US spies in Australian Parliament?

US Spy base at Pine Gap
US Spy base at Pine Gap

A senior official has left open the prospect that parliamentary communications in Australia could be monitored by US intelligence through a “back door” provided by Microsoft operating systems.

Eija Seittenranta, who is responsible for ensuring network security in Australia’s parliamentary IT systems, told the Senate finance and public administration committee on Monday that no specific action had been taken to secure the parliamentary network against surveillance by US agencies under the Prism program.

“No we wouldn’t have taken any specific action,” Seittenranta told the committee.

pine-gap-has-two-eyes.jpgGreens senator Scott Ludlam asked Seittenranta whether, given that answer, Australian MPs and staff should assume their IT communications were exposed routinely to intrusion.

She replied: “Yes, I suppose you should be able to assume that.

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