An inconspicuous Melbourne apartment block is home to a monitoring service that keeps watch on environment groups at the request of the federal government.

The National Open Source Intelligence Centre, a private intelligence company, works under contract for the Australian Federal Police and Federal Attorney-General’s Department to monitor activist websites, blogs, Facebook and Twitter to provide warning and analysis of protest activity.

It aims to provide law enforcement agencies and other private clients with internet monitoring and analysis directed at groups engaged in “radical activism, criminal (terrorist) activity or unlawful behaviour.”

Services provided by NOSIC include “issue monitoring,” “tactical intelligence,” “threat analysis” and “trend analysis and forecasting focus on emerging patterns and trends in activism.”

NOSIC has been engaged on contract by the AFP and the Attorney-General’s Department since at least 2003. From 2006 to 2008, it was paid $184,800.

In addition to its ongoing work for the federal agencies and state police, NOSIC also provides services relating to specific events...
Source: http://www.theage.com.au/national/the-watc...