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Flick Ruby @FlickRubicon
, 9 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Australians were told by Defence Minister Fairhall in 1967 that #PineGap would be a space research base, and that it would not do, “anything of military significance.”
In fact, #PineGap was established 30 kilometres outside of Alice Springs by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as a surveillance facility to collect intelligence about military capabilities and weapons systems, particularly missiles, of the Soviet Union and other nations
While its listening capacity is applied to verification & compliance with arms control treaty obligations, #PineGap also plays a role in US nuclear war planning through its capacity to locate and jam Soviet & other air defence radars to ensure US nuclear weapons hit their targets
Today, approximately 800 people work shifts around the clock at the 60-hectare #PineGap site. A 2015 study revealed that half work for US and Australian government agencies such as the US NRO, NSA, CIA, or Australian ASD and Federal Police. The other half are private contractors
Edward Snowden’s first revelations in 2013 confirmed that #PineGap played a role within controversial US National Security Agency (NSA) programs, including PRISM and the X-Keyscore program that gathers and analyses global internet data.
Professor Ball et al estimated that that the electronic surveillance capacity the Five Eyes combined sites has doubled since 2000, and that adding the Torus antenna at #PineGap has trebled its coverage of global commercial satellites.
In his 2011 book, the second ever account from a former NSA analyst David Rosenberg confirmed that #PineGap sucks up a, “wide spectrum of telemetry signals, military, diplomatic & other comms & radar emissions & beam[s] them back down to the ground control station at #PineGap.”
Rosenberg also describes the newer battlefield functions of #PineGap that support comms & targeting of military operations & troop movements in conflict zones. He also described an evolving tech ability to id the location of individuals holding mobile phones for drone strikes.
Sources of Philip Dorling explained the role of #PineGap in drone strikes, “'We track them, we combine the signals intel with imagery, and once we've passed the geolocation intell[igence] on, our job is done. When drones do their job we don't need to track that target any more.''
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