AUSTRALIA

2010s

Generally

Materials arranged chronologically.

Suich, Max. "Spymaster Stirs Spectre of Covert Foreign Activities." The Australian, 20 Mar. 2010. [http://www.theaustralian.com.au]

W. T. (Bill) Robertson, "dismissed in October 1975 as director of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, has placed in the National Archives a statement that disputes the reasons [then-Prime Minister Gough] Whitlam gave for sacking him.... While not saying so explicitly, it strongly implies that Whitlam,... lied about the circumstances of Robertson's dismissal."

McDonald, Hamish. "Defence Fights to Keep 1975 Secrets." Sydney Morning Herald, 13 Sep. 2010. [http://www.smh.com.au]

Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland "issued a public interest certificate last week preventing senior intelligence officials from being questioned in a public hearing on why they still sought to keep the defence material secret." University of NSW senior lecturer Clinton Fernandes has applied "for access to daily 'situation reports' that were prepared by the Defence Department during the takeover of then Portuguese Timor by Indonesia in 1975." Defence Intelligence Organisation deputy director Stephen McFarlane said in an affidavit that "[r]elease would damage the intelligence-sharing relationship" with the United States.

United Press International. "Sensitive Stolen Documents Found in Raid." 28 Sep. 2010. [http://www.upi.com]

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on 28 September 2010 (29 September in Australia) that "[a] drug raid in Melbourne turned up secret files belonging to the Australian Security Intelligence Organization [ASIO] and other police agencies.... The newspaper said police ... are investigating whether a former head of intelligence and phone tapping at the state's Office of Police Integrity, who previously worked for Victoria Police and the Corruption and Crime Commission in Western Australia, was responsible for the theft ... of the documents."

Australian Associated Press. "New Counter-Terrorism Centre Opens Amid 'Hundreds' of Aussie Threats." Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 21 Oct. 2010. [http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au]

"[S]peaking at the formal opening of a counter-terrorism control centre at ASIO headquarters in Canberra" on 21 October 2010, ASIO Director General David Irvine said that "[h]undreds of potential terrorist attacks on Australian interests are under investigation.... The centre aims to bring together the many streams of intelligence that come into ASIO every hour. Everything from internet chatter to phone intercepts is combed by ASIO in its attempts to stay ahead of the scores of groups and individuals threatening Australia."

Ball, Desmond. "The Moles at the Very Heart of Government." The Australian, 16 Apr. 2011. [http://www.theaustralian.com.au]

"In the mid-1990s, in the course of researching and writing a book on Soviet intelligence operations in Australia in the 1940s,..., I became persuaded that H.V. Evatt, the attorney-general and minister for external affairs in the Curtin and Chifley Labor governments, and John W. Burton, the secretary of the department of external affairs, were probably agents of Soviet intelligence.... Over the past decade and a half, I have become even more convinced that Evatt and Burton were witting parties to the Soviet espionage operations in Australia. My view is based on two bodies of material, which were not available to ASIO, or its director-general, Charles Spry, at the time."

Dorling, Philip. "Spies, Lies and Archives." Sydney Morning Herald, 23 Apr. 2011. [http://www.smh.com.au]

Recently released ASIO files "shed new light on left-wing Labor senator and Whitlam government minister John Wheeldon, who last year was identified by journalist and author Mark Aarons as a possible secret Australian Communist Party member.... The top-secret files released in response to applications by The Saturday Age reveal details of Wheeldon's involvement with KGB intelligence officers, together with ASIO's judgment that his actions were 'consistent with those of at least a collaborator with the RIS [Russian Intelligence Service]', and perhaps 'a recruited agent.'"

Epstein, Rafael, and Dylan Welch. "Secret Squadron: SAS Elite Operate at Large as Spies in Africa." Brisbane Times, 13 Mar. 2012. [http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au]

"A secret squadron of Australian SAS soldiers has been operating at large in Africa, performing work normally done by spies.... The deployment of the SAS's 4 Squadron ... has put the special forces unit at the outer reaches of Australian and international law.... [T]roopers from the squadron have mounted dozens of secret operations over the past year in African nations including Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya.... It is believed the missions have involved gathering intelligence on terrorism and scoping rescue strategies for Australian civilians trapped by kidnapping or civil war."

AFP. "Australia's Top Spy Makes First Public Address." 19 Jul. 2012. [http://news.yahoo.com]

Speaking at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra on 19 July 2012, ASIS Director-General Nick Warner "warned of the 'very real threat' from extremists..., in the first public address" by an ASIS head "in its 60-year history. Nick Warner said the security challenges for agents had dramatically changed over the past decade, as he provided a rare glimpse into the agency's work in a speech designed to raise public awareness about the intelligence community."

Williams, George. "ASIO's Extraordinary Powers." Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism 8, no. 1 (2013): 66-71.

The author argues that "the powers that have been legislated for ASIO post 9/11 are excessive, unnecessary, and, in many cases, unused. In addition, these powers cumulatively pose a disturbing challenge to the Australian legal system and Australian democracy, including the rights to freedom of speech and liberty."

McGuirk, Rod. "Report: Plans for Australia Spy HQ Hacked by China." Associated Press, 28 May 2013.

Australian Broadcasting Corp. television reported on 27 May 2013 "that the plans for the 630 million Australian dollar ($608 million)" ASIO building "had been stolen through a cyberattack on a building contractor." On 28 May 201, Australian officials "refused to confirm or deny whether Chinese hackers had stolen the blueprints."

Wroe, David. "ASIO Turns Its Spies onto High-Tech Espionage." The Age (Melbourne), 14 Aug. 2013. [http://www.theage.com.au]

On 13 August 2012, Australian Director-General of Security told the Security in Government 2013 conference in Canberra that "cyber espionage by other countries was escalating threats amid rapid technological change -- requiring new skills for intelligence officials and laws to help combat the threats.... But he stressed that terrorism was still a danger, citing fears about young Australians fighting and being radicalised in Syria."

Dorling, Philip. "Secret Spy Station on Cocos Islands." Sydney Morning Herald, 1 Nov. 2013. [http://www.smh.com.au]

The Australian Defence Signals Directorate "is intercepting Indonesian naval and military communications through a secret radio listening post on the remote Cocos Islands.... The station has never been publicly acknowledged by the Australian government, or reported in the media, despite being in operation for more than two decades.... The facility includes radio-monitoring and direction-finding equipment, and a satellite ground station."

Benson, Simon. "Spy Agencies in the Middle East to Track Australians Fighting with Terrorist Groups." Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 25 Jun. 2014. [http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au]

Intelligence sources told The Daily Telegraph on 24 June 2014 that agents from Australia's foreign espionage agency ASIS "have been redeployed to the Middle East to track Australians fighting with terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria and monitor their attempts to sneak back into the country."

AFIO WIN 07-15. "Australian Spies Sent Into Iraq for ISIS Fight." 17 Feb. 2015.

According to the newspaper The Australian, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) "has dramatically increased its footprint across the Middle East, reopening its defunct Iraq station and increasing the number of officers in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon."

Medhora, Shalailah. "Australia and Iran Agree to Sharing of Intelligence in Battle against ISIS in Iraq." The Guardian, 19 Apr. 2015. [http://www.theguardian.com]

After a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced an agrement between Australia and Iran "to share intelligence relating to Australians fighting with extremist groups in Iraq.... Around 100 Australians are believed to be fighting for Isis or related groups in Iraq and Syria."

Return to Australia Table of Contents