Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO //) 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. ASIO is compared to the to the American FBI and the British MI5. ASIO is part of the Australian Intelligence Community.
|Formed||16 March 1949|
|Jurisdiction||Commonwealth of Australia|
|Headquarters||Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia|
|Employees||1,980 (average staffing level 2017–18): 7|
|Annual budget||A$533.4 million (2017–18): 7|
|Parent agency||Department 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.
ASIO Central Office is in Canberra, with a local office being located in each mainland state and territory capital. 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.