Chinese Intelligence Agencies seem very aggressive in exploiting Australia’s national interests. Australian intelligence and security organizations have found the Chinese developing and utilizing their surveillance, cyber espionage, recruitment methods, artificial intelligence and stealing of intellectual property over the past few years.
In 2016 one of Australia’s largest security firms Securecorp was being prepared for new ownership. Staff in the Melbourne Office of Securecorp were facilitating an inspection and walkthrough of the office with a group of Chinese Government Officials over the weekend. On their own terms, the group of Chinese Officials detoured into the firms highly secure data center where remote monitoring of various landmark sites around Australia, the storing of sensitive information about clients, such as senior officials and business leaders takes place. The group suspiciously remained within the secure room for at least half an hour.
It is not unusual for Securecorp to have visitors in its control room as visitors always required approval. “Security of clients, data and information are of the utmost importance”. — Securecorp
Company insiders are concerned that data mining may have taken place during this half-hour period. Data mining uses artificial intelligence techniques, neural networks, and advanced statistical tools to reveal trends, patterns, and relationships which might otherwise have remained undetected. There are also concerns that the new Chinese owners, might exploit secure information which includes the 96 CCTV cameras in Melbourne CBD alone, security operations in Westfields shopping centers, Glencore Mines, Melbourne’s Cricket Grounds and in addition; the Defence Industry as Securecorp is a trusted partner.
Ultimately, what matters isn’t whether the new Chinese owners are exploiters or not but whether it’s prudent to let a company that is constrained and influenced by Chinese personnel who are highly loyal to their nation’s interests, operate the next generation of Australia’s critical infrastructure. What else are the Chinese spies targeting here in Australia? Whilst the question may be hard to answer, it is worth the investigation by everyday people like yourself, nevertheless.
James Preston — December 2018