Desmond J. Ball

A - O

Ball, Desmond J. "Allied Intelligence Cooperation Involving Australia during World War II." Australian Outlook: Journal of the Australian Institute of International Affairs 32 (Dec. 1978): 299-309.

Sexton calls this a "good survey of the Allied Intelligence Bureau and cryptanalytic organizations established in Australia during World War II."

[WWII/FE/Pac/AIB & Australia]

Ball, Desmond J. - on Russian Sigint activities

1. "All the Better to Hear You With, My Dear: Moscow's Enormous Network of Listening Centers Eavesdropping on Electronic Communications." Pacific Defense Reporter, May 1987, 7-9. [Petersen]

2. "How Moscow Steals ASEAN's Secrets." Pacific Defence Reporter 15, no. 12 (Jun. 1989): 8-14.

3. Soviet Signals Intelligence (SIGINT). Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence No. 47, Strategy and Defence Studies Centre. Canberra: Australian National University, 1989.

Surveillant 1.1 notes that Ball covers the scale, organizational structure, principal platforms, and targets of Soviet SIGINT activities. For Peake, AIJ 15.1 (1991), the main problems with this book are that the "sources are mostly secondary and it relies too much on Victor Suvorov's material which has been proved questionable in the past." Nevertheless, the work "still serves as a valuable reference in following SIGINT development in Russia."

4. Soviet Signals Intelligence (SIGINT): Intercepting Satellite Communications. Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence No. 53, Strategy and Defence Studies Centre. Canberra: Australian National University, 1989.

5. "Soviet Signals Intelligence." In The International Countermeasures Handbook, ed. Bruce L. Gumble, 73-89. 12th ed. Palo Alto, CA: 1987.

6. "Soviet Signals Intelligence (Sigint): The Use of Diplomatic Establishments." In The International Countermeasures Handbook, ed. Floyd C. Painter, 24-45. 13th ed. Palo Alto, CA: 1988.

7. "Soviet Signals Intelligence: Vehicular Systems and Operations." Intelligence and National Security 4, no. 1 (Jan. 1989): 5-27.

The author notes that "the Soviet Sigint establishment is several times larger than all its Western counterparts combined, and maintains many more facilities and a greater variety of systems." Ball discusses Soviet monitoring systems "which involve covert activities in Western countries," including the use of vans equipped with radio intercept and direction finding (DF) equipment. He concludes that the Russians have the "ability to conduct clandestine and sustained vehicular-based Sigint operations on an extensive scale in the West."

8. The Use of the Soviet Embassy in Canberra for Signals Intelligence (Sigint) Collection. Working Paper No. 134, Strategy and Defence Studies Centre. Canberra: Australian National University, 1987.

9. And Robert Windrem. "Soviet Signals Intelligence (Sigint): Organization and Management." Intelligence and National Security 4, no. 4 (Oct. 1989): 621-659.

The authors give a detailed look -- with numerous wiring diagrams -- at the Soviet Sigint organizations, primarily the KGB and GRU components. They conclude that, despite a cumbersome management organization, "the Soviet Sigint structure has proved more effective than its more efficient but much leaner Western counterparts."

[Australia/Gen; Russia/Sigint]

Ball, Desmond J. Australia's Secret Space Programs. Canberra: Australian National University, 1988.

According to Cain, I&NS 6.1, Ball's brief (86 pages) monograph describes the establishment of the Australian satellite communications intercept site at Kojarena, near Geraldton, Western Australia. From the site, the Australian DSD can monitor at least 65 satellites in geosynchronous orbit. Cain notes that Australia also maintains satellite intercept facilities at Shoalhaven, near Darwin, and at Watsonia Barracks, Melbourne.


Ball, Desmond J. A Base for Debate: The US Satellite Station at Nurrungar. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1987.

Cain, I&NS 6.1, notes that the U.S. Air Force base at Nurrungar, some 500 miles northeast of Adelaide, differs from the CIA base at Pine Gap in that Nurrungar is "fundamentally ... part of the US defence system and forms an internal element of the US C3I system... Ball argues that Australia obtains no benefit from the Nurrungar base and that the disadvantages of it probably outweigh the advantages."

Ball, Desmond J. "Desperately Seeking Bin Laden: The International Dimension of the War against Terrorism." In Worlds in Collision: Terror and the Future of Global Order, eds. Ken Booth and Tim Dunne. Houndmills, UK: Palgrave, 2002.

[Liaison; Terrorism/02/Gen]

Ball, Desmond J. Intelligence in the Gulf War. Canberra: Australian National University, 1991.


Ball, Desmond. "The Moles at the Very Heart of Government." The Australian, 16 Apr. 2011. []

"In the mid-1990s, in the course of researching and writing a book on Soviet intelligence operations in Australia in the 1940s,..., I became persuaded that H.V. Evatt, the attorney-general and minister for external affairs in the Curtin and Chifley Labor governments, and John W. Burton, the secretary of the department of external affairs, were probably agents of Soviet intelligence.... Over the past decade and a half, I have become even more convinced that Evatt and Burton were witting parties to the Soviet espionage operations in Australia. My view is based on two bodies of material, which were not available to ASIO, or its director-general, Charles Spry, at the time."


Ball, Desmond J. "Over and Out: Signals Intelligence (Sigint) in Hong Kong." Intelligence and National Security 11, no. 3 (Jul. 1996): 474-496.

[Liaison; UK/Postwar/Sigint][c]

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