Plan to cyber snoop on Australians: report

The Department of Home Affairs and Department of Defence are proposing new powers that would allow Australia's digital spy agency to spy on citizens at home.

The Australian Signals Directorate at present can only gather intelligence on foreigners. Only domestic spy agency ASIO and the Australian Federal Police are allowed to access information at home and then only after obtaining a warrant signed off by the Attorney-General.

The new powers, outlined in letters between the heads off Home Affairs and Defence and seen by the Sunday Telegraph, would allow the ASD's cyber sleuths to monitor Australian citizens and businesses on home soil.

All the department would need would be the approval of the ministers of Defence and Home Affairs, removing any judicial oversight.