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Articles by Bernard Keane

ASIO, while demanding data retention, isn’t using existing powers

ASIO wants a data retention regime — but there already exists a power for data retention for three months that it doesn’t bother using.

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Gough: where modern politics started

Gough Whitlam wasn’t merely a giant figure in Labor: he was a key politician in the transition to contemporary politics.

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Essential: voters happy with government’s Ebola response

Voters back the government’s unwillingness to send personnel to respond to Ebola in west Africa, but aren’t happy about the economy and the Coalition’s recent momentum has faded.

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ASIS agents fired guns while boozing, and lied to IGIS about it

The government wants Australians to entrust the Australian Secret Intelligence Service with ever-greater intelligence-gathering powers, but ASIS can’t even keep guns out of the hands of agents who have been drinking.

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How the ABC spends its money

Numerous reviews into the ABC have come up with the same conclusion: the ABC needs more money, not less, to do what it is chartered to do.

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The 30-year history of trying (and failing) to make ABC cuts

Successive governments have let the ABC adapt to its environment rather than take on the difficult task of discussing what public broadcasting should mean.

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Trade officials gather in Canberra — to undermine the national interest

Canberra is hosting the current round of talks to try to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty — despite the damage it will inflict on the national interest.

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Intelligence committee wants ‘foreign fighter’ changes — and a much bigger role

The powerful Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security wants significant changes to the government’s “foreign fighters” legislation — and a much greater future role for itself in overseeing legislation.

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Your quick guide to multinational tax dodging

Multinational tax avoidance is a truly massive problem — but defining it is the first of many challenges.

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Andrew Nikolic’s Middle Eastern vision provides something for everyone

Following Andrew Nikolic’s logic on the Middle East is quite a challenge, but it seems he never saw a Middle Eastern country he didn’t want to attack.

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Baird’s donation reforms show up a useless federal disclosure law

While states like NSW tighten up political donation laws, our federal disclosure system is, in effect, voluntary.

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Can the Liberals cope with freedom?

The Liberal Party’s vaunted commitment to freedom is a fiction: it is as paternalist as the Left and allows national security to justify the curtailment of basic rights.

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Essential: Abbott gains ground, and what do voters think about wealth?

The Coalition and Tony Abbott re gaining ground with voters on the back of national security, but so far the gains have come from the minor parties.

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Albo finally weighs into press freedom — but it’s more complicated than you think

The debate over jailing journalists who reveal ASIO’s covert operations is welcome but missing some context — and it’s not the biggest threat to media freedom on the agenda.

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The end of Tinder for Mandarins? PM&C cracks down on social media

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s already absurd social media restrictions are now even sillier and more draconian.

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How the AFP avoids pesky paper trails when it asks for your data

The AFP obtains metadata “informally” from foreign communications companies — and no one’s keeping any records.

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What’s behind the sudden furore on jailed journalists?

Why are some mainstream media journalists suddenly so unhappy about the government’s national security laws? Because they feel like they’re collateral damage in a broader war.

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Overly broad ‘foreign fighters bill’ could capture journalists, campaigners

Former independent national security legislation monitor Bret Walker SC has some serious questions about George Brandis’ “foreign fighters bill”.

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You can trust us with your fingerprints and retina scans, says Immigration

The government proposes to give itself the power to fingerprint and eye-scan every person entering and leaving Australia. And they couldn’t have picked a worse agency to store the data.

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Labor’s Methuselah spots the digital challenge and opportunity

John Faulkner has gone further than ever before in urging Labor Party reform — but his analysis of the threats and opportunities to his party is every bit as important.

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Glencore’s ugly tax rorts have real consequences

Glencore, currently pursuing Rio Tinto, is one of the world’s most unconscionable tax dodgers.

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Essential: voters harden their hearts on the budget

Voters are increasingly opposed to key budget initiatives but the government’s primary vote is staying in touch with Labor’s, today’s Essential Report shows.

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Keane: why the War on Terror gets a blank cheque but we ignore bigger threats

Australia’s governing class views terrorism as a more immediate threat than other, more important problems of which it has little experience.

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‘Burqa’ debacle shows Abbott lacks Howard’s political smarts

The government’s stumbles over the “burqa” issue reflect a lack of political intuition that enabled John Howard to deftly exploit social issues.

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My lunch with George: Keane and Brandis’ freedom ride

It’s all about freedom, George Brandis insists, as he goes about establishing ever more stringent security laws.

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Womens Agenda

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