7:30 exposes Aussie Hacking Team industry

Hacker wearing a suit and mask in front of computer

blog It’s not often we get a deep window into the inner workings of Australia’s electronic spying operation, but this week the ABC’s 7:30 program delivered just that in an expose on how the local industry is pitching solutions from the Hacking Team firm to Australian Government agencies. You can watch the full segment online. Here’s a little snippet to whet your appetite for juicy security scandal:

“An investigation by the ABC revealed Australian companies have been acting as middle-men, dealing with Hacking Team on the one hand, and agencies such as the Australian Federal Police, Defence and Indonesian intelligence on the other.

One company, Providence Australasia, operates from a suburban Perth home and has earned $70,000 this year by providing multimedia surveillance services to the Australian Defence Force.”

One can only imagine that the companies concerned are not overly thrilled with the heightened attention which this segment will have brought them … I suspect that most of the people involved will prefer to operate behind the scenes rather than having the public’s eye upon them. Ordinarily, I’d completely agree that this is legitimate, but it’s worth keeping an eye on the Hacking Team ecosystem. The company has previously been criticised for selling its software to regimes which may have been involved in human rights violations. Such behaviour certainly warrants external scrutiny.