Fed govt shrouds network in secrecy

To protect Australia from electronic warfare the federal government has secretly developed its own communications network which is codenamed ICON - the Intra Government Communications Network.

The $2 million network, which bypasses Telstra, links government departments in Canberra through secure underground cables and boasts the most sophisticated electronic defences developed in Australia.

It was developed to protect government information from electronic warfare that could potentially cripple the nation's systems.

The network has been a closely guarded secret because the Department of Defence, Australian Security Intelligience Organisation and the Defence Signals Directorate are also linked.

The prinicipal coordinator of the network is the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Office for Government Online has an operational role.

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