Aug 21, 2014

Why Australians can fight for the IDF, but not the Islamic State: ASIO chief explains

ASIO boss David Irvine has tried to explain how and why Australians join foreign armies, and allay concerns about the Coalition's proposed anti-terrorism laws. But given its murky past, ASIO's reassurances should be taken with a grain of salt, writes freelance journalist Andrea Glioti


Leave a comment

18 thoughts on “Why Australians can fight for the IDF, but not the Islamic State: ASIO chief explains

  1. chpowell


    A$630M to monitor 150 expat fighters: that’s A$4,200,000 per ‘fighter’.

    Whatever happened to Australia’s ‘budget problem’ the Liberal gov’t assures us is looming?

  2. Kevin Herbert

    So Aussie citizens can fight for another country committing war crimes & genocide i.e. Israel, that’s legal.

    However, to fight for the Quassim Brigades against the Israeli war criminals in Gaza is illegal.

    What a wonderful democracy we live in.

  3. klewso

    Like all “terrorism” – “In the eye of the beholder, who beholden the reins”?
    Did Bush/Howard get around to defining it/them – beyond the arbitrary airy fairy; without implicating the West/US for some of their “clandestiny”?

  4. Andybob

    Sounds like a different explanation as to what is intended as regards meta-data than Malcolm gave us. Malcolm said the data which the ISP must keep and which can be accessed without a warrant is the IP address of customers, which can change with ADSL connections. This sounds more like what Brandis was saying.

  5. Benny

    This constant reference to envelopes is presumably meant to make us feel that the situation is no different to what currently exists with the snail mail system, but if we send a letter, we are under no obligation to put a return address on that envelope. If we receive a letter, even with a sender’s address, there is no indication whether the mail is solicited or not.

  6. extra

    Mr Irvine’s statement leaves us with the ironic situation where the Australian who joins the Syrian Army to fight ISIS is doing something illegal, even though they are doing far more to advance Australia’s, and the civilised world’s interests than an Australian who (legally) joins the IDF to pulverise Gaza.

    Still, Abbott &co are going to look really stupid when they are reduced to lamely quoting UN resolutions to justify prosecuting someone who’s been doing something practical to rid the world of ISIS.

  7. David Vaile

    Essential reading, recent serious and competent explanation of metadata, reveals source of the confusion:

    Geoff Huston APNIC chief scientist
    What is Metadata, and Why Should I Care? (the Queen and metadata)

    TL;DR: Even basic online identification by your Internet source IP address now technically and unavoidably requires your destination IP too, 33,000 times per user per day. There is no longer a distinction collecting between basic source IP and logging every site and element you touch, even if “browser history” is not intended.

    Carrier-Grade NAT (CGN) is how mobile Internet survives after IP address exhaustion in 2011. CGN shares your public IP with many other people at once, changing constantly, so the envelope analogy is dead: you share the envelope 1,000 times per hour with lots of other people, so even just to identify you once, your ISP needs to all log those 1,000 destination IPs you each touch per hour, down to the millisecond. 17,000,000 bytes per day each person (where your address on an envelope might take 800). 425 Terabytes per day for a big ISP, fills a new 1T disk every 3 minutes.

    This also apparently negates the misleading claim that destinations are content, and need a warrant. You are your destination, under CGN.

  8. Michelle Moshelian

    Why not say the truth? No-one is scared about someone serving in the Israeli army and coming back to Australia and committing a terror attack…. conversely…..

  9. Jake

    Don’t try talking sense, Michelle, to those who wish to simultaneously clutch at straws, muddy the waters AND stick their heads in the sand.

  10. Kevin Herbert


    Your fatuous attempt at analysis deserves comment & your further clarification.
    Q: why would IDF returnees have any beef with the Australian Government, which openly supports the genocide against Gaza & the West bank, and the occupation. So I ask do you support the current Australian Government policy of supporting Israel?

    Whereas, people of Islamic background have a wide range of continuing human rights abuses against their kind on which to draw. Heard of Iraq & Afghanistan….maybe 4 million killed & seriously injured.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details