[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Laws Outside the U.S.

"Ian Farquhar" wrote:

> > - The Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) is our primary SIGINT/COMSEC
> >   agency. Much like the NSA (but on a smaller scale, their HQ in
> >   Canberra consists of 3 or 4 buildings only, surrounded by razor
> >   fencing though and my "driver" swears the radio went dead as I
> >   stepped out for a closer look :>)
> I don't know about that, but I do know that the building is completely
> TEMPEST shielded.  It was custom built for DSD 2-3 years ago, when they
> moved to Canberra from Melbourne.

Actually, I have to admit to having a slight fascination with buildings
of this type, some other points about the architecture and location of
DSD HQ: [Note: It's an offence to photograph these facilities, it might
be bordering on the edge of legality to make the following
observations, but these are all a matter of the public record and
intended for informational purposes -- if it's me making them at all

 - It's located in Russell Offices along with most of the Deparment
   of Defence and ASIO's HQ. Just down the road is ASIS, and around the
   corner is the AFP's HQ. It puts a lot of valuable resources in close
   physical proximity.

 - Just above Russell Offices (on Russell Hill in fact) is a lookout,
   you drive up from ADFA. Standing up here gives you direct line of
   sight into DSD and all the other Defence buildings, you can watch
   people walking around. Interestingly, when I drove down and back
   around the front and looked back up to lookout, a utility had pulled
   up. In any case, employees have questionable ability to remain

 - Right along the front of the building is a major road, a couple of
   feet away stands the razor fencing, then the building is a few more
   feet inside, on the other side of the road is a carpark. The
   guardhouse for entry into the "complex" sits just off the road too.

 - You can drive up around the back of the complex, there is a little
   road that has the DSD facility on the lower side and bushland on the
   upper. You can get out and walk up to the fence and stare straight
   down into a smaller inside carpark and people walking around.

 - The building immediately adjacent to the road out the front only
   stands some 20 or so metres high, it has no windows and is quite
   recent --> the TEMPEST sheilding you mention. The other buildings,
   more than likely only for administrative purposes have darkened
   windows. More than likely it extends to a significant distance

 - There are no obvious antennas on or near it at all. Although the
   Defence Integrated Secure Communications Network (DISCON) has it's
   certain switching station at Canberra, this is mainted by another
   division within the Defence Dept. (DSD is an "outrider" organisation
   anyway). Desmond Ball's book shows a picture of a sat dish at
   Watsonia for NSA uplink, used when DSD were in Melbourne -- there
   is none of this in Canberra. I'm pretty sure Defence maintains a
   communications facility just out of Canberra (not far from 
   Tidbinbilla (sp?), probably initially processed there and leased
   line into Russell Offices ?).

 - DSD uses the Signals Corp, and when a new battalion relocated to
   Moorebank Army base, as they were building it, someone who drove by
   daily remarked to me that up went the frame, then went in a room
   concreted with only one doorway and subsequently wrapped in
   "insulation". They then bricked the building up as per usual, ie.
   adding another layer over this "room". When the work in this room
   (I'm told), the shifts last about 4-6 hrs, they enter and don't
   leave until their time is up. Standard security procedures I guess,
   interesting to see it on your proverbial backdoor none the less

Not exactly what most people go and see on their holidays, but then
I've never been like "most people" :-) [footnote: I take a purely
passive and observant role in these affairs].


ps. There's also the Brian Wilshire conjectured "Big Brother
Information Processing Centre" at St. Leonards (I could see it out the
window of my previous place of employment!), but it's nothing more than
Telecom's Data Processing Facility. Brian Wilshire (talkback host on
local 2GB, author of "Fine Print") is a loony anyway.

Matthew Gream 
<[email protected]>
(02) 821-2043
(sw/hw engineer)