Wednesday 08 Apr 2020 | 23:44 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 08 Apr 2020 | 23:44 | SYDNEY

The Fitzgibbon story


Sam Roggeveen


26 March 2009 13:48

From today's Age:

Officials in the Defence Department have conducted a covert investigation into their own minister, leaking personal information about Joel Fitzgibbon's relationship with a wealthy Chinese-born woman with past financial ties to Beijing...In the course of their investigation, it is further alleged a Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) officer accessed Mr Fitzgibbon's office IT systems and is understood to have found Ms Liu's banking details.

From the Intelligence Services Act, 2001:

The functions of DSD are: (a) to obtain intelligence about the capabilities, intentions or activities of people or organisations outside Australia in the form of electromagnetic energy, whether guided or unguided or both, or in the form of electrical, magnetic or acoustic energy, for the purposes of meeting the requirements of the Government, and in particular the requirements of the Defence Force, for such intelligence...(Emphasis added.)

In other words, DSD is not supposed to spy on people in Australia. This story has a long way to run, but if this first report proves close to the mark, it is a major scandal.