NBN leaks: AFP raids Conroy’s office, Labor staffers’ houses


news Australian Federal Police officers have raided the Melbourne office of former Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and the houses of two Labor staffers seeking to ascertain the identity of whistleblowers who have leaked a series of key documents from within the NBN company.

The extraordinary move was confirmed by Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus in a statement tonight.

“I can confirm the office of Labor Senator Stephen Conroy has this evening been searched by the AFP. I understand two Labor staff members have also been named in warrants relating to this matter,” Dreyfus said in a statement.

“I understand these searches are in relation to documents relating to NBN Co. I have no further information about these documents.”

The AFP has not as yet issued a statement in relation to the raids, however, NBN executive general manager of corporate affairs, Karina Keisler, confirmed on Twitter tonight that the AFP had taken action in response to a referral from the NBN company itself.

“We take leaks very seriously as any business would,” Keisler said. The AFP has been reported by Fairfax Media to have interviewed around 20 NBN company staff as part of its investigation.

Dreyfus said it was clear that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull — who as Communications Minister enforced a controversial change of technological direction on the NBN company — was responsible for “massive cost blowouts and serious delays”.

“He wrecked the NBN,” said Dreyfus. “There is no doubt there would be many, many documents that would be of major embarrassment to Malcolm Turnbull.”

“What we also know is that there have been many other serious leaks out of Government – including relating to national security, defence, and the Federal Budget – and none of them have resulted in Federal police raids.”

“Tonight’s events are unprecedented – we have never witnessed such an extraordinary action during a Federal election campaign.”

The Opposition and a number of media outlets have published a number of sensitive NBN documents over the past nine months.

The documents have outlined a range of problems with the Coalition’s version of the NBN, including cost blow-outs, delays to the NBN rollout schedule, concerns about the quality of legacy networks the NBN company is acquiring from Telstra and Optus, and more.

Fairfax Media reported tonight that Turnbull himself said he couldn’t comment on the raids.

“It’s entirely a matter for the AFP,” he said. “As you know they operate entirely independently of the government so this is a matter for the AFP. The Labor Party know that as well as you and I do.”

Image credit: Parliamentary Broadcasting


    • why don’t they investigate the fact that the NBN technical role-out is a total security blunder due to an incompetent oversight which has left IPv6 wide open to shadowing and in effect has ripped open the integrity of DNS routing once again… basically making it very easy to circumvent cloud software integrity at the highest levels (including google) due to a major hardware infrastructure stuff up that has left Telstra with zero hardcoded serial locking redundancy on the data stream at layer 3 – just the kinda thing you would expect when a politician is in charge of the build in stead of ASIO and the SAS which is who we should be entrusting our national information security with.

  1. Just when you thought these cretins couldn’t sink any lower. Grubs is an understatement.

  2. malcolm turnbull is a corrupt traitor and a disgrace to our nation. using the AFP as a political weapon is nothing short of disgraceful. you’re finished at the next election, malcolm. start packing up your office. you’re out of here.

    • The NBN has been the LNP’s biggest blunder. The NBN has become such a huge issue that any leaks are bad for Malcolm’s campaign so it makes sense for the LNP to act on this rather than any of the other leaks. LNP obviously doesn’t want the public to know the truth but the public has every right to know, especially when $29.5 billion of it is OUR money. A dirty move but politicians never play clean anyway.

  3. “As you know they operate entirely independently of the government so this is a matter for the AFP”

    Anybody who believed the AFP operate independently yesterday should be seriously reconsidering it today.

    • I simply refer to the AFP as the ‘Militant arm of the Liberal Party’.

      They keep acting politically, especially in elections and the run up to them.

      A Federal ICAC will have a field day with them.

  4. This corrupt government must go!

    They are pissed that the truth about their destruction of the NBN is getting out!

  5. The fact that a referral was made to the AFP shows that Morrow is an idiot (or worse). Surely, he is not surprised at what has unfolded. The fact that the AFP bothered to investigate a leak from a “business” is weird in itself. They should have told Morrow to investigate it himself. Heads must roll.
    This must be doing wonders for morale at the NBN!

    • I have little doubt that NBN was directed to refer the matter to the AFP. That means the LNP can publicly deny doing so.

      Unless there’s another document leak showing otherwise. :)

    • “This must be doing wonders for morale at the NBN!”
      Morrows ‘leadership’ is why the leaks occurred in the first place.

  6. I think what this shows, is that NBNCo is basically saying ‘hey, those leaked documents were accurate and the ones yet to be revealed are also accurate’.

    By NBNCo doing this they have basically shot themselves in the feet (they probably need more than just crutches to keep themselves standing up straight now) :)

  7. I think this is a good thing. No longer can the NBN and govt hide behind “draft” documents or “inaccurate reports”, it shows these documents are real and that the issues contained are accurately reported: the Coalition MTM NBN is anything but faster, sooner and cheaper. The NBN and govt can’t deny this now.

    And this is dropping week 2 of a long 8 week election. What were the NBN (Nutt) thinking. No excuses for anyone (I’m looking at you news limited) not to report these failings as fact. Beautiful!

  8. Sorry, additional thought.

    I thought it interesting that the Coalition attacked Labor so hard this week on the NBN in lieu of labor actually releasing their policy. I couldn’t justify the political strategy. Why attack a labor policy that isn’t announced I wonder if the timing is not coincidental and the Coalition have known about the timing of the investigation all along.

  9. Oh hey guys! Remember when the Coalition brought through that legislation to make “leaking of information detrimental to government security” was illegal? And that Labor was ok with that! And they pushed it through legislation w/o any debates? Or we all thought hey it was just an excuse to shut up Humans Rights Lawyers?

    And they all solemnly promised it would never NEVER EVER EVER EEEEEEVVEEERRR GET ABUSED?

    Yeah… I believed them too! (sarcasm)

    Let me guess this stuff is “illegal” coz of “commercial in confidence right”? Because that obviously is the catch all excuse for everything.

    I have never seen any blatant abuse of law like this outside of the usual corrupt shenanigans I expect from 3rd world countries w/ corrupt governments.

  10. I don’t think the leaks will stop… if some terrorists succeed be glad the AFP was chasing office workers instead.

  11. Once again the promised “complete transparency” is not only out the window, but if someone, heaven forbid, let’s the (harsh/unpleasant) truth out… one must pay.

    This is something that not so long ago us as Aussies would have thought, “only n America”…

    • Once again the promised “complete transparency” is not only out the window, but if someone, heaven forbid, let’s the (harsh/unpleasant) truth out… one must pay.

      Indeed Rizz. Timing also very convenient. GimpCo in disarray doing what GimpCo do best (because lets face it they’re certainly not rolling out proper communications infrastructure) lashing out at those exposing their clusterfuck.

      • Yes HC…

        It’s interesting also, that the “faithful/usual suspects’ here, keep telling us that it doesn’t matter whether its FTTN or FTTP because BB is of no consequence to voters…

        Yet Murdoch, the government and now the AFP all are proving them absolutely wrong… because they are obviously concerned that the complete MTM debacle (in fact the worst construction plan in our history) will cost votes… hence their fervent action on all fronts…

        One way even refer to it as rearguard action.

        • It’s good to get confirmation that the leaked documents are actually factual and important!

          Heck, the AFP didn’t even do any raids when there were leaks from the Cabinet’s National Security Committee (an actual national security issue and cabinet documents).

        • It’s interesting also, that the “faithful/usual suspects’ here, keep telling us that it doesn’t matter whether its FTTN or FTTP because BB is of no consequence to voters…

          Actually, this also shows the nbn™ claim that the board minutes are not of national interest is total rubbish…if general interoffice reports are so important they warrant AFP raids, the minutes must be very interesting indeed.

    • “This is something that not so long ago us as Aussies would have thought, “only n America”…”
      *wipes tear*

      When I suggested I was contemplating leaving the country some people actually expected the US would be my first choice. Heh.

  12. Whoever is behind the AFP investigation had to know this would cause a hell of a shit-storm, they must have some -very- compelling reasons for preventing future leaks to take this route.

  13. I don’t know why you’re all whinging. I sleep much better at night knowing the AFP is working hard on protecting us from these kinds of leaks that could seriously compromise National Security. If these leaks are allowed to continue then the Australian public might have a better chance of knowing the truth, and the more people that know the truth, the more they’ll become radicalised against the status-quo and could incite some kind of science-fact-outcome-based government revolution.

    I can’t even imagine!

  14. It’s much easier in hindsight, but Malcolm Turnbull, wanting power, would compromise his so called ideals in the name of PM. Renai, you tried to rigorously defend the former Minister for Communications. You must be personally very disappointed in how he truly is.

    PS – I knew Andrew Colvin (AFP Commissioner), a Rockhampton man who is a Rockhampton Grammar School old boy. You would never have known when he was a boy growing up that he would get to THAT JOB.

    He did look, how you say, under the pump, in that press conference. I would be too.

  15. Can’t help but notice all the coalition pollies are repeating the “Entirely independent organisation” line.

    Almost like they received a brief before it happened.

    • One of the big downsides to “talking points”….keeps them all on script, but they sound like a pack of robotic drones and also makes prior briefings obvious.

    • I noted from the Guardian Australia’s coverage that apparently selected nbn staff went out with the AFP on executing said search warrants. Instead of trenching, updating spreadsheets, approving FOI requests …?
      With FEFO out, perhaps some data will be included that didn’t make it into the recent budget, or identified risks?
      How much did Ruddstra spent to get to 2M premises passed, or half that activated over three electoral terms?

      It’ll be interesting to see if nbn has learned from public safety and security agencies how to number copies, subtlely alter individual copies a la Tom Clancy, apply consistent info security classification, given how often CiC or FOI seem to come up.

      What is the downunder equivalent of being sent to Siberia to count trees, grains of sand (?), if a journo would not reveal a source …
      You packed Lemai?

      • Oops, FEFO/ PEFO.
        “… an NBN staffer had been signed in as a “special constable” and had assisted in the execution of the search warrants.”

  16. The big scandal here is going to be the way that the government pressured (or colluded in) the NBN using the Federal Police to shut down political embarrassment. That is shocking.

  17. During an election campaign. Corrupt arseholes. There needs to be a Royal Inquisition – this mob need to be tried for treason; corporate sabotage is illegal when you’re not in charge of the country.


    AFP raid Conroy’s office and find a (superior in all aspects to the current, complete and utter clusterfuck MTM) … FTTP plan, written on the back of a napkin…


        • The thing I find hilarious is that Karina Keisler sees herself as a poster child for women in business and smashing the glass ceiling.

          If my daughter were to look for role models I could think of a football stadium full of women that would be on the list before Keisler.

          Her constant attacks on people who dare to challenge the NBN or her statements on behalf of the NBN does nothing to advance women in business.

          Her inability to tackle a subject and make an argument based on facts reduces her to the also ran list of people in Australian management ranks.

          We absolutely need more Women in Australian business, so long as they are nothing like Karina Keisler.

          Perhaps there is a book in all her stuff ups, “Great PR missteps in the Internet Age”

  19. This is just the Ministry of Peace operating under the direction of the Ministry of Truth.

  20. AFP should be going after the LNP and current NBNCo management for misleading the public and for their lack of transparency. Turnbull, Fifield, Morrow along with any other politicians involved should be behind bars.

    Whistleblowers are a reminder that the public has a right to freedom of information. They are just serving the public. We don’t want to hear the “commercial in confidence” BS to avoid answering important questions.

  21. Oh well hopefully a change of government will mean these nbn Co management types get the boot real quick and if the NBN does blow out, at least do it properly. The AFP better hope the libs get back in or there will be changes there too. Pollies aren’t above retribution.

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