Australian Signals Directorate
Slogan: Reveal their secrets ... Protect our own
|Formed||12 November 1947|
|Jurisdiction||Commonwealth of Australia|
|Headquarters||Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
|Minister responsible||Senator the Hon. David Johnston, Minister for Defence|
|Parent agency||Department of Defence|
Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) (formerly: Defence Signals Directorate (DSD)) is an Australian government intelligence agency responsible for signals intelligence (SIGINT) and information security (INFOSEC). ASD was established in 1947.
According to its website, ASD has two principal functions:
- to collect and disseminate foreign signals intelligence;
- to provide information security products and services to the Australian Government and its Defence Force.
Based in Canberra, at the Defence Headquarters at Russell Offices it operates monitoring facilities at Kojarena, Western Australia and at Shoal Bay, Northern Territory, which are believed to be part of the ECHELON system. It may also play a role in Pine Gap.
Under the 1948 UKUSA agreement, ASD's intelligence is shared with its foreign partner agencies:
- National Security Agency (NSA) – United States
- Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) – United Kingdom
- Communications Security Establishment (CSE) – Canada
- Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) – New Zealand
Electronic warfare operators in the Royal Australian Corps of Signals work closely with the Australian Signals Directorate. 7 Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare) at Borneo Barracks, Cabarlah, Queensland is associated with ASD.
The ASD operates at least three receiving stations:
- the Australian Defence Satellite Communications Station (ADSCS), located at Kojarena, near Geraldton in Western Australia
- the Shoal Bay Receiving Station, located at Shoal Bay, Northern Territory
- a small station on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
These stations contribute signals intelligence for many Australian Government bodies, as well as the wider UKUSA partners. The ASD is also presumed to maintain a workforce at Pine Gap in central Australia.
In addition, it has been reported that many Australian embassies and overseas missions also house small facilities which provide a flow of signals intelligence to ASD.
The Directorate has operated under a number of different names since its founding:
- 1947 – Defence Signals Bureau established within the Department of Defence
- 1949 – Changes name to Defence Signals Branch
- 1964 – Changes name to Defence Signals Division
- 1978 – Changes name to Defence Signals Directorate
- 2013 – Changes name to Australian Signals Directorate
- NSA United States
- GCHQ UK
- Government Communications Security Bureau of New Zealand
- Communications Security Establishment Canada
- http://dsd.gov.au/aboutdsd/index.htm About DSD: DSD Defence Signals Directorate, dsd.gov.au, 2011.
- http://dsd.gov.au/aboutdsd/history.htm History: DSD Defence Signals Directorate, dsd.gov.au, 2011
- Dorling, Philip (1 November 2013). "Listening post revealed on Cocos Islands". Canberra Times.
- Dorling, Philip (31 October 2013). "Exposed: Australia's Asia spy network". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- "2013 Defence White Paper: Renaming the Defence Signals Directorate and the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation" (Press release). Minister for Defence. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- Australian Signals Directorate official website
- Open Australia Search: Parliamentary records mentioning 'signals directorate'.