Response to Skynet reporting
16 March 2015
On Sunday 15 March and Monday March 16, 2015, a number of news outlets broadcast or published items regarding an unauthorised file-sharing network, known as Skynet, that existed at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) in 2009. Skynet used the University of NSW network system, without the University’s knowledge at the time. Skynet served a functional purpose to support information sharing, but it became apparent that inappropriate material was also being passed.
The unauthorised file-sharing network was referred to the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service in 2009 and subsequently to the Australian Federal Police. Their investigations revealed that the inappropriate material distributed via the unauthorised network was not illegal and the matter was passed back to ADFA. The network was closed down in 2009, the hardware seized and the operators of the network faced disciplinary action under the Defence Force Discipline Act. In February 2013, Defence implemented an official communication system, known as the ADFA Cadet Intranet (ACI). This system is used by staff and cadets to share official information, and is monitored by system administrators and ADFA staff.
Defence takes complaints and allegations of unacceptable behaviour very seriously. Defence personnel are advised that all Defence information and communication technology, including computer networks, are monitored to detect any inappropriate behaviour. Disciplinary action will be taken where breaches are identified and may result in termination of employment.
Defence has maintained its position on this matter. As additional information has come to light, it has been provided to support subsequent enquiries.