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


The 2014 Crikeys: Arsehat of the Year

Will it be real-life Bond villain Vladimir Putin? Human yeast infection Redfoo? Or closer to home, our very own Jacqui “Ban the Burqa, Straya!” Lambie? Vote for the worst person of the year — Crikey’s Arsehat 2014!

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Alan Rusbridger on journalism in the ‘Golden Age of Surveillance’

It’s hard to be at the forefront of the encryption arms race when you’re still carrying a tracking signal in your pocket, writes Margot Saville.

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Keane: will Brandis and Turnbull go after encryption next?

The growing use of encryption and anonymisation tools by companies and consumers is infuriating security agencies and the copyright industry. When will they move against them?

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Dear George, this is how you can fix your mass surveillance program

The risks in the government’s data retention bill could be substantially reduced if the government and security agencies were willing to accept some limitations.

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‘Why sacrifice yourself?’ Whistleblowers consider Brandis’ new laws

The government has introduced harsh new penalties for people who reveal covert operations. Crikey intern Tom Heath asks some of Australia’s high-profile whistleblowers: would you do it all over again today?

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The five data retention lies you were told

The government’s unveiling of its data retention scheme was unaccompanied by blatant falsehoods by people who have no excuse not to know better.

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Data retention bill reveals a rushed, shambolic national security process

The rushed, confused way in which major national security laws are made in Australia was on display this morning in Canberra.

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Why George Brandis wants to throw me in jail

I travelled to Iraq to see the effects of the war being waged in my name. But under the Foreign Fighters Bill, I could be prosecuted and jailed — and I would have no defence, writes freelance journalist Dan Moss.

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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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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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Tips and rumours

The last ABC business program to go? … no dangerous websites at APH … Tony Abbott where he really shouldn’t be …

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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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Calm down, Brandis’ new bill does not reverse the onus of proof

The Foreign Fighters Bill requires a defendant to prove why he or she was in a proscribed region. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Lawyers from the Law Council of Australia explain.

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Stay calm on terror laws — the worst is yet to come

The national security laws passed last night have problems — but they’re not the huge threat some have made them out to be. That threat is coming, and hysteria now won’t help to fight it.

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Crikey Clarifier: what are the new anti-terror laws and how do they work?

Earlier in the week, Australian Federal Police obtained the first ever preventative detention orders for three people arrested in anti-terror raids in Sydney’s north-west. But what purpose do the anti-terror laws serve and how do they work? Crikey intern Toli Papadopoulos finds out.

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Targeting of Muslims risks the exact terror threat we claim to oppose

The constant focus on the Muslim community risks prompting exactly the kind of terrorist threat we are supposedly working to prevent.

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iSentia index: everyone’s talking terror

Jacqui Lambie is punching well above her weight in media mentions, and the nation’s media talks terrorism.

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Brandis concedes some ground on terror laws

The government has given some ground on anti-terror laws, in a move designed to head off criticism of some of the most draconian aspects of its current package.

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Key issues around security laws likely to get lost in the terror noise

Who gets to sign off on important new ASIO powers is an issue that should be carefully debated, but it will get ignored as fear of terrorism ramps up.

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Committee recommends (marginally) reining in new security laws — but media still face jail

A parliamentary committee has signed off on the first set of national security reforms, but wants some tightening on controversial proposals.

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Brandis goes Left Bank in his search for terror hype

Using words like “existential” to describe terrorism is part of a lengthy, and wholly absurd, tradition of hyping it.

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Crikey Clarifier: what exactly is a high terror alert?

On Friday Prime Minister Tony Abbott raised the terror threat level to “high”, suggesting a terrorist attack is “likely”. Should we all be at panic stations? Crikey intern Toli Papadopoulos explains.

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Our land is girt by oil-rich sea … that we steal from East Timor

Australia has been stealing billions of dollars from one of our poorest neighbours, writes Clinton Fernandes, associate professor at the University of New South Wales in Canberra and specialist in Australian foreign policy.

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Brandis moves to jail whistleblower and lawyer for revealing ASIS scandal

The government’s move to prosecute a whistleblower and his lawyer for revealing an ASIS scandal illustrates its determination to send a signal to all potential whistleblowers.

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Time to codify, not just extend, national security powers

If our security agencies always act within the law, codification of their extensive surveillance powers shouldn’t be a threat to them.

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