By Ian McPhedran
The Daily Telegraph
March 27, 2009
ROGUE Defence spies have been accused of hacking into Defence Minister
Joel Fitzgibbon's personal laptop computer to steal bank details of his
Chinese-born landlady and long-time family friend Helen Liu.
Mr Fitzgibbon rents a house in Canberra from Ms Liu and her details are
not stored on his government-supplied computer. He pays his rent to Ms
Liu's account via the internet using the laptop.
It is not clear whether the spies, including some from the top-secret
Defence Signals Directorate (DSD), actually burgled his office or hacked
into the computer remotely to discover the "Chinese connection".
DSD, which reports to Defence Secretary Nick Warner, is restricted by
law to eavesdropping only on foreigners unless it is requested to assist
other agencies by intercepting the "foreign communications" of an
Australian. To enable it to do so it must have written permission from
the Defence Minister.
Some spies regard Ms Liu as a possible security risk because of her
links to the Chinese Government. Mr Fitzgibbon and his wife Dianne have
known her for more than 16 years and he phoned her in China on Wednesday
to warn of the revelations.
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