Federal

Jan 11, 2018

Turnbull’s terrifying new ‘espionage’ laws endanger many innocent people

This move adds yet another layer on existing legislation that is designed to protect the government from embarrassment, rather than from genuine threats.

Greg Barns and Anna Talbot

Barrister and writer / Lawyer

If the Turnbull government gets its way, proposed legislation -- introduced on the day the same-sex marriage law passed the House of Representatives a few weeks ago -- means that innocent people could be treated and punished as foreign agents for simply doing their job or following their principles. Such reforms would be dangerous; laws that unnecessarily undermine fundamental rights do not make us safer.

Last year, the Prime Minister established a review into espionage and foreign interference, to assess whether existing laws met the challenges of the modern age. The outcome of the report is confidential, but we have been “assured” that there is an urgent need for reform.

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