back to article Australian spookhaus busted for warrantless tap of own phones

Australia's Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (AIGIS) has found that the nation's Australian Security and Intelligence Agency (ASIO) spied on itself in contravention of local laws. The Inspector-General's Annual Report [PDF] lists breaches of Australia's Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act (TIA). The …

  1. Winkypop Silver badge
    FAIL

    Idiots, morons and dickheads!

    Tap that!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Idiots, morons and dickheads!

      And the biggest laugh is that if an Australian publication had written this article the writer could go to jail for up to ten years for bringing these bungling fools into self inflicted disrepute

      See http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-14/journalists-face-jail-for-exposing-security-agency-bungles/5776504

      1. John Tserkezis

        Re: Idiots, morons and dickheads!

        "And the biggest laugh is that if an Australian publication had written this article the writer could go to jail for up to ten years for bringing these bungling fools into self inflicted disrepute"

        Apparently not. Fairfax reports this:

        ASIO accidentally spies on itself.

        1. P. Lee

          Re: Idiots, morons and dickheads!

          >>"And the biggest laugh is that if an Australian publication had written this article the writer could go to jail for up to ten years for bringing these bungling fools into self inflicted disrepute"

          >Apparently not. Fairfax reports this

          You don't think they'd use the stupid law as soon as it's passed do you? That would look bad.

        2. Steven Roper

          Re: Idiots, morons and dickheads!

          Apparently not. Fairfax reports this:

          Yes, but Fairfax is a big corporation that the laws of the land don't apply to. The ten-years-in-prison clause is only for the little guys like you and me. If one of us had published this bungle on our little Wordpress blogs, WE'D be looking at 10 years' chokey, but Fairfax and Murdoch's minions have effective carte blanche.

          Always remember the Prime Directive of 21st century lawmaking: one law for us, and another for them.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    I wonder...

    ... If they swapped the entry for the tapped number with their contact number. If this was the case, I wonder what the target of the tap made of the data dump. That they did this to themselves twice and didn't have alarm bells go off around a lack of data speaks volumes. A very high volume of taps or a low volume of competence.

    You just can't make this stuff up.

    Edit: At least AIGIS is doing their job. The NSA has no counterpart. Nor does the DoJ do their due diligence here.

  3. Ted 3
    FAIL

    A taste of their own medicine

    They have always told us: "if your are doing nothing wrong, then you have nothing to fear".

    1. teebie

      Re: A taste of their own medicine

      And now they are saying "as I have done nothing wrong, I have nothing to fear (we do appear to have done something wrong)"

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stop calling it metadata!

    It is data.

    Calling it metadata is a way to divert our attention from the fact they are collecting bloody data.

    If they spy on you and know you met Dick on Wednesday at 12, that's data, even if they don't know what you said.

    If they spy on you and know you called Dick on Wednesday at 12, that's also data, even if they don't know what you said.

    Metadata my arse.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stop calling it metadata!

      Agreed.

      Or if you want to call it metadata, remember that Metadata (in this context) = Surveillance.

      "... imagine that you asked that same private detective to put a subject under constant surveillance. You would get a different report, one that included things like where he went, what he did, who he spoke to -- and for how long -- who he wrote to, what he read, and what he purchased. This is all metadata, data we know the NSA is collecting. So when the president says that it's only metadata, what you should really hear is that we're all under constant and ubiquitous surveillance."

      https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2014/03/metadata_survei.html

  5. Mark 85 Silver badge

    So if they had a warrant...

    It would have then been ok to tap their own phones? I've never worked for a government agency but every place said they could listen and/or track our phone calls without a warrant. So...what makes them tapping their own phones illegal?

  6. Adam 1

    clear solution available

    It seems obvious to me that the best way to fix this sort of problem is to grant them more powers.

  7. auburnman
    Black Helicopters

    Hiding in plain sight

    It occurs to me this could be them actually so paranoid in the wake of whistle-blowers like Snowden that they were genuinely spying on their own department. The stroke of genius is to admit it as a 'technical error' rather than trying to bury it.

    This way the headlines are more 'HAR HAR SPIES ARE MUPPETS' and less 'Warrantless Wiretapping Scandal Continues'.

  8. Graham Marsden
    Facepalm

    Quis Custodiet....

    ... Ipsos Custodes?

    Well know we know, they're watching themselvs!

  9. sisk
    Trollface

    Possible spook quote

    "I'm doing something wrong and I'm going to catch me doing it! Hand me that inline interceptor!"

  10. Brian Miller

    But it's still two blokes in a shed...

    Look, everybody knows when ASIO makes a phone call because they have to move the wombat off the phone. In order for the other bloke to not listen in, he has to hold a koala on either side of his head to muffle out the sound.

    At least they're better off than the Tasmanian office, where they haven't ever made a phone call because there's a Tasmanian Devil on top of it.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021