Search Results: surveillance

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What drives young Australian Muslims to join IS

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 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
    • 16 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
    • 21 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
    • 10 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
    • 22 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
    • 17 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
    • 03 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
    • 26 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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    ASIO's economic espionage

    • Justin Glyn
    • 05 December 2013
    15 Comments

    The recent revelations that ASIO raided the offices of Timor Leste's lawyers and detained its star witness just before its case against Australia highlights, once again, the question of the linkage between national and commercial interests. ASIO's governing statute does not permit it to engage in economic espionage. Unfortunately, the distinction between government and commercial interests is growing increasingly hard to draw.

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  • MEDIA

    Rights and wrongs of ABC spy reports

    • Walter Hamilton
    • 28 November 2013
    14 Comments

    The ABC does not have a special responsibility to be 'diplomatic' in deciding what to report and what not to report. It does not have an obligation to adjust its news judgments to implicitly support government policies, or to weigh up what the majority of the public might think to do in such a situation. It must only exercise its professional judgment as to 'news value', and be accountable for it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The ethics of spying

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 November 2013
    12 Comments

    A minor diversion in the disruption of Australia's relations with Indonesia has been the entanglement of political commentators. Many have wriggled on the hook of their conviction that international relations are an ethics free zone in which the only guiding star is national self interest. But that does not stop them from launching a raft of ethical judgments. It is worth considering on what ethical principles international and national politics might rest.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Spies like us

    • Bill Calcutt
    • 24 November 2013
    6 Comments

    The recent observation by a close Asian ally that 'spying on friends is amoral' belies an apparently growing gap between the illusion of civility and honesty and the reality of our suspicious relations with 'foreigners'. While the justification for the development of ubiquitous electronic surveillance capabilities is counter-terrorism, the greatest beneficiaries may be private business interests gaining a competitive advantage in a global free market.

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