Australian Government Knew About PRISM ‘Months Before’ Snowden Leaks

Australian Government Knew About PRISM ‘Months Before’ Snowden Leaks

When the PRISM surveillance story broke, Aussies sat on the bottom of the world twiddling our collective thumbs wondering ‘that couldn’t happen to us, right?’. Wrong. Turns out the Australian Government knew exactly what PRISM was months before the story broke. The worst part? The government still thinks the “effects on Australians” are too sensitive to share. Uh oh.

Documents acquired by the ABC under Freedom of Information laws show that the Attorney-General had a secret briefing on PRISM and its potential effects on Australians months before the story officially broke in UK papers.

Large swathes of these documents have been redacted under the guise of “national security”, including the talking points on what effect PRISM would have on Aussie citizens.

More concerning, however, is the news that one of the four briefing notes requested were withheld. That unreleased document is titled the Protected Brief to the Attorney-General and it contains everything a senior official would need to know about the world’s most prolific spying program.

It’s probably worth keeping in mind that if you’re on the internet these days, you’re being spied on, but it sure would be nice to know exactly what the AG was told before the PRISM proverbial hit the fan. [ABC]

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