December 2020

Back to the Resource Hub / Back to Links

The links below are organised by the month in which they are published


Our triannual newsletter is in development, so please ensure any submissions are sent to by COB Friday 11 December for inclusion. 


Intelligence 2020 On-Demand Registration

Intelligence 2020 was held as AIPIO’s first fully virtual conference from 24 - 25 November 2020.

The sessions were recorded and are available to watch on-demand using the online conference platform, for those who have registered to receive access.

The 2020 conference program includes plenty of highlights including a robust debate on “Technology will replace the intelligence professional in the workplace” as well as presentations by an assembly of well recognised speakers provoking thought leadership and learning and professional development. There is an abundance of interesting content available to view at your leisure on the conference platform, including Exhibition material and all of the action from the live chat and Q&A discussion.

To find out more regarding the Conference Program or to register to gain access to the on-demand recordings visit

Intelligence International 2021

Collaboration in a Complex and Uncertain World

Melbourne, Australia

25 – 28 October 2021

The Australian Institute of Professional Intelligence Officers (AIPIO) is aligning with like-minded partners, particularly throughout the 5eyes community, to bring together the first International Intelligence Conference of its type. 

From the Cold War, to terrorism to cyber threats to global pandemic – what does the intelligence community now have to do to demonstrate value and results from their efforts?  In this complex and uncertain world one thing that is certain is the need for collaboration between every level of intelligence practitioner and every organisation large or small. Intelligence International 2021 will explore three main sub themes including Ethics, Partnerships and Capability and how these areas can assist to enhance collaboration and cooperation  between Intelligence professionals.

For more information visit our website or follow us @aipio #intelinternational2021

Annual General Meeting - AIPIO members only

19 August 2021

14:00 - 16:00

Venue: Online

Contact: Elaine Ogden -

► To register go to

IAFS 2023 | 20 - 24 Nov 2023

‘Forensic Science 2020 - Where to from here?’ 23rd Triennial Meeting of the International Association of Forensic Sciences (IAFS 2023)

Topic: Forensic Science 2020 - Where to from here?

Start Date: 20 November 2023

End Date: 24 November 2023

Venue: International Convention Centre, Sydney




Intelligence Leadership and Governance: Building Effective Intelligence Communities in the 21st Century – By Patrick F. Walsh

This book explores the challenges leaders in intelligence communities face in an increasingly complex security environment and how to develop future leaders to deal with these issues.

As the security and policy-making environment becomes increasingly complicated for decision-makers, the focus on intelligence agencies ‘to deliver’ more value will increase. 

This book is the first extensive exploration of contemporary leadership in the context of intelligence agencies, principally in the ‘Five Eyes’ nations (i.e. Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand). 

It provides a grounded theoretical approach to building practitioner and researcher understanding of what individual and organisational factors result in better leadership. 

Using interviews from former senior intelligence leaders and a survey of 208 current and former intelligence leaders, the work explores the key challenges that leaders will likely face in the twenty-first century and how to address these. 

It also explores what principles are most likely to be important in developing future leaders of intelligence agencies in the future.

 Read more


China suggests COVID-19 arrived in Wuhan via frozen meat products including ‘Australian steak’

As Chinese authorities attempt to rewrite history by claiming the coronavirus started overseas, one state media outlet has suggested it may have arrived via imported frozen food from countries including Australia.

An article in the Global Times over the weekend argued that Western countries had attempted to “shift the narrative from their own shortcomings” by accusing Wuhan of being “where the coronavirus began”.

“As the mounting sporadic outbreaks in China were found to be related to imported cold-chain products, with other parts of the world, including Europe and the American continent, reportedly discovering signs of the coronavirus earlier than Wuhan, it begs a new hypothesis – did the early outbreak in Wuhan originate from imported frozen food?” the publication wrote.

► Read more here

Biden’s New Intel Chief Means Truth to Power is Back

President-elect Joe Biden’s national security nominees all present a stark contrast with their predecessors, but none starker than his choice for director of national intelligence (DNI), Avril Haines. 

By saying publicly that she understood her job to be one requiring political neutrality and willingness to deliver unwelcome news to the president, Haines drew a bright, clear line between herself and the current director of national intelligence, former Representative John Ratcliffe, whose public handling of intelligence seems designed to support Trump’s political causes.

► Read more


America’s intelligence agencies prepare for life after Trump

Repairing their reputation with sources and allies is not their biggest challenge. 

The whole job of the intelligence community (IC),” explains Angus King, a senator from Maine whom Joe Biden considered naming Director of National Intelligence, “is to seek the truth and tell the truth…[and to] provide absolutely unvarnished information without worrying what the leader wants to hear.” 

Most presidents value such independence. Donald Trump, less so. Over the past four years, he has compared intelligence agencies to Nazis, rubbished intelligence that displeased him and replaced professionals with unqualified sycophants. 

Doug Wise, a former deputy director of the Defence Intelligence Agency (dia), calls Mr Trump “the global equivalent of an intelligence cancer”, who has damaged morale within agencies and emboldened America’s adversaries.

The Biden administration will need to undo that damage, while also responding to emerging threats with a set of institutions often deemed too tied to outdated practices.

► Read more

Police to get power to take over online accounts

Online criminals could have their accounts hacked by police as part of sweeping new powers to Australia’s national security powers.

Law enforcement will be given the power to take control of serious online criminals’ accounts after the “most significant review” into the nation’s intelligence set-up was released.

Attorney-General Christian Porter released a declassified version of the Richardson Review on Friday, saying it had found the nation’s security apparatuses was “well maintained and largely fit for purpose”.

While Mr Porter said a significant overhaul was not required, he argued there was a need for “evolutionary change” in some areas to keep pace with rapidly changing threats.

► Read more


Modern Espionage: From Wikileaks to Panama

The practice of journalism in the twenty-first century has undergone deep transformations. Few people have come to represent these changes as much as Australian Julian Assange. 

On the tenth anniversary of his arrest, we reflect on how brainchild Wikileaks has carved new paths in cyber journalism.

► Read on

The Psychology of Curiosity: A Review and Reinterpretation

Research on curiosity has undergone two waves of intense activity. The first, in the 1960s, focused mainly on curiosity's psychological underpinnings. The second, in the 1970s and 1980s, was characterized by attempts to measure curiosity and assess its dimensionality. 

This article reviews these contributions with a concentration on the 1st wave. It is argued that theoretical accounts of curiosity proposed during the first period fell short in two areas: They did not offer an adequate explanation for why people voluntarily seek out curiosity, and they failed to delineate situational determinants of curiosity. 

Furthermore, these accounts did not draw attention to, and thus did not explain, certain salient characteristics of curiosity: its intensity, transience, association with impulsivity, and tendency to disappoint when satisfied. A new account of curiosity is offered that attempts to address these shortcomings.

► Read more


Maritime OSINT: Port Analysis

Why is port analysis important to us as OSINT Analysts? There is an increasing need for the overall surveillance and analysis of maritime ports due to the increase in global trade, smuggling of goods/people, COVID tracing and medicine transport, terrorism, and shipbuilding/breaking. 

The intention of this writeup is not to wax poetic about maritime tools, but rather to inspire some outside the box thinking and methodologies that may assist in your investigations.

► Continue reading


Intelligence Team Leader, Thales (Canberra)

Thales people architect solutions at the heart of the defence-security continuum. Interoperable and secure information and telecommunications systems for defence, security, and civil operators, are based upon innovative use of radiocommunications, networks, and cybersecurity. We are ground breaking new digital technologies such as 4G mobile communications, cryptography, cloud computing and big data for use in physical protection systems, and critical information systems.

We design the critical security solutions of tomorrow by combining the curiosity to explore, the intelligence to question and the vision to create. Together we solve complicated problems by combining our experience in the market with our leading research and development capabilities.

► Learn more

Lecturer in National Security and Intelligence, Macquarie University (Sydney)

Excellent continuing opportunity for an outstanding academic to build a career in the dynamic field of national security and intelligence studies. 

Macquarie University is seeking an engaged and collaborative Lecturer with experience and knowledge in national security and intelligence. The successful applicant will be expected to make a major contribution to research and teaching, both at a postgraduate and undergraduate level, in national security and intelligence, while supervising Higher Degree Research students.

► Learn more

CIA puzzle: Can you tell what time it is just by looking at this photo?

The CIA has released a new test for aspiring spooks – and you have to answer one question simply by studying a photo closely.

The CIA has set wannabe spies another visual puzzle – this time with a wintry theme.

The foreign intelligence service challenged Twitter users to put their “analytical skills to the test” by working out the time of day in a ski resort street scene just by looking at the photo.

The new puzzle challenges users to search for visual clues to work out if it’s 7am, 11am or 3pm.

► Find out more

Back to the Resource Hub / Back to Links

The subjects, thoughts, opinions, and information made available in AIPIO Acumen reflect the author’s views, not those of the AIPIO.