The National Archives has more than 600 surveillance and training films created or collected by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

The films are held in 2 series:

See getting started with your research and keyword searching in RecordSearch for more information on finding records in these series.

Types of ASIO films

Surveillance films

ASIO began recording surveillance films in 1949.

These films include surveillance footage of events such as:

  • national congresses and committee meetings of the Communist Party of Australia
  • meetings of the Eureka Youth League and the New Theatre League
  • May Day and Labour Day marches
  • demonstrations such as the Hands Off Cuba demonstration in 1962
  • Australia Soviet Friendship Society congresses
  • trade union meetings
  • funerals
  • the founding conference of the Revolutionary Socialist Alliance
  • meetings of the Waterside Workers Federation
  • anti-Vietnam War demonstrations
  • visits of officials from Communist countries.

The films also include surveillance of individuals at various locations.

Training films

ASIO training films are British Government productions dating from the 1960s. They were created to educate public servants about security.

These films deal with subjects such as:

  • protective security
  • physical and document security
  • the social approach to the recruitment of spies
  • blackmail attempts.

Viewing and purchasing ASIO films

You can view ASIO films at a National Archives research centre. Fees may apply.

To purchase a digital copy of an ASIO film, use the 'request copy' button on the item in RecordSearch.