they go bankrupt.

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