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Aust Federal Police keep lid on docs that triggered NBN raids

Letter is national security

By Richard Chirgwin

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The Australian Federal Police has determined that one of the least-secret projects in the country can't be discussed lest it endanger national security.

On that basis, the AFP's decided not to release the December letter that sparked off its investigation into leaks surrounding the National Broadband Network (NBN). Fairfax says it's only been given the usual redacted version, and none of the supporting material supplied with the letter.

It told Fairfax – apparently with a perfectly straight face – that the release of the company's complaint would also put lives in danger.

The investigation drew the AFP into the election campaign when it raided the ALP's Stephen Conroy and two of the party's staffers at the end of May. That investigation is stalled after the ALP asserted parliamentary privilege over all material seized in the raid.

That was followed with chairman Ziggy Switkowski penning an op-ed to call the leakers partisan thieves (probably in breach of caretaker conventions).

Whatever national security implications exist for the project, the silence keeps the investigation out of the election for now. ®

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