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Up to 20 thousand of Australian intelligence documents may be available to Snowden

December 05, 2013, 15:28 UTC+3
The Coalition government is now describing it as the most damaging blow dealt to Australian intelligence in the nation's history
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© AP Photo/Kin Cheung

SYDNEY, December 5. /ITAR-TASS/. From 15 thousand to 20 thousand secret documents of Australian intelligence agencies may be at the disposal of former CIA officer Edward Snowden, The Australian newspaper reports.

“The Coalition government is now describing it as the most damaging blow dealt to Australian intelligence in the nation's history,” the newspaper noted. “The spy scandal has not led to reduced intelligence sharing with the US, but Australian agencies have expressed concern directly to their American counterparts about the severe damage caused to Australia's national security interests by the Snowden leaks.”

 

What documents stole Snowden

As it became known, “the majority of the stolen reports are likely to discuss political, economic and military intelligence gleaned by Australian agencies, especially the Australian Signals Directorate (formerly DSD), in the Asia-Pacific region,” the newspaper writes. “The Australian understands a massive audit is under way to assess what was in the files, although the volume of material means it is a slow, painstaking process.”

 

Spy scandal in the US

In early June 2013, a spy scandal broke in the United States over the revelations of former CIA employee Edward Snowden.

The first documents that Snowden handed to Washington Post and The Guardian were published June 6. This was information about US government agencies’ spying on internet users.

Published data says the NSA and FBI during several years were collecting information about all phone calls of big US corporations like Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Skype, YouTube.

Media reported that within the framework of a top secret program codenamed PRISM intelligence services collect audio recordings, video files, photos, emails, documents and user connection data.

October 21, French newspaper’s Le Monde online version quoted Snowden’s data saying that NSA had been wiretapping calls of French citizens. Thus, from December 10, 2012 to January 8, 2013, the secret services tapped 70.3 million phone calls and text messages. The secret program was named US-985D. Le Monde believes that this is the token of the “third group” of wiretapped countries that also comprises Germany, Poland, Austria and Belgium. The “second group” includes countries that are closer in their policy line to the US: the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

October 23, it became known that US intelligence could wiretap mobile phone calls of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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