ASIS vs ASIO
ASIS and ASIO are part of Australian Intelligence Community. Australia has a well developed structure of intelligence collection and analysis. The Australian Intelligence Community (AIC) is made up of six intelligence agencies which have different functions and responsibilities. These are Office of National Assessments (ONA), Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), Defense Signals Directorate (DSD), Defense Intelligence Organization (DIO), Defense Imagery and Geospatial Organization (DIGO), and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS). Out of these, three are intelligence collection agencies ASIS, DSD, and DIGO, while two are assessment agencies (ONA and DIO). The sixth, ASIO is involved with both collection and assessment of intelligence, and it is also involved in policy formulation and advice. In this article, we will differentiate between ASIS and ASIO.
ASIO is the national security service of Australia. The main objective of ASIO is to gather and produce intelligence that enables it to warn the government about activities and situations that might put country’s security under threat.
ASIS is Australia’s national intelligence agency that collects intelligence primarily about activities of foreign countries, corporations and individuals that might have an effect on Australia’s foreign relations, economic well being and national security.
Difference between ASIO and ASIS
Both ASIO and ASIS are part of AIC, but while ASIO is primarily involved with security intelligence, ASIS has a broader perspective and looks for intelligence in other areas also as described above. Human intelligence forms a bulk of all the information collected by ASIS, whereas ASIO uses other methods also to collect, assess and finally advise the policy makers on sensitive issues.
ASIS was established by an executive order in 1952, while ASIO came into existence by an act of the parliament in 1979 and is responsible to the parliament through Attorney General. The central office of ASIO is in Canberra, while ASIS, which is a part of the department of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, also has its headquarters in Canberra.
ASIS can be said to be the Australian equivalent of CIA, CSIS, MOSSAD, RAW, ISI and similar intelligence agencies of different countries of the world.
• Both ASIS and ASIO are part of Australian Intelligence Community (AIC).
• ASIS is the Australia’s national intelligence agency; ASIO is the national security service of Australia.
• Both ASIS and ASIO have different roles and responsibilities.
• While ASIO gather and produce intelligence about the security threats to Australia, ASIS collects intelligence that might have an effect on Australia’s foreign relations and economy.