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Abbott’s top-secret presser: national security or stunt?

National security secrecy now apparently extends to partisan events on RAAF bases.

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Attorney-General’s moves fast on new telco security arrangements

The Attorney-General’s Department is pursuing a new security framework to bring telecommunications companies and ISPs under tighter government control. But it appears to be treading softly on data retention.

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How the Vic government justifies handouts to US military giants — or not

The Victorian government handed millions of taxpayer dollars to US defence giant SAIC with no justification and no reference to the company’s many scandals, write Bernard Keane and Farz Edraki.

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Don’t trust governments on national security until they accept scrutiny

Until governments cease using national security as a way of avoiding scrutiny, they should not be trusted on surveillance.

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A-G FOI investigation: how data retention was derailed

The Attorney-General’s department was keen to rush data retention into law before the 2010 election. Their haste derailed it, new documents reveal, writes Bernard Keane.

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It’s not all junk mail — election leaflets archived for posterity

A website dedicated to transparent government is uploading election leaflets stuffed into letterboxes across the country. There are some amusing ones, writes freelance journalist El Gibbs.

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What are they hiding? The widespread denial of FOI requests

As freedom of information requests have multiplied, the government’s denials of those requests have increased exponentially. Journalist and Detention Logs producer Lawrence Bull reports.

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Data retention net tightens on Attorney-General’s Department

The Attorney-General’s Department has admitted it did more on data retention than it claimed to a parliamentary committee.

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ABC FOI bid could reveal David and Margaret’s tax: union

The union representing ABC employees has backed the public broadcaster’s bid to block an FOI request that would reveal the salaries of ABC staff, saying it would set a dangerous precedent.

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‘Hacking democracy’: a tool to streamline our Right To Know

A new website from OpenAustralia makes it easier to submit freedom of information requests — and the process becomes more transparent.

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Are the govt’s Assange redactions
unjustified?

New FOI documents on Julian Assange reveal little — except the breadth with which bureaucrats interpret FOI exemptions.

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Ex-Victorian premier: FOI ‘has been allowed to wilt’

Former Victorian premier John Cain has condemned “political apparatchiks” for “trashing” freedom of information laws, one of the major reforms of his term in office.

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Government ducks and weaves on Assange

After extraordinary delays in responding to FOI requests about Julian Assange, the government has served up a whole lot of nothing.

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Uni of Canberra ‘restructure’ … and how students were warned off the story

In an attempt to avoid the “legal burden” of FOI, the University of Canberra has pressured four students into withdrawing applications on planned cuts. But Lauren Ingram didn’t back down.

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Exposed! The secret Crikey ABC emails the Herald Sun wants you to see

A Herald Sun journalist has lodged a Freedom of Information request with the ABC for all emails and other correspondence between me, other Crikey staff and Mark Scott and the ABC’s public relations people.

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FOI: to know what’s right to know

Crikey readers have their say.

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Friday arvo document dumps subvert FOI reform: editors

Friday afternoon has become the time du jour for government departments to publish potentially damaging FOI documents.

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Crikey Blogs | JOURNALISM|

Hartigan gives the government an FOI report card: so where’s his?

News Ltd CEO John Hartigan has given the Rudd government a glowing report card on its press freedom efforts so far. But what grade would we give News Limited itself? asks Margaret Simons.

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The secret life of secret-holders WikiLeaks

Whistleblower website WikiLeaks has exploded onto the world’s media stage after releasing classified US military videos online last week. So just what — or who — is WikiLeaks? Where is it getting this stuff? And how does it get away with it?

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Is the Right to Know Coalition ready for the last rites?

Is the Right To Know Coalition, launched with such a fanfare by our major media companies just three years ago, now running dead?

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Salon | ONLINE|

The Pentagon’s war on WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks has long been pissing off governments by obtaining and publishing their secret and sensitive documents online. And as this secret Pentagon report [PDF] reveals, it hasn’t gone un-noticed.

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Wired | ONLINE|

Apple’s secret iPhone Developer Agreement

The previously secret agreement all Apple app developers are required to sign has been made public through a very clever legal loophole (the NASA app meant it was FOI-able). Read it in all its super-strict glory.

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Tasmanian Times | TAS|

Who gets to meet David Bartlett?

After a long FOI battle, Tasmanian Times has its hands on Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett’s appointments diary. Read all the hot dates from little black book.

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FOI reform may undermine open government

Expect some drama as the Freedom of Information reform Bill is debated in federal parliament, since an amendment that would fatally undermine the move to more open government has been slipped in.

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Read the FBI’s Michael Jackson files

The FBI has released 300-odd pages of its files on Michael Jackson. Read them all — or just get the highlights here.

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