PM briefed a dozen times on WikiLeaks

Powered by SC Magazine
 

No plan to shut down whistleblowing site.

National security advisors have met with Australian Prime Minister Gillard on a total of 12 occasions to brief the PM on the fallout of information contained in cables leaked to whistleblowing site, WikiLeaks.

Under questioning by Green Senator Scott Ludlam late on Monday night Estimates sessions, Dr Margot McCarthy, deputy national security adviser in the department of Prime Minister and Cabinet revealed that her team had provided a dozen written briefings on Wikileaks to Julia Gillard.

Dr McCarthy noted that Australia was referenced in 200 of the 12,600 cables released by Wikileaks to date.

Dr McCarthy chaired a Wikileaks taskforce which included the departments of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Defence, Attorney-General’s and Foreign Affairs and Trade between 29 November, 2010 and 13 December 2010.

She stressed that the Taskforce was not investigating Wikileaks but instead was monitoring and sharing information.

The Taskforce became “virtual” after mid-December when the release of the Wikileaks cables material into the public domain slowed down, she said.

The Wikileaks Taskforce continues to function, with members operating from their agencies. Dr McCarthy said it could be reconvened within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet should circumstances change.

She said there was no policy to close down the Wikileaks site, and denied Wikileaks was the catalyst for ASIO being granted broader powers under an amendment before Parliament.

“The amendment was designed to provide a consistent meaning of foreign intelligence between the ASIO Act, the Intelligences Services Act and the Telecommunications Interception and Access Act,” she said.

Senator Ludlam referred Dr McCarthy to reports that described the provision as the “Wikileaks amendment”. McCarthy said that was the first time it had been referred to her by those words.

McCarthy said questions about whether the Australian Government required additional surveillance powers over civil society organisations were best directed to the Attorney-General’s portfolio.

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


PM briefed a dozen times on WikiLeaks
Image of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange alongside Wikileaks logo.
 
 
 
Top Stories
The True Cost of BYOD - 2014 survey
Twelve months on from our first study, is BYOD a better proposition?
 
Photos: Unboxing the Magnus supercomputer
Pawsey's biggest beast slots into place.
 
ANZ looks to life beyond the transaction
If digital disruptors think an online payments startup could rock the big four, they’ve missed the point of why people use banks, says Patrick Maes.
 
 
Image of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange alongside Wikileaks logo.
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
What is delaying adoption of public cloud in your organisation?







   |   View results
Lock-in concerns
  29%
 
Application integration concerns
  3%
 
Security and compliance concerns
  28%
 
Unreliable network infrastructure
  9%
 
Data sovereignty concerns
  22%
 
Lack of stakeholder support
  3%
 
Protecting on-premise IT jobs
  4%
 
Difficulty transitioning CapEx budget into OpEx
  3%
TOTAL VOTES: 1079

Vote