Sydney: Another name added to the global controversy of secret surveillance is the Australian intelligence services, which is believed to be using the same method of data collection without legal process like the Prism programme.

The US-run Prism programme has already gained a lot of fire due to its 'secret' method of data collection about citizen's phone calls, web activities including pictures, emails, and videos.

According to Sydney Morning Herald, Australian federal police is reportedly collecting users' web data from Facebook and Google servers in a similar fashion as the US programme.

AFP commissioner Michael Phelan said that there have been 46,362 internal requests for Internet and phone records as 'metadata', which include the telephone numbers called, the time of call and its duration.

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon said that the request for 'metadata' could result in a 'mega problem for the democracy'.

According to the report, the revelation about GCHQ taking help of the Prism programme to monitor British citizens has led to the suspicion of Australian authorities following the same manner.

Advocates believe that there was no reason not to assume that Australia could be doing the same because Australia was party to the 'five eyes' agreement with the US, Britain, Canada and New Zealand to share signals intelligence.

Suelette Dreyfus, research fellow in computing and information at Melbourne University, said that Australians should question the government about their transparency and demand answers, the report added.


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