By Peter Symonds
1 November 2013
Already mired in a diplomatic crisis in Europe over National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance operations, Washington—as well as Canberra—is facing a backlash in Asia over the latest revelations that the NSA, working in tandem with Australian agencies, intercepted phone calls and data from embassies throughout the region.
The Fairfax media yesterday reported on the involvement of the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) in the NSA program, codenamed STATEROOM, which gathers electronic intelligence from covert facilities inside diplomatic missions. According to a former Australian intelligence officer, the ASD operates “from Australian embassies in Jakarta, Bangkok, Hanoi, Beijing and Dili, and High Commissions in Kuala Lumpur and Port Moresby, as well as other diplomatic posts.”