About DSD

The Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) is an intelligence agency in the Australian Government Department of Defence, with its headquarters in Canberra.

Our mission, ‘Reveal their secrets, protect our own’, accurately summarises our role. DSD:

  • collects and analyses foreign signals intelligence, known as Sigint
  • provides advice and assistance on information and communications security, known as InfoSec.

The overview of our signals intelligence role briefly describes our signals intelligence work for the Australian Defence Force and Australian Government and why it is secret.

DSD provides information security advice and services mainly to Australian federal and state government agencies. DSD also works closely with industry to develop and deploy secure cryptographic products.

The history of DSD begins in the Second World War, when Australian Navy, Army and Air Force personnel were brought together to support General MacArthur’s South-West Pacific campaign by intercepting and decoding Japanese radio signals.