Feb. 25 – The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) Director-general, Mike Burgess, revealed in the last “annual threat assessment” that <<there are more foreign officers and their proxis operating in Australia now than at the height of the cold war and many of them have the requisite level of capability, the intent, and the persistence to cause significant harm to our national security>>.
ASIO uncovered several spying attempts in 2019. Even though Burgess didn’t directly mention any particular countries, China, especially with its cyberattacks, is currently known to be the primary worry for Sydney’s government and intelligence community.
The Director-general said that foreign agencies sent sleeper agents that introduced themselves deeply in Australian society, while secretly maintaining contact with their contacts abroad; they collected information and provided on-the-ground logistical support for other agents traveling to Australia. Some foreign agents did not limit themselves to clandestine intelligence collection or setting up of sophisticated hacking infrastructures but directly threatened and intimidated Australian in their own country to put into action their foreign interference plots.