Shoal Bay Receiving Station

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Shoal Bay Receiving Station
17 km (11 mi) from Darwin
Site information
Controlled by Australian Signals Directorate
Open to
the public
No

Shoal Bay Receiving Station is a signals intelligence-gathering facility, located on the shores of Shoal Bay, 17 kilometres (11 mi) from Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory. The site is managed by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD).

History[edit]

One of the major purposes of the station has been to intercept and monitor Indonesian satellite communications and gather intelligence on the activities of the Indonesian military. The station was a major source of intelligence on the role played by the Indonesian military and associated militia groups in the violence in East Timor following the 1999 Referendum of Independence.[1] The site may also have intercepted conversations regarding the planned murder of Australian journalists in East Timor by the Indonesian military, in 1975, prior to the killings taking place.[2]

The site is suspected to be a part of the global SIGINT network ECHELON, operated under the UKUSA Agreement. It is also a major contributor to the U.S. National Security Agency's surveillance program codenamed XKeyscore.[3]

Facilities[edit]

As of 2005, the Shoal Bay Receiving Station operated 17 antennas.[4]

While the ASD manages the site, it is staffed by a combination of Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force and civilian personnel. As of 2007 it had a staff of 73 personnel, which was lower than the staffing of 85 personnel in 2005 and 120 to 150 personnel during the East Timor crisis in 1999.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 12°21′32″S 130°58′56″E / 12.3588°S 130.9822°E / -12.3588; 130.9822