Feeds

Oz government knew about PRISM BEFORE Snowden leaks

Spies knew spies were spying before whistleblower blew whistle!

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

In a hardly-surprising revelation, it's emerged that Australian government security agencies knew about PRISM before Edward Snowden went public with his leaks about the surveillance system.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation had requested access to a protected briefing to the Attorney General that was prepared in March. While the briefing has been withheld, the ABC has confirmed the existence of the briefing.

Documents obtained by the ABC also reveal that the Attorney-General at the time, Mark Dreyfus, was advised that the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) does not have backdoor access to the National Broadband Network. The NBN infrastructure is described in the documents as “strategic and significant”, with all interception “undertaken strictly in accordance with the law”.

The documents, released under freedom of information, have many redactions, some of them curious. For example, media reports that are apparently included in the original document are redacted from the released version, presumably because it would endanger national security for Australians to know what published stories were brought to the A-G's attention.

Similarly, talking points prepared about PRISM for use in Question Time were also redacted.

The ABC says government agencies like the ASD knew about PRISM as far back as 2007, and a brief was prepared for the A-G's office in March of this year.

The redaction of the documents was criticised by outgoing Greens Senator Scott Ludlam and Electronic Frontiers Australia's Sean Rintel. Rintel told the ABC the government isn't even trying “at least reassure the Australian public that what it was doing is in its interest.”

The redacted documents that were released have ben posted to Scribd, here. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.