Spy agency offered allies data on Aussies

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Spy agency offered allies data on Aussies

DSD can share bulk data.

The national spy agency offered to share information collected about Australian citizens with its Five Eyes allies, documents leaked by US whistle blower Edward Snowden revealed.

Fives Eyes partners which includes Australia, New Zealand, Britain, the US and Canada discussed the sharing of data including "medical, legal or religious information".

"DSD can share bulk, unselected, minimised metadata as long as there is no intent to target an Australian national - unintentional collection is not viewed as a significant issue," the documents read.

It noted: "However, if a pattern of life search detects an Australian then there would be a need to contact DSD and ask them to obtain a ministerial warrant to continue."

The Defence Signals Directorate (now called the Australian Signals Directorate) could share bulk material without some of the privacy restraints imposed by countries including Canada.

The leaks published by The Guardian followed disclosures of NSA documents leaked by Snowden that revealed the DSD had in 2009 spied on Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono which resulted in a continued diplomatic fallout.

Federal Attorney General George Brandis said the document was an unverified draft that did not
"report or record any activity by any Australian intelligence agency".
 
"The purpose of all of Australia’s intelligence activities and the operation of its intelligence activities is to serve Australia’s national interest and protect Australian citizens," Brandis told reporters today.
 
"And can I point out that Australian authorities have disrupted terrorist planning in Australia and thwarted a number of mass casualty attacks. As a result of their activities 23 people have been convicted of terrorism activities in the last four years."
 
He refused to comment directly on the revelations.

 

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