Intelligence

Timor-Leste activists ‘shocked’ by Australia’s prosecution of spy Witness K and lawyer

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Activists compare treatment of Australian spy and lawyer Bernard Collaery to acts of Suharto-led Indonesia Helen Davidson The Guardian Timor-Leste activists have condemned the Australian government over the prosecution of Witness K and lawyer Bernard Collaery for their roles in revealing the bugging of the Timor-Leste cabinet during negotiations on an oil and gas treaty. The activists from the Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea (MKOTT) have joined mounting criticism of the prosecution, comparing the act to the targeting they and ... Read More »

Ecuador ‘close’ to evicting Julian Assange from London embassy

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London: Ecuador is close to withdrawing asylum for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and evicting him from the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has been living for six years, journalist… The Age Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno went to Britain on Friday to meet with officials to finalise a deal under which protection for Assange will be withdrawn and he will be turned over to British authorities, Greenwald… The Australian national has resided in Ecuador’s London embassy since 2012, after he ... Read More »

Mueller’s stark choice for Trump: take on Putin or be branded a coward

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New York: Robert Mueller has snookered Donald Trump spectacularly. A mere three days before Trump was scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, the special counsel has provided the public with the most comprehensive official account of how the Russians conspired to hack the 2016 election. Matthew Knott The Canberra Times The indictment issued against 12 Russian intelligence officers on Friday, local time, offers Trump a simple choice for the Helsinki summit: to aggressively rebuke Putin – both in rhetoric and policy ... Read More »

Navy: Chinese Spy Ship Monitoring RIMPAC Exercise, Again

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A Chinese surveillance ship is operating off the coast of Hawaii to keep tabs on the U.S.-led Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, a Navy official confirmed to USNI News on Friday. Sam LaGrone USNI The People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) auxiliary general intelligence (AGI) ship has been operating in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the coast of Hawaii since July 11, U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt… “We expect the ship will remain outside the territorial seas of the U.S. ... Read More »

East Timor bugging: Politicians call for AFP to investigate Australian spies’ role in 2004 operation

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Intelligence whistleblower turned independent MP Andrew Wilkie has called on the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to launch an investigation into the role the nation’s intelligence services played in the… By political reporter Matthew Doran ABC The 2004 incident led to a souring of the relationship between Canberra and East Timor, as the two nations were negotiating a deal on accessing offshore oil deposits at the time. Last month, Mr Wilkie used parliamentary privilege to reveal the Commonwealth Director of Public ... Read More »

Israeli intelligence firm targeted NGOs during Hungary’s election campaign

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - APRIL 08: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban leaves from the polling station on April 8, 2018 in Budapest, Hungary. Hungarians are going to the polls in the Parliamentary election today. (Photo by Laszlo Balogh/Getty Images)

People working for Black Cube secretly taped meetings that were then cited by Prime Minister Victor Orbán. Lili Bayer Politico The Israeli private intelligence firm Black Cube was involved in a campaign to discredit NGOs ahead of Hungary’s April election, according to a former Black Cube employee and a person with knowledge of the company’s inner workings. Between December 2017 and March 2018, Hungarian NGOs and individuals connected to American-Hungarian businessman George Soros were contacted by agents using false identities who… Israeli intelligence ... Read More »

Chinese hackers breach ANU, putting national security at risk

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China-based hackers have successfully infiltrated the IT systems at the Australian National University, potentially compromising the home of Australia’s leading national security college and key defence research… Nick McKenzie & David Wroe The Canberra Times Federal government cyber security officials have been working with the university since detecting the cyber attack, assessing the scale of any information theft and who in China could be responsible for… The ANU conducts research that has defence, strategic, scientific, technological and… Chinese hackers breach… Read More »

US diplomat bugged by Australia attacks prosecution of spy Witness K

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Peter Galbraith says the prosecution of Australian spy and solicitor Bernard Collaery is ‘pointless’ Christopher Knaus The Guardian A decorated US diplomat spied upon by Australia as he represented Timor-Leste during lucrative oil and gas negotiations has described the prosecution of the two men who exposed the covert operation as “vindictive and pointless”. The former US ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith was the lead negotiator for Timor-Leste during 2004 negotiations with Australia to carve up more than $40bn of oil ... Read More »

Cambridge Analytica used our secrets for profit – the same data could be used for public good

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Ever since it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica had taken data from 87m users via a Facebook app that exploited the social media site’s privacy settings, it has been suggested that anything from Donald Trump’s election in the US to the European Union referendum result in the UK could have been the result of the persuasive power of… William David Watkin The Conversation But Aleksandr Kogan, the University of Cambridge researcher whose data-collecting app formed the basis for Cambridge Analytica’s ... Read More »

Why technology puts human rights at risk

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Movies such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner and Terminator brought rogue robots and computer systems to our cinema screens. Birgit Schippers The Conversation But these days, such classic science fiction spectacles don’t seem so far removed from reality. Increasingly, we live, work and play with computational technologies that are autonomous and intelligent. These systems include software and hardware with the capacity for independent reasoning and decision making. They work for us on the factory floor; they decide whether ... Read More »

Witness K scandal: decision to charge Timor-Leste bugging whistleblower was ‘independent’

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Attorney general Christian Porter refuses to detail why he approved prosecution of former spy The attorney general has refused to elaborate on why he approved the prosecution of a former spy who revealed Australia had bugged Timor-Leste’s cabinet rooms, describing it as an “independent decision” of prosecutors. Paul Karp The Guardian Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has blasted the government for approving the prosecution and suggested it has leaked information to a journalist to defend its position. On Thursday Wilkie used ... Read More »

The geopolitics of telecoms: The West vs. China in the 5G race

People walk by a 5G stand at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world's biggest mobile fair, on February 26, 2018 in Barcelona.
the Mobile World Congress is held in Barcelona from February 26 to March 1.  / AFP PHOTO / Pau Barrena        (Photo credit should read PAU BARRENA/AFP/Getty Images)

China is beating the world when it comes to 5G deployment. But in the crucial battle for control over the technology’s global standards, Europe and the US are still very much in the game. Mark Scott Politico LONDON — In smoke-filled conference halls and nondescript hotels from Brussels to Busan, South Korea, a yearslong battle has been underway for control over the future of the mobile world. That fight is now coming to an end. More than 600 government officials and telecoms executives agreed in ... Read More »

Army ‘was set to shoot down a jet’

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BRITAIN was prepared to shoot down hijacked civilian aircraft nearly 30 years before 9/11, declassified documents have revealed. By Marco Giannangeli, EXCLUSIVE Express The orders, from senior British Army commanders followed attempts by the IRA to seize control of civilian aircraft from which they intended to carry out “air raids” on British Army checkpoints After the twin towers attack in 2001, it was revealed that RAF Tornado pilots had been authorised to give rogue civilian aircraft just two chances before ... Read More »

The stain of Britain’s part in torture and rendition will never wash away

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The long-awaited reports of the investigation by the UK Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) into Detainee Mistreatment and Rendition between 2001 and 2010 have finally been published. Authors: The Conversation We ourselves have been researching the UK’s part in rendition and torture for years and gave evidence to the committee – and these reports are much harder hitting than we had expected. Chaired by MP and QC Dominic Grieve, the ISC’s investigation has revealed that the extent of UK ... Read More »

‘Witness K’ and lawyer Bernard Collaery charged with breaching intelligence act over East Timor spying revelations

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A Canberra lawyer whose client exposed a secret Australian spying operation in East Timor has described the prosecution against them both as an attack on freedom of… By defence reporter Andrew Greene and Lucy Sweeney ABC On Thursday, using parliamentary privilege, independent MP Andrew Wilkie revealed the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions recently filed criminal charges against Bernard Collaery and… Witness K had raised concerns about a covert Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) operation he ran to bug East Timor’s cabinet in 2004 ... Read More »

Hack warning: Secure your data or risk a $31 million fine

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How do you store your customers’ personal data? Are you one hundred percent sure it’s safe from hackers? These are very important questions for small businesses. Alexandra Cain WAtoday Just last week Fairfax reported a conveyancing firm’s IT system had been compromised by hackers who were able to steal $250,000 of a client’s funds from it. Plus, stiff new data privacy rules in the European Union last month mean it’s now more important than ever for small businesses to get their cyber security right. ... Read More »