Open letter to the Prime Minister Tony Abbott

The Hon. Tony Abbott, MP Prime Minister Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600 Dear Mr Abbott It is 11 years since the Howard government invaded the sovereign nation of Iraq without a UN mandate and without proper evidence of weapons of mass destruction.  Nearly half a million people have died from war-related causes in Iraq since […]

Data retention: Lawyers on the wire

Federal Cabinet’s support for the retention of customer data by telecommunications companies for up to two years – so that government agencies can access it without a warrant – suggests that government representatives just don’t understand the consequences of retaining everyone’s metadata and giving spy agencies access to it. George Brandis’ infamous gaffe last week […]

Encryption: Brief advice from Thomas Drake to journalists

[This content has not been independently verified. It was created from personal notes taken at the discussion 'Whistleblowers in the surveillance state: Human rights' digital background' in Sydney on 4 August 2014.]   Host:   Broadcaster Quentin Dempster. Guests:   US whistleblower Thomas Drake, a former senior executive of the US National Security Agency Edward […]

Whistleblowers in the surveillance state: Human rights’ digital background

[This content has not been independently verified. It was created from personal notes taken at the discussion on 4 August 2014.] Host:   Broadcaster Quentin Dempster. Guests:   US whistleblower Thomas Drake, a former senior executive of the US National Security Agency Edward Snowden’s US defence attorney Jesselyn Radack .   “You have nothing to […]

No comment on operations: how Morrison’s media strategy took shape

The secrecy around Operation Sovereign Borders has been widely derided – immigration minister Scott Morrison’s media strategy not least of all. Built on motherhood statements, the withholding of information and tautology, journalists and the public have been infuriated by the lack of information on the fate of asylum seekers. The deliberate strategy to stonewall reporters appears to […]

Winning the debate on asylum seekers

The theme for Refugee Week 2014 is ‘Restoring Hope’. The reason we need to restore hope is that it has been destroyed by government policies.  It’s therefore important to understand what the government is doing and why. Ian Haney Lopez, the author of Dog Whistle Politics, correctly points out that ‘Dog whistle politics doesn’t come […]