Since 2014 the Coalition has insisted that significant -- in some cases, dramatic -- expansions of security agency powers and curbs on basic freedoms are needed to address the threats of terrorism, organised crime and child abuse.

Data retention. The powers to backdoor communications systems and compulsorily access corporate IT systems. Spying on Australians on behalf of foreign governments. Anti-whistleblower laws. Extensions of secret detention and interrogation powers. Proposals to allow the discredited Australian Signals Directorate to spy on Australians.

That's been coupled with raids on journalists, the prosecution of whistleblowers, secret trials, the harassment and prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery, all justified under "national security". All, conveniently, in cases that embarrassed the Coalition.