Search Results: surveillance

  • INTERNATIONAL

    South China Sea dispute exposes soft Australia

    • Fatima Measham
    • 10 June 2015
    9 Comments

    The trajectory of the conflict over territory in the South China Sea does not look good. There is no reason to believe that the United States would relinquish its position as an Asia-Pacific security power. There is also no reason to believe that China would slow or halt its island-building and militarisation of the South China Sea. Against this ponderous milieu, it is a pity that Australia has again been exposed as a lightweight.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Could Immigration 'secrecy' act trump mandatory reporting of abuse?

    • Justin Glyn
    • 09 June 2015
    6 Comments

    All Australian states and territories have mandatory reporting legislation requiring compulsory disclosure of suspected child abuse by relevant professionals. The Australian Border Force Act requires the permission of the Secretary before any disclosure of criminal conduct is made to the relevant authorities. Should an Immigration professional who works with children fulfil their mandatory reporting obligations if this permission is not granted (and face two years in prison) or not?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Stepping on to mandatory data retention's slippery slope

    • Fatima Measham
    • 25 March 2015
    6 Comments

    Mandatory data retention was a bad idea when it was originally floated during a Gillard Government inquiry. It is a worse idea now, and is set to become law for political reasons, not because it has been properly scrutinised. There are important questions that we should be asking, and we should not let ourselves be put off from doing this if we don’t know the difference between data and metadata (there is none).

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Libs take some image advice from Mad Men's Don Draper

    • Jim McDermott
    • 02 March 2015

    The inner sanctum of the Prime Minister’s office, filled with smoke. DON DRAPER sits in a chair, cigarette in one hand, tumbler of Scotch in the other. Across, Prime Minister TONY ABBOTT. Around them, members of his cabinet. GREG HUNT (coughing weakly): We really don't allow smoking in here. CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Plus, how do you still look so good? It’s 2015. Draper turns Pyne's way. His eyes glitter like steel. DON: Really, that's what you want to talk about right now, my looks? TONY: Now listen, Don, I did it all just like you said. Pushed up the spill motion to keep the momentum from building, said I would be more consultative, got on with the business of governing. And yet two weeks later ... Read more

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What drives young Australian Muslims to join IS

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 February 2015
    41 Comments

    I fear for those Muslim young people driven into the arms of ideological extremists so unnecessarily. I'm prompted to recall my school years, when Soviet troops were invading Hungary to put down the brief revolution. I wondered uneasily whether it was not perhaps my duty to go to Hungary to fight for freedom there. For an idealistic young man whose Catholicism was tightly intertwined with anti-communism, the thought was natural.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Putting Putin's record into perspective

    • Justin Glyn
    • 17 November 2014
    17 Comments

    Amid talk of whether Vladimir Putin would leave the G20 early and numerous reports of frosty encounters between him and other summit leaders, Western media coverage has portrayed him as an erratic and dangerous dictator whose rule damages the once-great country he leads. But it would be foolish to pretend that the West did not take advantage of the weakness of the former Soviet states in the 1990s. Russia was looted of its assets, many of which found their way abroad.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sacrificing freedoms in the war against terror

    • Justin Glyn
    • 22 September 2014
    7 Comments

    Terrorism is a real threat but it is hardly a killer on the scale of coronary heart disease or accidental falls, both of which far outstrip terrorism as killers on Australian Bureau of Statistics data. Blanket rollbacks of important civil liberties, until recently taken for granted, cannot but provoke the suspicion that terrorism has become a diversion of the public's attention from something much more sinister.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The unjustified secrecy of the Abbott Government

    • Jack Maxwell
    • 11 August 2014
    17 Comments

    Liberal democracies keep secrecy in check. Where secrecy is justified, this justification should itself be public. The Abbott Government has withheld important information from the public on questionable grounds, and it has shielded itself from criticism by stifling debate on whether that secrecy is justified.

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  • RELIGION

    Rules won't restore the Church

    • Chris McGillion and Damian Grace
    • 23 July 2014
    20 Comments

    It is widely assumed that rules are the solution to transgressions such as those being investigated by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Rules are useful. They can be framed to aid compliance and deter wrongdoing. It is no argument against them to say that people will still offend, but if rules are more legal requirements than the expression of genuine morality, they will have limited effectiveness.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Abbott and co. working from Orwell's playbook

    • Brian Matthews
    • 18 July 2014
    20 Comments

    Life in Orwell's Airstrip One is graceless, demeaning and inhumane for all but those entitled to preferment. Surveillance is increasing, ruling-party secrecy and monopoly on information is rigid, refugees are demonised and language is reduced to sound bites and slogans. The leadership is disjoined from and cynical about the natural world. Just as well it's fiction because it sounds awful doesn't it?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Tamils facing new atrocities in Sri Lanka

    • Paul White
    • 04 July 2014
    39 Comments

    On Monday we learned that two boats of Tamil asylum seekers had been intercepted off Christmas Island. Now there are unconfirmed reports that Australia is handing them over to the Sri Lankan navy without assessing their claims for protection. Amnesty warns Tamils face the risk of sexual violence, torture, murder, imprisonment, and enforced disappearance. Since March this year there have been scores of arrests and several deaths.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Government blasé on Australian drone deaths

    • Justin Glyn
    • 27 May 2014
    13 Comments

    While recent weeks have been taken up with thinking about the Budget's disproportionate impact on poorer Australians, another, more spectacular, area of government disregard for the lives and rights of its citizens has gone relatively unremarked. It goes to the heart of democracy, revealing not only the distance between Western governments and their citizens, but also the acceptance of that gulf as a fact of modern political life.

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