Australia recieves 'huge volumes' of PRISM data: report

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Australia recieves 'huge volumes' of PRISM data: report

But source doubts new data centre will be an intel hub.

Australian intelligence agencies have recieved "huge volumes" of "immensely valuable" intelligence data from the US including its PRISM programme, The Age reports.

The PRISM programme came to light after a US Booz Allen staffer leaked a powerpoint presentation to the Washington Post and the Guardian which detailed how the US was spying on the communications of foreigners without use of a warrant.

It was alleged that the US had access to servers operated by tech giants including Google, Facebook and Microsoft

The Fairfax source said PRISM intelligence was the most prolific contributor to US President Barack Obama's daily intelligence brief and had also formed part of Australian intelligence supplied to the cabinet National Security Committee.

They claimed such intelligence would be housed in a soon to be completed $163.5 million data centre to support the Defence Signals Directorate (DSD).

But a defence source familiar with the HMAS HARMAN communications facilities project said they did not believe it would house intelligence data.

They understood the facility to house archived government data.

Defence would not confirm if the centre would hold intelligence data. 

"The new facilities at HMAS Harman will provide data storage and processing facilities to a wide range of areas in Defence, including the Defence Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation and the Australian Signals Directorate," a spokesperson said.

"The Department of Defence will not provide further comment on this matter."

Tender documents described the HARMAN project involved an extension of the existing Defence Network Operations Centre valued in 2007 at $40 million and the construction of a co-located and stand alone data centre worth some $50 million.

The project was slated for completion in 2010 at the time tender documents were issued.

The Defence Network Operation Centre was focused on internal defensive measures including the provision of IKT equipement to defence personnel in the field.

Shadow Communications Minster Malcolm Turnbull has flagged concerns that PRISM could jeopardise US cloud computing services used by Australian organisations, while Greens Scott Ludlam said he will move an order for the production of documents in the Senate to force disclosure from the Federal Government into its knowledge of the intelligence program.

Copyright © SC Magazine, Australia

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