No conflict for journalists as spooks

Original article by Aaron Patrick
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 8-Sep-20

Australia Defence Association executive director Neil James says journalists who provide information to their own country’s intelligence service should not be viewed as spies. James was commenting on a report that former ABC foreign correspondent Peter Barnett may have assisted Australian intelligence services in the 1960s and 1970s. Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance president Marcus Strom contends that providing information to an intelligence agency would be viewed as a conflict of interest for a journalist that would have to be declared under their code of ethics.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA DEFENCE ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE

ASIO uncovers sleeper agent running spy ring

Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 25-Feb-20

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation director-general Mike Burgess says countering terrorism remains ASIO’s top priority. He was delivering the Annual Threat Assessment on 24 February, with Burgess stating the ­number of active terrorist leads ASIO was investigating had doubled in the past 12 months. He revealed that ASIO had uncovered a ‘sleeper agent’ running a major spy ring, although he did not disclose what had happened to the agent. Burgess said ASIO had used controversial new encryption laws within 10 days of them coming into effect in 2018 in order to prevent a possible terrorist attack.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ORGANISATION

Secretive government agency linked to AFP raid on ABC, documents show

Original article by John Lyons
abc.net au – Page: Online : 7-Aug-19

The Australian Federal Police has released documents relating to the recent raid on the Sydney offices of the ABC, in response to a Freedom of Information request from Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick. However, the AFP has withheld some documents on the grounds that they contain material relating to a government agency that is exempt from FOI laws. Patrick says the AFP’s actions show that a second agency was involved in the investigation that led to the raid, and he believes that it is either ASIO or the Australian Signals Directorate. He has urged the federal government to reveal which agency was involved.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, CENTRE ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ORGANISATION, AUSTRALIAN SIGNALS DIRECTORATE, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN SECRET INTELLIGENCE SERVICE

Press freedom probe backed

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 2 : 3-Jul-19

The parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security will undertake an inquiry into the impact of police and intelligence agencies’ powers on freedom of the press. The inquiry was approved by federal cabinet on 2 July, and follows the recent police raids on the ABC’s offices and the home of a News Corp Australia journalist. Labor proposes to establish a separate inquiry into press freedom and the public’s right to know, while media companies advocate changes to laws affecting freedom of the press rather than a parliamentary inquiry.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY JOINT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS

Spy boss joins terror fight

Original article by Paul Maley, Deborah Cornwall, Ean Higgins
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 18-Mar-19

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation will step up its monitoring of local right-wing extremists in the wake of the attack on two mosques in Christchurch. Federal cabinet’s ­National Security Committee will be briefed by ASIO’s director-general Duncan Lewis and Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin on 18 March. Meanwhile, New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush says the alleged perpetrator Brenton Tarrant seems to have been acting alone, and three other people who were arrested following the attacks are not believed to have been involved.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ORGANISATION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIA. NATIONAL SECURITY COMMITTEE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, NEW ZEALAND. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Phelps bill a security risk: ASIO

Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 7-Feb-19

The federal government has received advice from intelligence agencies that a bill to allow asylum seekers to be transferred to Australia for medical treatment would undermine its border protection policy. The classified briefing warns that the offshore processing of asylum-seekers would be in doubt if the bill proposed by independent MP Kerryn Phelps is passed. Labor and the Greens intend to support the bill, while Bob Katter is the only independent MP to have declared his intention to vote against it.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ORGANISATION, AUSTRALIAN BORDER FORCE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS

Rookie spy foiled terrorists

Original article by Tessa Akerman, Primrose Riordan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 8 : 15-Nov-18

Victoria’s Court of Appeal has lifted a suppression order that had prevented the media from reporting on the conviction of three Muslim men on terrorism charges. A jury took seven day to find Ahmed Mohamed, Abdullah Chaarani and Hamza Abbas guilty over a plan to launch a terrorism attack in the Melbourne CBD at Christmas in 2016. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation’s Director-General of Security, Duncan Lewis, has also revealed that the terrorism plot had been detected due to the work of a recent ASIO recruit.

CORPORATES
COURT OF APPEAL (VICTORIA), AUSTRALIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ORGANISATION

Tech giants face $10m fines under security laws

Original article by Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 14-Aug-18

The federal government will introduce new laws that aim to boost efforts to detect terrorist and criminal activity via electronic surveillance. The laws, which were developed in consultation with telcos, internet firms and telecommunications device makers, include fines of up to $10 million for companies that refuse to provide access to secret data. They have been introduced after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull complained in 2017 that terrorists and criminals are using secret message services such as WhatsApp to avoid surveillance; he promised to take action to require technology firms to work with law enforcement agencies to detect such activity.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ORGANISATION, AUSTRALIAN SECRET INTELLIGENCE SERVICE, AUSTRALIAN SIGNALS DIRECTORATE, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT

Coalition cautioned on super ministry

Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 4 : 12-Dec-17

There is growing speculation that the Federal Government could create its proposed ministry of home affairs before Christmas. The so-called super-ministry was slated to be set up by mid-2018, and will place federal agencies such as the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Border Force within a single ministerial portfolio for the first time. Labor’s Mark Dreyfus says Immigration Minister Peter Dutton should not be sworn in as the home affairs minister until the enabling legislation has been passed by parliament.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF IMMIGRATION AND BORDER PROTECTION, AUSTRALIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ORGANISATION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIAN CRIMINAL INTELLIGENCE COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

Crackdown on terror funding

Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 2 : 22-Nov-17

AUSTRAC and its fellow finance intelligence units within South East Asia are to share information in an attempt to clamp down on the funding of terrorism. Australian Justice Minister Michael Keenan will announce the formation of the Southeast Asia Counter-Terrorism Financing Working Group on 22 November, with Keenan noting that terrorists are capable of creating significant damage with just small sums of money. The 2002 Bali Bombings are said to be have been carried out with funding of less than $A100,000.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH-EAST ASIAN NATIONS, PHILIPPINES. ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING COUNCIL