“In a game of ‘cat and mouse’ with the nation’s adversaries”

And by “adversaries” he means enemies. Are you aware Australia has enemies?

This was the front-page story in The Oz this morning which has virtually disappeared from the online edition: Espionage threats unprecedented, says spy boss Duncan Lewis. You should read it all, but this is how it starts.

The nation’s spy boss, Duncan Lewis, has warned that Australia is facing daily threats of foreign ­interference, with Australia’s ­security agencies confronting an “unprecedented” wave of espionage.

The director general of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, who will ­retire in September, told The Weekend Australian that the ­agency was in a game of “cat and mouse” with the nation’s adversaries.

“It’s constant. Every day there is a discovery. Some of them are more alarming than others,” Mr Lewis said in an ­exclusive ­interview.

“The number of investigations going on today is higher than it has ever been. We are busy, we are very, very busy.”

While the terrorism threat had “plateaued”, it was still at an unacceptably high level and had to be brought down, he said.

He warned that the espionage threat showed no sign of abating, with attempted foreign interference, including cyber-attacks and traditional spy craft — as well as unwelcome influence within Australia’s political system — now widespread.

“It is an unprecedented level of activity … it’s not visible to most people,” he said.

BTW, how are those submarines coming along?

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38 Responses to “In a game of ‘cat and mouse’ with the nation’s adversaries”

  1. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    The nation’s spy boss, Duncan Lewis, has warned that Australia is facing daily threats of foreign ­interference, with Australia’s ­security agencies confronting an “unprecedented” wave of espionage.

    This stuff is Keystone Coppers.

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/ex-asio-chief-linked-to-sponsor-deal-with-huawei-20120330-1w3vo.html

    A FORMER head of ASIO helped the Canberra Raiders secure a $1.7 million sponsorship deal with a Chinese telco the intelligence agency believes could pose a cyber security risk to Australia.

    Raiders board member Dennis Richardson took leave without pay from his role as Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary to make a presentation on the NRL club’s behalf to Huawei, which the federal government banned from the $36 billion national broadband project

    I don’t know if the Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm theme ought to be played.

  2. Dr Fred Lenin

    The submarine shambles is standard procedure ,obsolete before use ,bit like NBN. And the polliemaggot whose seat the subscam was made for has resigned from politics ,so the subscam could be scrapped ,couldnt it ?

  3. tombell

    Anyone who thinks Arthur Gietzelt was the last traitor in the political class is either a fool or on the take.

  4. J.H.

    Our Submarines?… you mean our Zeppelin submarine fleet.

    That has to go down as one of the most bizarre defense deals evah! Malcontent Turncoat truly outdone himself with that deal. It epitomized him.

    …. I wonder how much the Chinese paid him to do it?

  5. J.H.

    Frank Walker…. Seinfeld, definitely Seinfeld.

    I saw those Huawei sponsorship signs on the Raiders a while back….. and I thought to myself, “How bluddy sadly apt that the Canberra team is sponsored by the Chinese Government. It just figures.”

    ….. and then you tell me our ASIO ex boss helped sign them up!….. instant Seinfeld theme played. 🙂

  6. Dr Fred Lenin

    Our spy system is in great hands ,with Downer spying on Trumpsters and the result that produced , they recruit in universities to get the cream of the crop ,bit like Philby ,Burgess,Mclean ,Blunt Cairncross at Cambridge in the 1930s . They were taught by the same types teaching at universities today. So what can go wrong? Dont kniw what you are worrying about .

  7. What really surprised me was that some time back there was a general philosophy in Defence not to buy anything from the French, as things would always go wheels up one day, one way or the other. This began with the Mirage jets, the Squirrel training helicopters and other things that I can’t remember. But wherever there was a French connection, it usually meant a less than satisfactory product.

  8. C.L.

    “The number of investigations going on today is higher than it has ever been. We are busy, we are very, very busy.”

    Sure you are, Duncan. Why are there zero espionage cases before the courts, then?
    Busy touting for more money, you mean.

    Has Paul Keating been questioned about his job with the China Development Bank?

  9. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    This began with the Mirage jets

    Be interested in why you think the Mirage jets deal went “wheels up.”

  10. a reader

    Be interested in why you think the Mirage jets deal went “wheels up.”

    Or even the Squirrels. Those are just off the shelf multi-purpose helicopters which are half-German anyway.

    The Tigers on the other hand were problematic.

  11. Diogenes

    Be interested in why you think the Mirage jets deal went “wheels up.”

    Frogs wouldn’t sell us spares if they went to Vietnam, so they didn’t.

  12. Macbeth

    The ignorant leftist news mob always call the Director General of ASIO “Australia’s Spy Chief, or Chief Spy”.
    I thought ASIO was “anti-spy”. The chief of ASIS could irritated bu the misnomer.

  13. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Frogs wouldn’t sell us spares if they went to Vietnam, so they didn’t.

    That was discussed on this blog some time ago. Somebody posted the following

    http://airpower.airforce.gov.au/APDC/media/PDF-Files/Pathfinder/PF293-The-Myth-of-the-Mirage-Spares-Embargo.pdf

  14. Sydney Boy

    Given our recent history buying French helicopters, I am staggered that Payne went for French submarines. By the way, the French Navy have just received the first of theirs from the same firm building ours – three years late.

  15. Roger

    The nation’s adversaries are in parliament.

  16. Shy Ted

    Spying on what exactly? Rampant bureaucracy? How to implement a left wing regime with the support of the MSM? Ideas for tattoos? How to freeze the elderly to death? You know, things we’re really good at.

  17. Chris M

    Well if your countries women are too ugly for honey pots you have to use alternate means I suppose.

    The nation’s adversaries are in parliament.

    This I like.

  18. Phill

    Yes. But there is this really good Chinese takeaway I know…..That balances out all of their other shenanigans, doesn’t it?

  19. Entropy

    I believe it’s called the Tang Dynasty in Kingston. Very popular place for politicians of a certain kind.

  20. Dingleberry pie

    A new report by veteran military analyst Derek Woolner, and fellow researcher David Glynne Jones, is urging the Defence Department to urgently embrace cutting-edge lithium-ion battery propulsion for its future submarines.

    […]

    The former government advisor said HMAS Attack would be built with a heavy metal main battery, as part of a process already initiated under a contract signed by France’s Naval Group company and MTU Friedrichshafen for diesel generator sets.

    If only there were some other method of powering submarines, superior in every respect, and reliant on a fuel source that Australia possesses in abundance.

    The nation’s adversaries are in parliament.

    Someone give that man a prize.

  21. tgs

    Look, while the peanut gallery of blog commenters may heap shit on the Naval Group deal it needs to be seen in context.

    Yes, the Collins Class didnt go well initially but as at today it’s probably one of the best SSKs on the ocean.

    Yes, Malcom was a dud but don’t just taint this deal with him.

    “Off the shelf”.

    People say we should have just bought something off the shelf. That quite literally does not exist for the requirements of Australia. If we could relax the non-nuclear constraint and the US was capable of pumping out more than 2 Virginia boats per year that would be a different story.

  22. Mark A

    tgs
    #3117121, posted on July 28, 2019 at 2:13 am

    Look, while the peanut gallery of blog commenters may heap shit on the Naval Group deal it needs to be seen in context.

    Yes, the Collins Class didnt go well initially but as at today it’s probably one of the best SSKs on the ocean.

    I suppose you have something to back up that claim?

    ‘==============================

    Yes, Malcom was a dud but don’t just taint this deal with him.

    “Off the shelf”.

    People say we should have just bought something off the shelf. That quite literally does not exist for the requirements of Australia. If we could relax the non-nuclear constraint and the US was capable of pumping out more than 2 Virginia boats per year that would be a different story.

    What are the special requirements for Australia?
    Are we to reinvent the wheel like we do with a lot of other technology?

    As to off the shelf, both the Germans and the Japanese have diesel subs available at a realistic price.

    You should talk to Top Ender or at least read his posts about this.

  23. jupes

    A FORMER head of ASIO helped the Canberra Raiders secure a $1.7 million sponsorship deal with a Chinese telco the intelligence agency believes could pose a cyber security risk to Australia.

    Words fail. What with Richardson in bed with the Chicoms and Lewis trying to enforce Sharia Law we are well and truly fucked.

  24. jupes

    What are the special requirements for Australia?

    According to Chrissy Pyne on Bolta when he was Defence Minister, the RAN has to operate in both the Pacific and Indian Oceans and as these oceans are two different temperatures we need bespoke subs.

    No seriously.

  25. rickw

    Words fail. What with Richardson in bed with the Chicoms and Lewis trying to enforce Sharia Law we are well and truly fucked.

    Yes, by:

    The nation’s adversaries are in parliament.

  26. Des Deskperson

    The power-worshippers of the Oz, who have yet to meet a senior securicrat they diss’ want to fellate, have been gushing over Lewis.

    ‘By his own admission, Lewis’s working life reads like the John Le Carre novel, ‘Tinker,Tailor, Soldier Spy’.

    Judging by the overall tone of the panegyric, the qualifier ‘by his own admission’ is not intended to be ironic or sarcastic.

    Lewis was a Rudd protege, the latter invented a new job in PM&C – ‘National Security Adviser’ – just for him.

    The most interesting thing about Lewis is that his time as Secretary of the Department of Defence was very short indeed – 13 months. According to the Australian, he was ‘punished’ by the Gillard regime – if the ambassadorship to Belgium is a punishment – for being an outspoken opponent of defence cuts.

    If true, then he deserved it.

  27. John Constantine

    Russia is being approached by Malaysia to trade palm oil for Russian war robot drone technology.

    A few palm trees worth of trade oil can sink a multi-billion dollars worth of Australian compliance class submarine.

    Comrades.

  28. Dr Fred Lenin

    I hope they have agents in the politicsl parties ,the communist media ,getup ,the youniversidies the teaching trade ,the unions . Plenty of scope for counter espionage there ,riddled with treason they are ,after all thats the job isnt it finding traitors . Oh and dont forget the lawtrades people judges included .

  29. John Constantine

    The mass importation of revolutionary military age freedom fighters, so we have a pool of millions of potential informers to buy information from.

    As a strategy, it has to be one thing posing as another.

    Keeping a straight face while lecturing the public that Telling Australia’s proles that hundreds of trained, desensitized saboteurs and experienced rapists and killers of unarmed civilians must return to Australia because they are valuable intelligence informants is vikpol X level trolling.

  30. Sinclair Davidson

    Bureaucrat trying to maximize his budget.

  31. Dr Fred Lenin

    The Collins class had initial problems with leakage where the oars went out from the boat,defence dept suggested bailing with buckets but that failed ,finallyb a genius suggested an engine , that has worked well .
    To comply with Australian requirements the boat will only operate 37 hours a week ,with 20 weeks hardship annual leave on double pay , the shop steward from the seapersons union will be able to override the Captain and prevent the members being put into danger . The crew will be composed of all 67 genders and a racial mix with one white man only . The cost of the sub fleet will be between $34 billion and $_784 billion ,ballpark figure . The ability of our political careerist leaders is astonishing ,truly astonishing .

  32. Bruce

    Maybe not the Seinfeld theme; try “Yakety Sax” (Benny Hill used it lot).

  33. Politenessman

    “While the terrorism threat had “plateaued”, it was still at an unacceptably high level and had to be brought down, he said.”

    I would call that an unwarranted assumption, it doesn’t take much to ramp up tensions with the more excitable religion.

  34. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    jupes
    #3117130, posted on July 28, 2019 at 4:47 am

    What are the special requirements for Australia?

    According to Chrissy Pyne on Bolta when he was Defence Minister, the RAN has to operate in both the Pacific and Indian Oceans and as these oceans are two different temperatures we need bespoke subs.

    No seriously.

    Un fucking believable.

    We’re fucked!

  35. Politenessman

    “According to Chrissy Pyne on Bolta when he was Defence Minister, the RAN has to operate in both the Pacific and Indian Oceans and as these oceans are two different temperatures we need bespoke subs.”

    Given that temperature varies from the surface to colder as you go deeper, Mr Pyne was BSing backhand.
    The surface temps also vary by season and local weather to an extent.

  36. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    tgs
    #3117121, posted on July 28, 2019 at 2:13 am

    Look, while the peanut gallery of blog commenters may heap shit on the Naval Group deal it needs to be seen in context.

    Yes, the Collins Class didnt go well initially but as at today it’s probably one of the best SSKs on the ocean.

    That’s good but it came with a very high cost, short hours of service life and a few years ago, the RAN only had one serviceable bluewater vessel – from both the surface and submarine fleets.

  37. Kneel

    “…I thought to myself, “How bluddy sadly apt that the Canberra team is sponsored by the Chinese Government. It just figures.”…”

    Interesting aside – were you aware that Huawei were/are prepared to sign a deal that states they DO NOT and WILL NOT supply with any back-door “spyware” in their gear? And that the US competitors are/were NOT prepared to so sign?

    Seems to support my contention that the reason Huawei is being smashed by the US Govt is not because they have spyware, but because they refuse to hand the keys over the the US govt. and are much harder to put pressure on than a US company.

  38. Politenessman

    “Interesting aside – were you aware that Huawei were/are prepared to sign a deal that states they DO NOT and WILL NOT supply with any back-door “spyware” in their gear? And that the US competitors are/were NOT prepared to so sign?”

    Well, as long as a totalitarian govt, that is annexing large chunks of international waters, is running re-education camps and has massacred dissenters, is prepared to sign an undertaking to behave decently, I’m convinced!

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