The surprising thing about the National Security Agency spy scandal reports oozing out of Washington is that people are surprised. Credible reports of U.S. and British decoding and information gathering activities have been around for years.

Australians had the chance to know something about all this long ago, thanks to a scoop published prominently in the pages of the Australian Financial Review back in 1976 revealing a large Australian intelligence decoding operation against confidential Japanese diplomatic and business correspondence.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
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