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Follow Crikey’s latest coverage of ASIO. Crikey’s ASIO coverage includes independent news, blogs and commentary.


Why whistleblowing spies have to go to the media

The whistleblower in the East Timor spying case tried to use internal mechanisms to raise concerns, and was ignored. They’re now under fire for going public. Well, what were they supposed to do?

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The war on whistleblowers — it’s come to Australia

The tactics of the Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers and journalists have now been openly deployed in Australia. The Coalition government is on the attack.

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Brandis’ staffing coup points to ‘national security focus’

George Brandis has secured the services of former ambassador and ASIO chief, Paul Sullivan, raising interesting questions about the new Attorney-General’s approach to national security.

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Crikey Clarifier: Australia’s counter-terrorism legal landscape

With the UK examining its counter-terrorism laws, freelance jouranlist Farz Edraki asks: are Australia’s counter-terrorism laws too restrictive and in need of reform?

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A ‘monolithic monster’: what the new HQ says about ASIO’s power

Among the dinner table criticism over ASIO’s new building, journalist and author Frank Moorhouse finds fault in the agency itself — and its ever-widening purview. His essay is from GriffithREVIEW.

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National security inquiry declines to endorse data retention

A key review of proposal to strengthen national security laws has opted against recommending mandatory data retention, and suggested a strictly limited scheme if governments do consider one.

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The greatest threat to our rights is the Attorney-General’s Department

The record of the Attorney-General’s Department shows that, on national security, the department is the greatest threat to Australians’ rights.

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Red faces all round in Canberra

Crikey readers talk cybersecurity, Eddie McGuire, Pauline Hanson and the hell with Labor and the Libs.

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Revealed: Australian spies seek power to break into Tor

The Attorney-General’s Department has admitted data retention will be “trivially easy” to avoid and that intelligence services want to be able to break into encrypted internet systems like Tor.

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Is cybersecurity a shadow war?

Crikey readers vent their spleens about the issues of the day.

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ASIO’s mislaid plans hardly a Chinese cybersecurity attack

Four Corners fingered the Chinese for sleuthing on Canberra’s new security headquarters. But the truth is probably much less strange than the fiction of some alarmists.

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The new ACSC: a ‘reasonable illustration’ of a cybersecurity hub?

The government’s much-vaunted new “Cyber Security Centre” will have no legislation, no central leadership and no money. But it will have “unclassified areas”.

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Danby and Sheridan hammer home an own-goal for data retention

A national security committee member’s poor judgment has inflicted serious damage on the push for data retention by Australia’s security agencies.

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Zygier scandal: the journo in a deadly game of spy v spy

Not much is known about how Australian Ben Zygier ended up dead in a cell in Israel. But some of what we do know comes from a Fairfax journo unwittingly entangled in the spy scandal, writes Tom Hyland.

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‘Banality of evil’: new documents lift the veil on data retention

New documents shed light on the enthusiasm of the Attorney-General’s Department to move forward with (and think large on) data retention, and the resistance it encountered from industry.

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Farewell to McClelland, a ministerial cipher for the security state

Robert McClelland’s time as attorney-general were lost years representing how Labor has been co-opted by the security establishment. Farewell.

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Tips and rumours

Price rise for SMH paper editions. Circulation is falling, the paper will halve in (physical) size next month, but readers of The Sydney Morning Herald will have to pay more for their daily edition. While Fairfax isn’t talking, we hear a cover price rise is on the cards over the next fortnight. The Monday-Friday paper […]

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Roxon clarifies draconian data retention plans

The Attorney-General has responded to growing complaints about the ill-defined nature of the data retention proposals currently being considered by the Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

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Hypothetical: news from a national security future

We already know what could happen if proposals to dramatically extend surveillance and intelligence-gathering powers are allowed to proceed.

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Menzies, martinis and minimal accountability: ASIS boss speaks

The first speech by a head of ASIS, delivered yesterday by Nick Warner, is welcome, but told us little.

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Why has the Right gone missing on the surveillance state?

When Labor finally unveils a genuine threat to civil rights, its usual critics have fallen silent. Why?

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Government unveils huge wishlist of new surveillance powers

A major parliamentary inquiry will examine government proposals to significantly extend surveillance powers — including to Twitter and other social media.

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War on privacy: committee sends Roxon back to drawing board

Nicola Roxon’s efforts to establish a process for expanding national security powers has suffered a hiccup, with the powerful Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security asking her to redraft it.

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Bits and bobs tucked away in the budget

SBS is a big winner, ABX will receive $5 million to switch and upgrade regional radio services and commercial television broadcasters will get yet another government handout.

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Busy times in national security as the DHS comes to town

The government has moved to expand national security powers as we integrate further into America’s War on Terror.

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