McASIO Inc?

Issue 

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) is to launch a website, the contents of which will be secret, for large corporations to be fed information about "threats". It is expected that the site will contain information about protest groups and their plans.

In his address to the Australian Institute of Company Directors on June 6, ASIO director-general Paul O'Sullivan said that combatting "terrorism" was a job for business. He said that ASIO's "business liaison unit", set up in 2005, would give selected corporations and "other trusted partners" security reports and briefings specific to their industries.

O'Sullivan said that business was likely to benefit from "the closer ties and more regular information", and ASIO would benefit from its enhanced ability "to gather, analyse and share intelligence originating in the private sector". No safeguards were mentioned regarding, for instance, ASIO's access to confidential information about employees, or the detail of the "raw" intelligence about protest groups that corporations will likely be provided with.

O'Sullivan specifically mentioned the 2007 APEC forum in Sydney, which many world leaders, including US President George Bush, are expected to attend and which will be targetted by protesters.

Dale Mills

From Green Left Weekly, June 21 2006.
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