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Keane: Iraq intervention part of a war without end

The deteriorating Iraq situation and our response to it merely perpetuates a War on Terror that will always curb our freedoms.

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Where’s the justification for the sudden rush for spy powers?

The government has suddenly lurched forward on national security with a huge package of reforms that strengthen our worst anti-terrorism laws without justification.

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Data retention is an intolerable threat to democracy

The government’s proposal for data retention is a direct threat to democracy and our ability to hold the powerful to account. Here’s why.

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‘Terrorism is terrorism’ — until it’s not

Expanding anti-terrorism laws to include “promotion” of terrorism is fraught with dangers — especially when some countries define good journalism as terrorism.

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National security inquiry stretched by tight timeframe

The rushed timeframe for a parliamentary inquiry into the government’s national security reforms may yet cause headaches for proper consideration of the reforms.

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Dear George: the direction is AWAY from data retention — it doesn’t work

Europe and the United States are moving away from data retention, despite what the Attorney-General may claim.

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Brandis’ changing tune on national security reforms

In opposition, George Brandis called for national security reforms to be heavily vetted before being legislated. Now he’s legislating with no vetting of any kind.

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Government reveals first national security reforms

ASIO is set to expand its powers under new national security legislation reforms to be unveiled by the government in July.

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What’s really happening on national security laws

Mooted reforms to national security legislation need to be seen separately from the Syria/Iraq situation — and the process by which those reforms are overseen is important, too.

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Abbott and Harper renew a blinkered coalition of denialism

Tony Abbott’s efforts to stymie international action on climate change ignores how central climate change is becoming to economic and security issues.

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When governments drape a flag over their secrets, we need whistleblowers

The Coalition government is the most secretive of the modern era — except when it’s in its interests to share information. In that environment, we need whistleblowers more than ever.

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Panel says curb NSA’s worst excesses in wake of Snowden

The panel appointed by Barack Obama to forestall criticism of the NSA’s global surveillance has called for major change to intelligence collection and an end to some of the NSA’s worst behaviours.

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Defence-heavy spy committee needs to demand answers

The parliamentary committee tasked with overseeing sensitive intelligence agencies has finally been picked. It’s heavy on Defence and DFAT types, so will it do its job properly?

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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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Errors, lies and secrecy: don’t trust govts on national security

The demand that we trust governments to determine what we should know about national security matters is discredited by their performance over Iraq.

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Huawei charm offensive can’t whitewash complicity in surveillance

Huawei has launched a charm offensive to portray itself as independent of governments. But it has a track record of working closely with the world’s worst regimes.

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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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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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Yes we can: how surveillance was quietly stymied in Australia

There are some lessons from this week’s Australia’s national security inquiry, especially when we compare ourselves to the US and the UK. Secret plans for data retention came to nothing.

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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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Attorney-General’s Department: hiding a data retention gargoyle?

Questions continue to grow about the extent of the Attorney-General Department’s work on data retention, and whether it is hiding it from scrutiny. Is AGD quietly developing legislation on data retention?

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Australia’s supine reaction to our surveillance planet

While other US allies demand answers on the Edward Snowden revelations about mass US surveillance of private citizens, the Australian government wants the whole thing to go away and tells us there’s nothing to worry about. Fail.

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Surveillance, secrecy and the cost of intelligence outsourcing

A culture of secrecy, unaccountability and outsourcing created the conditions for the Obama administration’s mass internet surveillance programs.

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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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Tony Abbott’s uncomfortable resemblance to Labor

Tony Abbott occasionally shows signs that he’s not as different from Labor as he claims — in ways that don’t augur well for his government. Can Joe Hockey assert some influence?

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