A Canadian naval officer arrested this year for allegedly leaking secrets may also have compromised top-level Australian, British and US intelligence, a report said yesterday.
Jeffrey Delisle, a naval intelligence officer, was charged in Canada in January with communicating over the past five years “with a foreign entity, information that the government of Canada is taking measures to safeguard.”
Canadian reports said Ottawa expelled four Russian diplomats in the aftermath of Delisle’s arrest, although Moscow denied this.
Yesterday, the Sydney Morning Herald, citing Australian security sources, said Delisle also allegedly sold to Moscow signals intelligence — information gathered by the interception of radio and radar signals — collected by the US, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.
It said much of the information was more highly classified than the disclosures attributed to US Private Bradley Manning, who is accused of releasing a vast cache of classified files to whistleblowing Web site WikiLeaks.
The newspaper said that Delisle was the subject of high-level consultations between the Australian and Canadian governments and was discussed at a secret international conference in New Zealand earlier this year.
An Australian security source quoted by the newspaper said Delisle’s access was “apparently very wide” and that “Australian reporting was inevitably compromised.”
“The signals intelligence community is very close, we share our intelligence overwhelmingly with the US, UK and Canada,” a former Australian Defence Signals Directorate officer said.
An Australian Department of Defence spokeswoman said the government did not comment on intelligence matters.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key refused to confirm whether the intelligence conference took place and said he could not discuss matters of national security.