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Key mission 2 - Counter-terrorism and foreign interference - Shape

Key Mission 2: Counter-espionage and foreign interference - Shape  Counter espionage -SHAPE. Text as follows 'We provide Australian governments, law enforcement and industry with intelligence and advice to enable better decision-making in relation to security responses, policies and priorities, including warning of emerging and imminent threats. 2019-20 result ACHIEVED

Our intelligence advice continued to be instrumental in enhancing the Australian Government’s security awareness of EFI threats. This has informed security-related policy and risk mitigation, resulting in a more resilient Australia. We produced 51 assessments, containing intelligence analysis on known threats and threat actions, including in areas of specific government focus.

  • We provided advice to Australian Government stakeholders, which informed the development and consideration of new legislative and regulatory measures designed to increase transparency and combat foreign interference in Australiaʼs democratic institutions and processes, and across key economic sectors.
  • We informed the Foreign Investment Review Board’s (FIRB) considerations by providing assessments on the threats posed to Australia’s national security from a number of proposed foreign investments.

We translated insights derived from our investigations into practical security advice and worked closely with key partners—in particular, the Office of the National Counter Foreign Interference Coordinator within the Department of Home Affairs— to build resilience against EFI across key economic sectors.

  • We identified opportunities to improve processes for identifying and assessing risks to infrastructure sectors, and worked with the Department of Treasury and other agencies to develop more effective whole-of-government arrangements.
  • We also collaborated with the Australian Cyber Security Centre within ASD, on the identification of—and responses to—emerging cyber threats, drawing on our knowledge of the threats posed by those seeking to undertake EFI activities against Australia through cyber or technical capabilities. Further, we provided highly valued advice to government on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for the EFI and malicious insider threat landscape.

This included practical steps that agencies could take to mitigate risks associated with modified working arrangements.

This advice received positive feedback, particularly from the departments of Home Affairs and Defence.

Personnel security assessments

We contributed significant security advice which shaped ongoing whole-of- government personnel security policy reforms throughout 2019–20. The reform program this year focused on issues concerning the eligibility, and ongoing suitability, of clearance holders. Our advice enabled government to make intelligence-led decisions on these matters to mitigate insider threat risks.