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Published time: July 08, 2013 19:31 Edited time: July 09, 2013 17:19

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The Australian Defence Satellite Communications Station (ADSCS), South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Image from Trends
NSA leaks

Ex-NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden has disclosed his first set of documents outlining Australias role in NSA surveillance programs, picking out four facilities in the country that contribute heavily to US spying.

Australia, Intelligence, Mass media, Security, Social networks, USA

The locations of dozens of the USs and associated countries signal collection sites have been revealed by Snowden, who leaked classified National Security Agency maps to US journalist Glenn Greenwald, which were then published in the Brazilian newspaper O Globo. The sites all play a role in the collection of data and interception of internet traffic and telecommunications on a global level.

Australian centers involved in the NSAs data collection program, codenamed X-Keyscore, include Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap in central Australia and three Australian Signals Directorate facilities: the Shoal Bay Receiving Station in the countrys north, the Australian Defence Satellite Communications Facility on the west coast, and the naval communications station HMAS Harman outside the capital, Canberra. New Zealand also plays a role, with the Government Security Communications Bureau facility at Waihopai, on the northern point of South Island, also contributing to the program. X-Keyscore is described as a national Intelligence collection mission system by US intelligence expert William Arkin, according to Australian newspaper The Age. It processes all signals prior to being delivered to various production lines that deal with more specific issues including the exploration of different types of data for close scrutiny. The different subdivisions are entitled Nucleon (voice), Pinwale (video), Mainway (call records) and Marina (internet records).

Warning sign on the road to Pine Gap (Image from A spokesman for Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd declined to comment on the revelatory map, saying that it was not government practice to comment on intelligence matters, according to national broadsheet The Australian. Australia is one of the Five Eyes an alliance of intelligence-sharing countries which include of the US, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

When documents were published pertaining to the British signal intelligence agency, GCHQs Tempora program, Snowden reportedly commented that the other partners in the Five Eyes intelligence sometimes go even further than the [National Security Agency] people themselves. If you send a data packet and if it makes its way through the UK, we will get it. If you download anything, and the server is in the UK, then we get it, he said. In an interview published online last weekend in advance of its printing in German magazine Der Speigel this week, Snowden argued that the NSA was in bed with the Germans commenting that the organization of intelligence gathering in countries involved with the organization is such that political leaders are insulated from the backlash, going on to denounce how grievously they're violating global privacy. Germany reacted to the report on Monday, with German chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, telling Reuters that the Federal Intelligence Agencys (BND) cooperation with the NSA took place within strict legal and judicial guidelines and is controlled by the competent parliamentary committee. The US and its affiliates have intelligence facilities distributed worldwide in a variety of US embassies, consulates and military facilities. In an earlier report by Der Spiegel, also based on revelations by Snowden, it was revealed that the NSA bugged EU diplomatic offices and gained access to EU internal computer networks.

Anonymous user 10.07.2013 13:56

KRudd says govt wont comment on intelligence issues? funny they do so when it suits them for pR.

Anonymous user 10.07.2013 12:15

We badly need to utilize this info to permanently shut down this big brother grid.