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Australia Communications Government The Internet United States

Aussie Telco Telstra Agreed To Spy For America 125

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-even-trust-giant-soulless-corporations-anymore dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Australian telecommunications giant Telstra has for a decade been storing huge volumes of electronic communications carried between Asia and America for surveillance by U.S. intelligence agencies. This includes not just the metadata, but the actual content of emails, online messages and phone calls. With the blessing of the Australian government Telstra agreed to route data through a 'U.S. point of contact through a secure storage facility on U.S. soil that was staffed exclusively by U.S. citizens.' The contract was prompted by Telstra's decision to expand its business in Asia by taking control of hundreds of kilometers of undersea telecommunications cables. The deal started under the Liberal Party and continued under Labor. The Greens have demanded an explanation."
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Aussie Telco Telstra Agreed To Spy For America

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  • Re:I'm not an expert (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12, 2013 @08:58AM (#44260183)

    From wikipedia:

    Section 80.1 of the Criminal Code, contained in the schedule of the Australian Criminal Code Act 1995,[3] defines treason as follows:
    "A person commits an offence, called treason, if the person:
    (a) causes the death of the Sovereign, the heir apparent of the Sovereign, the consort of the Sovereign, the Governor-General or the Prime Minister; or
    (b) causes harm to the Sovereign, the Governor-General or the Prime Minister resulting in the death of the Sovereign, the Governor-General or the Prime Minister; or
    (c) causes harm to the Sovereign, the Governor-General or the Prime Minister, or imprisons or restrains the Sovereign, the Governor-General or the Prime Minister; or
    (d) levies war, or does any act preparatory to levying war, against the Commonwealth; or
    (e) engages in conduct that assists by any means whatever, with intent to assist, an enemy:
    (i) at war with the Commonwealth, whether or not the existence of a state of war has been declared; and
    (ii) specified by Proclamation made for the purpose of this paragraph to be an enemy at war with the Commonwealth; or
    (f) engages in conduct that assists by any means whatever, with intent to assist:
    (i) another country; or
    (ii) an organisation;
    that is engaged in armed hostilities against the Australian Defence Force; or
    (g) instigates a person who is not an Australian citizen to make an armed invasion of the Commonwealth or a Territory of the Commonwealth; or
    (h) forms an intention to do any act referred to in a preceding paragraph and manifests that intention by an overt act."

  • Worse? (Score:4, Informative)

    by coofercat (719737) on Friday July 12, 2013 @09:17AM (#44260359) Homepage Journal

    For Australians, I'd imagine this news to be worse than Edward Snowden reporting that the NSA blanket-monitors the US. I mean, monitoring is one thing, but actively sending full content to another nation seems like another entirely.

    That said, I think we know what will actually happen about all of this, even with whatever public outrage it incites.

  • Re:Worse? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cenan (1892902) on Friday July 12, 2013 @09:50AM (#44260691)

    The Guardian disagrees with you. [guardian.co.uk]

    The agreement, first reported by Crikey who obtained the documents, gave the US government permission to store "domestic communications" – with the possibility of using them for spying – using the underwater cables owned by Reach.

    Domestic communications were defined in the agreement as communications within the US but could also extend to communications which "originate or terminate" in America, meaning Australian communications with America could have potentially been subject to the agreement.

    The Slashdot summary is, as is usual, fails to highlight the really interesting part (not that two consecutive governments approved this isn't interesting)

    Telstra also agreed to report to the US government every three months on whether any foreign non-government entities had asked for access to their communications, and complete a compliance report every year which could not be accessed using freedom of information laws.

    Oh really? How is that global fight for freedom going for you guys?

    The points of contact were to be American citizens and the agreement also stopped Telstra and Reach, which is based in Hong Kong, from complying with any country's laws that certain data should be destroyed.

    51% sure, or how was that?

  • Re:I'm not an expert (Score:5, Informative)

    by jonwil (467024) on Friday July 12, 2013 @10:06AM (#44260891)

    The greens have a stated policy of opposing internet filtering and censorship and supporting net neutrality.

  • Re:I'm not an expert (Score:5, Informative)

    by wmac1 (2478314) on Friday July 12, 2013 @10:07AM (#44260899)

    It is officially an act of spying on your own country. I don't have enough stomach to read the news these days.

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong. -- Jim Gettys

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