News has just broken that Australian embassies and High Commissions are being used as part of a US-led global spying network. These reports come fresh on the heels of news that the USA conducted spying on foreign leaders, including allied government heads such as Angela Merkel.
The embassies house clandestine surveillance facilities, operated by the top secret Defence Signals Directorate, and intercept calls, telecommunications and internet traffic across Asia. Australian News corp, Fairfax Media, has been informed that this takes place in embassies in Jakarta, Bangkok, Hanoi, Beijing and Dili, High Commissions in Kuala Lumpur and Port Moresby, as well as other diplomatic posts.
These revelations are due to a leaked report from Edward Snowden, as well as a former Australian intelligence officer who confirmed surveillance activities are carried out in the Asia Pacific region.
While not a major issue for the average citizen, this shows the extent to which surveillance activities are conducted and how routine it is, even between allies. This isn’t a recent epidemic either, France in the 80’s was one of the biggest culprits of industrial spying even on the USA.