Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation

The Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO) is an Australian government intelligence agency that is part of the Department of Defence responsible for the collection, analysis, and distribution of geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) in support of Australia's defence and national interests. The AGO is one of six agencies that form the Australian Intelligence Community.

Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation
Agency overview
Formed28 November 1982
(as Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation)
Dissolved
  • Australian Imagery Organisation;
  • Directorate of Strategic Military Geographic Information;
  • Defence Topographic Agency
JurisdictionAustralia
HeadquartersRussell Offices, Russell, Canberra, ACT
Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • Neil Orme PSM, Director
    (As of June 2017)[1]
Parent agencyDepartment of Defence
Websitedefence.gov.au/AGO/

History

The Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation (DIGO) was created on 28 November 1982, by amalgamating the Canberra-based Australian Imagery Organisation and Directorate of Strategic Military Geographic Information, and the Bendigo-based Defence Topographic Agency (now called the Geospatial Analysis Centre). DIGO was part of the Australian Department of Defence.

DIGO was renamed Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation on 3 May 2013.[2]

Operations

During 2014, the AGO assisted in the search for the remains of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.[3][4][5]

The operations of the agency are subject to independent statutory oversight by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ "2017 Independent Intelligence Review" (PDF). Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. June 2017. p. 128. ISBN 978-1-925362-54-1. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Prime Minister and Minister for Defence – 2013 Defence White Paper: Renaming the Defence Signals Directorate and the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation" (Press release). Archived from the original on 28 August 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Plane spots objects in new search area for Malaysia jet". The Irish Times. Reuters. 28 March 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  4. ^ Wroe, David; Allard, Tom; Murdoch, Lindsay (29 March 2014). "Push to take control: Australia to lead the probe into MH370". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Defence involved in search for MH370". Annual Report: 2013-14. Department of Defence, Commonwealth of Australia. 24 October 2014. ISBN 978-0-9925662-2-7. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  6. ^ "The Australian Intelligence Community". Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. Commonwealth of Australia. February 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.

Attribution

External links

Australian Defence Force

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is the military organisation responsible for the defence of Australia. It consists of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and a number of 'tri-service' units. The ADF has a strength of just under 80,000 full-time personnel and active reservists, and is supported by the Department of Defence and several other civilian agencies.

During the first decades of the 20th century, the Australian Government established the armed services as separate organisations. Each service had an independent chain of command. In 1976, the government made a strategic change and established the ADF to place the services under a single headquarters. Over time, the degree of integration has increased and tri-service headquarters, logistics and training institutions have supplanted many single-service establishments.

The ADF is technologically sophisticated but relatively small. Although the ADF's 58,206 full-time active-duty personnel and 21,694 active reservists make it the largest military in Oceania, it is smaller than most Asian military forces. Nonetheless, the ADF is supported by a significant budget by worldwide standards and is able to deploy forces in multiple locations outside Australia.

Australian Defence Organisation

The Australian Defence Organisation (abbreviated as ADO) is an Australian Government organisation that consists of both the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the civilian Department of Defence personnel supporting the ADF.

Australian Intelligence Community

The Australian Intelligence Community (AIC) and the National Intelligence Community (NIC) or National Security Community of the Australian Government are the collectives of statutory intelligence agencies, policy departments, and other government agencies concerned with protecting and advancing the national security and national interests of the Commonwealth of Australia. The intelligence and security agencies of the Australian Government have evolved since the Second World War and the Cold War and saw transformation and expansion during the Global War on Terrorism in response to current international and domestic security issues such as terrorism, violent extremism, cybersecurity, transnational crime, counter-proliferation, support to military operations, and Pacific regional instability.The National Security Committee of Cabinet (NSC) is a Cabinet committee and the peak Australian Government decision-making body for national security, intelligence, foreign policy, and defence matters. It is chaired by the Prime Minister and is composed of the Deputy Prime Minister, Attorney-General, Treasurer, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Defence, and Minister for Home Affairs.

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO ) is Australia's national security agency responsible for the protection of the country and its citizens from espionage, sabotage, acts of foreign interference, politically motivated violence, attacks on the Australian defence system, and terrorism. ASIO is comparable to the British Security Service (MI5) and the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). ASIO is part of the Australian Intelligence Community.

ASIO has a wide range of surveillance powers to collect human and signals intelligence. Generally, ASIO operations requiring police powers of arrest and detention under warrant are co-ordinated with the Australian Federal Police and/or with state and territory police forces.ASIO Central Office is in Canberra, with a local office being located in each mainland state and territory capital. A new A$630 million Central Office, Ben Chifley Building, named after Ben Chifley, prime minister when ASIO was created, was officially opened by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on 23 July 2013.

Current senior Australian Defence Organisation personnel

The Australian Defence Organisation (ADO) is composed of the armed forces of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Australian Defence Force (ADF), and the Australian Public Service government department, the Department of Defence which is composed of a range of civilian support organisations.

The Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) leads the Australian Defence Force and the Secretary of Defence leads the Department of Defence though both jointly manage the Australian Defence Organisation under a diarchy, and both report directly to the Minister for Defence.

The highest active rank in the Australian Defence Force is reserved for the Chief of the Defence Force. This is a four-star rank and the CDF is the only Australian military officer at that level. As a result of the diarchy, the Secretary of the Department of Defence is of the equivalent civilian four-star level in the Senior Executive Service of the Australian Public Service.

Defence Intelligence Organisation

The Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) is an Australian government military intelligence agency responsible for strategic intelligence and technical intelligence assessments, advising defence and government decision-making on national security and international security issues, and the planning and conduct of Australian Defence Force operations. The DIO does not collect intelligence or conduct covert action, but works on defence economics, transnational terrorism, and WMD.

The DIO is an agency of the Australian Intelligence Community and is part of the Defence Strategic Policy and Intelligence Group with the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO) and the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD). The head of DIO is the Director of the Defence Intelligence Organisation, currently Major General Matthew Hall.

Defence Strategic Policy and Intelligence Group

The Defence Strategic Policy and Intelligence Group (SP&I) of the Australian Government Department of Defence is responsible for defence diplomacy, strategic policy, international security, and military intelligence co-ordination and advice to the Prime Minister of Australia, Minister for Defence, Secretary of the Department of Defence, and Chief of the Defence Force. The Defence Strategic Policy and Intelligence Group is led by the Deputy Secretary for Strategic Policy and Intelligence and comprises four policy divisions and three intelligence agencies, which are the Australian Defence Organisation members of the Australian Intelligence Community.

The Group has existed in various forms since the Cold War within the Department of Defence with responsibilities for defence policy, strategy, intelligence, and international policy. It has been known as the Defence Strategy and Intelligence Group, the Defence Strategy Executive, the Defence Intelligence and Security Group, the Defence Intelligence, Security and International Policy Group, and the Defence Intelligence Group. The current SP&I Group was established on 8 February 2016 as a key recommendation of the First Principles Review of the Australian Defence Organisation, integrating all policy, strategy and intelligence functions of the Australian Government Department of Defence.The Deputy Secretary for Strategic Policy and Intelligence can be seen as the Australian combined equivalent of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy of the United States Department of Defense.

Department of Defence (Australia)

The Department of Defence is a department of the Government of Australia charged with the responsibility to defend Australia and its national interests. Along with the Australian Defence Force (ADF), it forms part of the Australian Defence Organisation (ADO) and is accountable to the Commonwealth Parliament, on behalf of the Australian people, for the efficiency and effectiveness with which it carries out the Government's defence policy.

The head of the Department, who leads it on a daily basis, is the Secretary of the Department of Defence (SECDEF), currently Greg Moriarty. The Secretary reports to the Minister of Defence, currently The Hon. Christopher Pyne MP, following appointment by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in August 2018.

Five Eyes

The Five Eyes, often abbreviated as FVEY, is an anglophone intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries are parties to the multilateral UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.The origins of the FVEY can be traced back to the post–World War II period, when the Atlantic Charter was issued by the Allies to lay out their goals for a post-war world. During the course of the Cold War, the ECHELON surveillance system was initially developed by the FVEY to monitor the communications of the former Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, although it is now used to monitor billions of private communications worldwide.In the late 1990s, the existence of ECHELON was disclosed to the public, triggering a major debate in the European Parliament and, to a lesser extent, the United States Congress. As part of efforts in the ongoing War on Terror since 2001, the FVEY further expanded their surveillance capabilities, with much emphasis placed on monitoring the World Wide Web. The former NSA contractor Edward Snowden described the Five Eyes as a "supra-national intelligence organisation that does not answer to the known laws of its own countries". Documents leaked by Snowden in 2013 revealed that the FVEY have been spying on one another's citizens and sharing the collected information with each other in order to circumvent restrictive domestic regulations on surveillance of citizens.In spite of continued controversy over its methods, the Five Eyes relationship remains one of the most comprehensive known espionage alliances in history.

Since processed intelligence is gathered from multiple sources, the intelligence shared is not restricted to signals intelligence (SIGINT) and often involves defence intelligence as well as human intelligence (HUMINT) and geospatial intelligence (GEOINT). The following table provides an overview of most of the FVEY agencies involved in such forms of data sharing.

Geospatial intelligence

In the United States, geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) is intelligence about the human activity on earth derived from the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information that describes, assesses, and visually depicts physical features and geographically referenced activities on the Earth. GEOINT, as defined in US Code, consists of imagery, imagery intelligence (IMINT) and geospatial information.GEOINT knowledge and related tradecraft is no longer confined to the U.S. government, or even the world’s leading military powers. Additionally, countries such as India are holding GEOINT-specific conferences. While other countries may define geospatial intelligence somewhat differently than does the U.S., the use of GEOINT data and services is the same.

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (Australia)

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) is an independent statutory office holder in the Commonwealth of Australia responsible for reviewing the activities of the six intelligence agencies which collectively comprise the Australian Intelligence Community (AIC). With own motion powers in addition to considering complaints or requests from ministers, IGIS is a key element of the accountability regime for Australia’s intelligence and security agencies.

The current Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, since 24 August 2015, is Justice Margaret Stone, formerly a judge of the Federal Court.There are currently six intelligence and security agencies which form the AIC, namely:

Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO)

Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS)

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)

Australian Signals Directorate (ASD)

Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO)

Office of National Assessments (ONA)

List of intelligence agencies

This is a list of intelligence agencies. It includes only currently operational institutions.

National Intelligence Coordination Committee

The National Intelligence Coordination Committee (NICC) is a peak intergovernmental officials-level body of the Government of Australia responsible for the development and co-ordination of the Australian Intelligence Community in accordance with the National Security Committee of Cabinet. The NICC is chaired by the Director-General of the Office of National Intelligence.The United Kingdom Joint Intelligence Committee and the United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence have similar but not analogous functions as the NICC.

National Security Committee (Australia)

The National Security Committee of Cabinet (NSC) is the peak decision-making body for national security of the Commonwealth of Australia. It is a committee of the Australian Government Cabinet of Ministers though decisions of the NSC do not require the endorsement of the Cabinet.The NSC has similar but not analogous functions as the United States National Security Council and the United Kingdom National Security Council.

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) is a joint committee of the Parliament of Australia which oversees Australia's primary agencies of the Australian Intelligence Community: Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO), the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (DIGO), and the Office of National Assessments (ONA).

The Committee, then called the Parliamentary Joint Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD, was established pursuant to the Intelligence Services Act 2001 and was first appointed in March 2002.

Russell Offices

The Russell Offices is a complex of office buildings located in the Canberra suburb of Russell. Parking in the precinct is controlled by the National Capital Authority.

Together with Campbell Park, these two complexes are home to the Australian Department of Defence and contain the administrative headquarters of the Australian Defence Force. The buildings in the complex are informally referred to as R1, R2 and so forth. R1-R4 are clustered together in the centre of the complex, R5-R7 are clustered at the north, while R8 and R9 are together at the south.

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) was located at Russell until their move into the Ben Chifley Building in July 2013.

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) occupies Building 5 (R5) and Building 6 (R6) and their annex. Upgrade works costing an estimated $75M were put to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works in March 2017. The project is in the Department of Defence budget.

The Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO) is located in Building 4 (R4).

Senior Australian Defence Organisation Positions

The Australian Defence Organisation (ADO) is composed of the armed forces of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Australian Defence Force (ADF), and the Australian Public Service government department, the Department of Defence which is composed of a range of civilian support organisations.

The Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) leads the Australian Defence Force and the Secretary of Defence leads the Department of Defence though both jointly manage the Australian Defence Organisation under a diarchy, and both report directly to the Minister for Defence.

The highest active rank in the Australian Defence Force is reserved for the Chief of the Defence Force. This is a four-star rank and the CDF is the only Australian military officer at that level. As a result of the diarchy, the Secretary of the Department of Defence is of the equivalent civilian four-starlevel in the Senior Executive Service of the Australian Public Service.

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