cyber daily logo

Breaking news and updates daily. Subscribe to our Newsletter

Breaking news and updates daily. Subscribe to our Newsletter X facebook linkedin Instagram Instagram

Andrew Giles backs down from drone surveillance claim

The Minister for Immigration has admitted he was misinformed by his own department when he claimed drones were being used to track released immigration detainees.

user icon David Hollingworth
Mon, 03 Jun 2024
Andrew Giles backs down from drone surveillance claim
expand image

After stating that drones were just one of the methods being used to track a contentious cohort of immigration detainees after their release, Immigration Minister Andrew Giles has said the claim was incorrect.

Giles clarified the matter after coming under scrutiny over the admission.

“Last week, in an interview on Sky News, I stated that Operation AEGIS was using drones,” Minister Giles said in a statement released before question time on 3 June.


“I relied on information provided by my department at the time, which has since been clarified.

“As part of the work monitoring and supporting community safety, Operation AEGIS draws on information from a range of sources using different technologies, including aerial open-source and other imagery through their work with state and territory law enforcement bodies.”

Giles said the cohort were under “strict visa conditions” after their release following a High Court decision.

“This can include electronic monitoring, curfews, financial reporting, spot checks, random home visits, as well as the other mandatory conditions, which means the location of every individual is known.”

Giles faced further questions from the opposition during question time, where he again said the admission was based on advice from his department.

Speaking to the ABC’s Afternoon Briefing, shadow immigration minister Dan Tehan said Giles’ statement was not enough.

“He needs to come out, and he needs to clear the record once and for all,” Minister Tehan said.

“There are just more and more questions that he needs to answer.”

On Friday (31 May), the Australian Federal Police also confirmed that drones were not being used as a part of Operation AEGIS and that they had not been present at any such discussions.

After Minister Giles made his initial statements regarding drone use last week, LNP Senator James Paterson called on the minister to come clean on what Paterson called at the time a “startling” admission.

“It looks like Minister Giles accidentally spilled the beans on a secret drone surveillance program run by Border Force within Australia,” Senator Paterson told Cyber Daily last week.

“He should urgently clarify what he meant when he said former detainees were being monitored by drones in our community.”

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

cyber daily subscribe
Be the first to hear the latest developments in the cyber industry.