Australian Security Intelligence Organisation

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO /ˈzi/) is Australia's national security agency responsible for the protection of the country and its citizens from espionage, sabotage, acts of foreign interference, politically motivated violence, attacks on the Australian defence system, and terrorism.[3][4] ASIO is compared to the to the American FBI and the British MI5.[5] ASIO is part of the Australian Intelligence Community.

Agency overview
Formed16 March 1949; 72 years ago (1949-03-16)
JurisdictionCommonwealth of Australia
HeadquartersCanberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Employees1,980 (average staffing level 2017–18)[1]:7
Annual budgetA$533.4 million (2017–18)[1]:7
Minister responsible
Agency executive
Parent agencyDepartment of Home Affairs

ASIO has a wide range of surveillance powers to collect human and signals intelligence. Generally, ASIO operations requiring police powers of arrest and detention under warrant are co-ordinated with the Australian Federal Police and/or with state and territory police forces.[5]

ASIO Central Office is in Canberra, with a local office being located in each mainland state and territory capital.[6] A new A$630 million Central Office, Ben Chifley Building, named after Ben Chifley, prime minister when ASIO was created, was officially opened by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on 23 July 2013.[7]