More Snowden spying leaks coming


From The Australian:

The Abbott government is bracing for a new series of disclosures about Australian intelligence activity, which is likely to include fresh details on Indonesian spying that will further test the relationship with Jakarta.

Snowden, a former US National Security Agency contractor, is also believed to have extensive material involving Australian intelligence efforts directed at China, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Thailand and The Philippines, as well as various South Pacific nations.

One of the most controversial matters will be the disclosure of a much wider surveillance and listening program within Australia than previously known.

It is believed that all Australian activities likely to be revealed will be legal, with senior figures confident that no Australian intelligence agency has broken any Australian laws.

However, Australia has fewer restrictions on domestic spying than the US and has undertaken targeted but extensive surveillance, most related to terrorism threats. Senior figures in the US and Australia believe that the Snowden leaks are the single most damaging episode to hit the Western intelligence effort since World War II.


Houses and Holes


  1. The number of people that support snowden is staggering. Just compare the average blog response across all related articles in the media industry. The media is not listening to the people on this issue, its obvious.

    • And people seem to support him both in the country doing the spying and the country being spied on, maybe people want to change the world after all. When things aren’t going well for you, the argument that ‘we’re doing this for your benefit’ is hardly going to get much support.

    • interested party

      “The number of people that support snowden is staggering”…….can I fix this for you?
      How about “the number of people unable to think critically is staggering”. What I am saying is that it should come as NO SURPRISE that the intel people are doing what they are doing……they have been doing this stuff for ever……and joe public has made the collection of this intel so easy. In fact, they are drowning in the data I reckon.
      So, is Snowden right in doing what he is doing? Dunno, but it should be obvious that the intel people won’t be reigned in or brought to account for doing what has been asked of them by the respective governments so it becomes more of an embarrassment that anything else to have the blanket ripped off and have all and sundry see just how far you have reached with your feelers.
      He’s a brave lad no doubt, but will change nothing.

      • He & others like him might not change anything directly, but by using this drip feed method to continually prick peoples consciousness, sowing seeds of doubt & the ‘witnessing’ of spying aired in the public eye has more talking about it. Whether it leads to more accountability is another question.

        • interested party

          I really want to agree with you on that but I fear that we as a society have become too damn apathetic to make 1 iota of difference.
          Society really sucks sometimes…i’m having another rum.

  2. Maybe Australian politicians should be directing some spying on NZ, they might find some good ideas.

    • Yes – some spying outside their economic group think might do some good.

      But then they would probably dismiss the intercepts as garbled static.

      Agent Report

      “We were unable to decrypt the communications which appear to be in a strange economic language that our neo-classical filter cannot comprehend – damage to our world view forced us to cease monitoring”

  3. Snowden needs to be locked up. I supported him on PRISM but he has gone to far now; no wonder the Russians kept him nice and safe..

      • No, I just think people shouldn’t be ignorant of the world we live in. At the start he could claim his leaks were for the ‘greater good’ against overbearing surveillance; this is not so any more as he is basically detailing legitimate national security operations with what looks like a malicious intent. It might be there is more to the story than just a want-to-be-whistle blower.

        • There has NEVER been a legitimate national security operation when it comes to the US’ War On Terror.

          CIA run Al-Quaeda, British Intelligence runs Muslims Brotherhood and the Saudis more or less fund it all.

        • What is a legitimate national security operation, really?

          Surely after the last ten years, people (and the public in general) should be extremely wary of the ‘national security’ justification.

          If anything has been made clear by these leaks, it’s that accountability and oversight of intelligence agencies everywhere need to be drastically increased to ensure that these organisations with blank cheques and broad ‘national security’ mandates are acting in the best interests of the public.

          Forget protecting a ‘nation’ (an idea which is becoming more and more obsolete) or ‘interests’ (whose interests exactly?). Protect the people, and prove that what you’re doing is to protect the people.

          • “If anything has been made clear by these leaks, it’s that accountability and oversight of intelligence agencies everywhere need to be drastically increased to ensure that these organisations with blank cheques and broad ‘national security’ mandates are acting in the best interests of the public.”

            Absolutely, and that’s why I am so happy about what Snowden and Greenwald are publishing. I really don’t give a flying f**k if our government (Labor or Liberal) is embarrassed.

  4. innocent bystander

    Abbott and Bishop knew this was coming which is why they adopted the response they did on Indo.

    • Or….

      Abbott and Bishop knew this was coming. DESPITE THIS, they adopted the response they did on Indo.

  5. Personally I just see Snowden as a small cog in giant the machine that transforms the world from being US focused into an Asia dominated 21st century world.

    Ask yourself honestly would any of these revelations matter in a 1990’s world. Would Indonesia have had the audacity to reveal that what they learned about Aussie intelligence operations? I mean honestly, did they have that right in any real sense?

    Similarly the US gov’t had no need of the insane volumes of meaningless data they’re currently amassing. The only logical way to view this is as the actions of a drowning regime. It’s the classic management problem of believing the future can be divined from today’s data, you just need to collect enough. Unfortunately trends are only ever 100% visible in hindsight, so trying to see the future by chasing more data, is a classic fool’s errand.

    As my old boss used to say “it’s like trying to win the Indi500 by looking only in the rear view mirror”

      • the Chinese that are collecting by far the most data

        And storing it all on Leegate and Eastern Digital HDD’s.

      • I’m certainly not defending China’s vacuum cleaner approach to internet data collection, but it’s not their actions that are revealed by the Snowden documents.

        By the same token China does not have anything like the same international web visibility or direct access to companies like Hotmail, Gmail, Facebook, linkedin etc. When you assume that EVERY email you ever sent or received has been logged, every international call in-and-out of the US has been recorded, every web page you ever viewed has been logged. Metadata is stored for every phone call you’ve made in the last 10 years. This is what we know already from the few Snowden documents that have so far been released.

        Look at all the programs to intentionally infect home and business computers, the NSA apparently has so many “zero-days” they’re not even using them judiciously, instead their forbidding Anti-virus companies from patching their chosen vulnerabilities.

        IMHO China is no angle, but realistically it’s international operations are not even in the same ballpark.

        • At this stage you’re probably correct but I’m under no doubt that China (and the rest of the world) would do the same if they could. The US knows that and so does everyone else who has any idea about national security. As far as I’m concerned it’s not a question about what’s right or wrong, it’s about seeing the world for what it is and acting accordingly.

          • interested party

            “As far as I’m concerned it’s not a question about what’s right or wrong, it’s about seeing the world for what it is and acting accordingly.”

            BINGO, and the public support for Snowden is maybe from the indignation of being proved wrong on a big brother conspiracy theory proving to be conspiracy fact.
            Accept this is how it is, and move on. Aldous Huxley is a good read on this stuff.

      • China effectively have their own internet.. While they can attempt getting information from the rest of the internet via overt tactics such as hacking, that tends to backfire (see Google’s response to the Gmail hack).

        The US on the other hand is exploiting that they are the geographic centre of the rest of the internet to bulk-copy data in transit, as well as embed backdoors in every single large internet company who is headquartered there with laws that mean the companies cannot even reveal what information they are sharing!

        Say about China what you will, at least the public KNOW they are being monitored there.

      • FFS, Even if China is doing it, the US has lost its moral legitimacy when it complains about Chinese spying.

        Nobody will take them seriously anymore because they will get the finger pointed straight back at them 10 times over! And that is going to prove seriously problematic over time, you can’t buy back your credibility.

        Since when does saying “that Chinese communist party dictatorship does it too”, make it OK in a supposedly democratic and free society?!

  6. It’s pretty clear that our DSD is out of control.

    “The minutes of a policy meeting in Britain in 2008, with their US, Canadian, UK and New Zealand counterparts, reveal DSD representatives claiming that they were entitled to share the confidential data of Australians with these partners, and were even considering disclosing them to “non-intelligence agencies” without first obtaining a warrant.

    This would be a breach of sections 8 and 12 of the Intelligence Services Act 2001. Snowden’s evidence that that DSD ignored this law (or was ignorant of its correct interpretation) raises the prospect that law-abiding Australians have had their personal data wrongfully collected and transmitted to bodies which may use it to damage them.”

  7. Mmmmm… why are the US not being vocal about Snowden? I suspect it is their smokescreen for something else they are up to.

    Look monkeys!