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Australia’s Largest Telco Collects All Email and Call Data for FBI

No country is immune from the reach of U.S. spying.

RT - 12 July 2013: According to the leaked document, undersea cabling company Reach – a joint venture of Telstra (then 50.1 percent-owned by the Australian Government) and PCCW, a Hong Kong corporation – had to send all communications to or from US to a storage facility “physically located in the United States, from which Electronic Surveillance can be conducted pursuant to Lawful US Process.” The document also specifies the facility should be run exclusively by US staff.

The US demanded the ability to have access to all emails and phone calls between the US and other countries, meaning foreign citizens also had their data landing in America. Apart from the content of communications, Reach was supposed to supply call associated data, subscriber information and billing records.

Those were to be stored on American soil for no less than two years.

The Australian Greens Party has called on Telstra to “immediately disclose details” of the deal, which allowed “the FBI and US Department of Justice to monitor calls and data traffic via the company's undersea cables,” according to the party’s website.

“This is an extraordinary breach of trust, invasion of privacy, and erosion of Australia’s sovereignty,” Greens Party Senator Scott Ludlam said.


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