Services Aust shuts down questions on its use of spyware

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

Services Australia has declined to tell Parliament what data it is collecting with controversial Israeli spyware and confirmed it has never been knocked back from a warrant to deploy it, including 16 in the last year.

The agency also said it does not track how many times it has used the technologies from controversial Israeli ‘digital intelligence’ firm Cellebrite, which has a $1.2 million deal with Services Australia and many more with Defence and security agencies.

The technology can copy data from phones and potentially bypass passcodes to do so. The company has been criticised for having sold the technology to authoritarian governments and paramilitaries suspected of using it on critics, dissidents and journalists.

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