Boeing scores $66m Defence eavesdropping support deal

The Australian arm of Seattle-based aircraft and defence technologies behemoth Boeing has won a $66 million deal to provide technology to Australia's foreign eavesdropping agency, the Defence Signals Directorate.

According to a statement from Defence Minister Senator Robert Hill, Boeing's Brisbane operation will provide "long-term operation and support" services to DSD's headquarters in Canberra, Shoal Bay Receiving Station in Darwin and the Australian Defence Satellite Communications Station in Geraldton WA.

Boeing's Web site lists its activities at Geraldton as providing VLF/HF/VHF/UHF and satellite systems operations and maintenance, telecommunications systems maintenance and IT systems administration and maintenance

"All staff employed by Boeing Australia to work at the three sites will undergo the commonwealth's rigorous security clearance process and will form an essential part of the combined workforce at these sites," Senator Hill said.

The Defence statement said the new agreement "combines a number of existing contracted support functions under one contract to maximise the efficiency of using industry in support of Defence activities".

The Australian equivalent of the US National Security Agency and Britain's GCHQ, DSD collects foreign signals and communications intelligence at the request of the Australian government.

The agency is also responsible for the provision of cryptographic standards and services, in addition to setting, vetting and enforcing commonwealth IT security standards.

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