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Data retention hearings off to nonsensical start

The inquiry into data retention has begun — without the government being able to say what the “data” is or how much it will cost.

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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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CIA’s torture program is NOT a relic of the past

The beyond-Kafkaesque nightmare of the CIA torture report isn’t a document of history or a one-off derailment of American values, it’s exactly how the War on Terror continues to be pursued.

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US Senate torture report: the essentials

The CIA engaged in a torture program that didn’t work, tortured and killed innocent people, and the agency lied systematically to the authorities while intimidating those who raised concerns, a congressional report finds.

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Committee lashes out at lack of a key national security role

The powerful parliamentary intelligence committee has expressed its displeasure at the ongoing lack of a key security role within government.

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Think you can’t learn much from metadata? Guess this film plot and think again

The government makes the collection of metadata sound innocuous — but technology consultant and Crikey’s own Department of Australia Leslie Nassar shows otherwise.

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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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Don’t go looking to Labor for opposition on data retention

Crikey users have their say on national security and the ABC debate.

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Government unveils mass surveillance proposal

The government has finally unveiled its data retention regime — except, critical questions remain unanswered.

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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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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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On a post-Islamic State future

Crikey readers discuss Islamic State, surveillance and other issues of the day.

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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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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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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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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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Essential: voters want security over liberty

Voters agree that some freedoms should be sacrificed in the name of security, but are growing more concerned about climate change. And the government is yet to benefit from the relentless focus on terrorism, today’s Essential Report shows.

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How News Corp’s pursuit of ASIO made life harder for journalists

Once upon a time News Corp was not an unquestioning cheerleader for the government. And its overreach led to the current overly restrictive national security legislation, explains lawyer and former government adviser Marcus Priest.

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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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Terror raids a media spectacle, but it’s war that puts us in danger

While we reap the consequences of returning to Iraq, it’s clearer than ever that the campaign against ISIL will struggle to be effective.

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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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About those deleted tweets …

Crikey readers talk new anti-terror laws, and Barry O’Farrell explains that deleted tweet.

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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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Australia’s whistlebower protections lag in private sector, national security

A new report shows we’re in the back of the pack when it comes to protecting whistleblowers in the private sector and on national security.

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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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