PN Member Ludlam Demands Australian Telecommunications Company to Explain Role in US Spying

A data sharing agreement between the FBI and Telstra [Telstra is a leading Australian telecommunications and media company, editor's note] marks "an extraordinary breach of trust, invasion of privacy, and erosion of Australia’s sovereignty,” according to Senator Scott Ludlam.

Crikey reported today that Telstra made a deal with the US allowing the FBI and Department of Justice to spy on communications on Telstra’s submarine cables made from and to the US. The undersea cables are owned by Telstra subsidiary Reach.

Ludlam and the Australian Greens have called on Telstra to immediately disclose details of the agreement with the US.

Telstra issued a statement defending the agreement.

“This Agreement, at that time 12 years ago, reflected Reach’s operating obligations in the US that require carriers to comply with US domestic law," a Telstra spokesman said.

"It relates to a Telstra joint venture company’s operating obligations in the United States under their domestic law. We understand similar agreements would be in place for all network infrastructure in the US. When operating in any jurisdiction, here or overseas, carriers are legally required to provide various forms of assistance to Government agencies.”


PN Member Senator Scott Ludlam is spokesperson for Communications, Housing, Heritage, Nuclear Issues, Infrastructure and Sustainable Cities.

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