Edward Snowden, the whistleblower, has provided his first disclosure of Australian involvement in US global surveillance, identifying four facilities in the country that contribute to a key American intelligence collection program, reported VOR.
Classified US National Security Agency maps leaked by Mr Snowden and published by US journalist Glenn Greenwald in the Brazilian O Globo newspaper reveal the locations of dozens of US and allied signals intelligence collection sites that contribute to interception of telecommunications and internet traffic worldwide.
The US Australian Joint Defence Facility at Pine Gap near Alice Springs and three Australian Signals Directorate facilities: the Shoal Bay Receiving Station near Darwin, the Australian Defence Satellite Communications Facility at Geraldton and the naval communications station HMAS Harman outside Canberra are among contributors to the NSA’s collection program codenamed X-Keyscore.
The New Zealand Government Security Communications Bureau facility at Waihopai near Blenheim also contributes to the program.
The documents published by O Globo show that US and allied signals intelligence collection facilities are distributed worldwide, located at US and allied military and other facilities as well as US embassies and consulates.
In an interview published in the German Der Spiegel magazine on Sunday, Mr Snowden said the NSA operates broad secret intelligence partnerships with other western governments, some of which are now complaining about its programs.
Mr Snowden said that the other partners in the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance of the US, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand “sometimes go even further than the [National Security Agency] people themselves.”