Aus to share more security data with US

The Australian Government has signed off on a series of deals to open up various security checkpoint systems to the United States as part of a cross-border anti-terrorism scheme.

The Australian Government has signed off on a series of deals to open up various security checkpoint systems to the United States as part of a cross-border anti-terrorism scheme.

Handshake

(Handshake image by Aidan Jones, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Four agreements signed by the Australian Government and the US will see the two countries share information between key IT intelligence systems to crack down on extremist, transnational threats.

The four agreements are:

  • The Joint Statement on Cooperative International Targeting and Assessment

  • The Joint Statement on Countering Transnational Crime

  • The Joint Statement on Frequent Traveller Facilitation

  • The Joint Statement on Global Supply Chain.

Australia and the US will share the data for the purpose of assessing individuals as they look to cross border checkpoints. Security alerts will be shared between the two countries, allowing respective agencies to assess and act on threats, although they will develop rule sets and security protocols together that will see individual liberties and privacy laws respected.

Australia and the US have also signed off on a provision to "increas[e] ... cooperation to counter violent extremism in the online environment". However, no further information is available on what form this online counter-terrorism push would take.

None of the deals signed by the two countries are legally binding, and they only serve as an understanding between the participants.

These agreements build another deal signed between the US and Australia during US President Barack Obama's visit last year, which saw US agencies granted access to Australia's fingerprint and DNA reference data.

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