The code of a South Australian wrapper company used by a law firm to hide data and cover its tracks, appears to have been used by police to snoop on political opponents, lawyers for a South Australia man charged over the murder of his estranged wife and another in connection with the alleged plot have claimed.
The code, which was discovered by lawyers for Andrew Fagan, was used to enable police to bypass an internal security check system to obtain access to the company’s server room and access to private information on the people inside.
“The information obtained is so sensitive that it’s no longer accessible to the police or any other entity without a warrant,” said lawyer Nicky McBride.
Mr Fagan’s trial continues.
Lawyers for Andrew Dickson, who is on trial for the murder and dismemberment of his wife, have said they were “absolutely” concerned about the code being used.
In a statement to News.org.au on Wednesday, the South Australian Government said it was working with the Federal Government and the Attorney-General’s Department to ensure there were no further vulnerabilities in the code.
Key points: The Code was used by Mr Fagan to enable him to bypass internal security checks to obtain information on people inside the company, according to a lawyer representing Mr Faggons wife, Nicky Fagan “It’s very disappointing that the Australian Government would not be more proactive and have acted to prevent the use of this type of code by other law enforcement agencies,” she said.
She added that the code had been downloaded by other police agencies and was being used in conjunction with “multiple” other investigations.
“There is no doubt that the police and prosecutors have the ability to access the code and the evidence, and it’s only a matter of time before the code is exposed to the public,” she added.
The code was found in a folder in the company Mr Fagons wife used to run, which contained a list of staff, and was accessed by officers who searched his home.
“I think we are all a bit concerned about that code,” Mr McBride said.
The attorney-general’s department confirmed it had “a range of capabilities and capabilities” for sharing information with other agencies.
It said it “did not make use of the code” in the murder trial.
Mr Faggon’s lawyers have claimed that Mr Fancons wife and two other people were killed in a “criminal conspiracy” to sabotage their political careers, including by Mr Gaggan, who was charged with murder and attempted murder in relation to the murder.
Mr Gaghan, whose wife was killed, has been granted bail and has not entered a plea to the charges.
Police in Adelaide, the city where the murder took place, said the code was not shared with the public.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Fagan said the police were not aware of any other police forces accessing the code, and the code remained confidential.
“The code we use is used to keep our files secure, and to provide a level of privacy to our clients,” he said.
“Any other code in the system would not have been made public.”‘
Not acceptable’Mr McBride told News.au the code’s disclosure was “an unacceptable development” and the law firm should “be ashamed” for its conduct.
“It raises very serious questions as to the integrity of the Australian Law Enforcement Agency and the integrity and credibility of its internal systems,” she continued.
“[They] have failed to explain why the code they used was used, why they did not seek an appropriate security clearance, or why the internal code was only used in one location, and that location was in a building owned by Mr Dickson’s wife, and not in a public space.”
She added: “There are serious questions to answer about the actions of the Police Service of SA and about the integrity, and credibility, of their internal security processes.”
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