Search Results: surveillance

  • 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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    ASIO's economic espionage

    • Justin Glyn
    • 06 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
    • 29 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
    • 25 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
    • 25 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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Parochial Australia needs to grow up

    • Fatima Measham
    • 16 August 2013
    15 Comments

    Hot-button topics such as economic management and asylum seekers are best seen from a wide lens, yet we seem determined to keep the rest of the world out of the frame. It is a sea-girt mentality that our politicians don't care to take apart because it is too hard to convince the average voter that there are in fact other people on the planet. Such denialism will inevitably leave us ill-prepared for significant challenges.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Foreign policy beyond asylum seeker silliness

    • Evan Ellis
    • 16 August 2013
    1 Comment

    We might get lucky. Malcolm Turnbull might be right, and the mass of egos, grievances and interests that make up US-Sino relations might 'evolve into a new order, without either side having to make concessions to the other'. But the risks are growing. In this context the framing of asylum seekers as a threat to our sovereignty seems plain silly. War between China and the US would be a disaster to our national interests.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Civil liberties in a grave new world

    • Bill Calcutt
    • 09 August 2013
    1 Comment

    Since the turn of the millennium several major technology-enabled developments have significantly altered the balance between national security and civil liberties. In Australia, the hyper-politicisation of national security finds voice in the discourse on the issue of border security, turning a complex humanitarian and policing challenge (asylum seekers arriving by sea) into an enormously controversial and expensive imbroglio.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Notes from a boat tragedy inquest

    • Tony Kevin
    • 02 July 2013
    4 Comments

    The WA Coroner's inquest into the sinking of SIEV 358 is shaping up to be the most thorough public examination ever of Australian rescue-at-sea protocols and practice in respect of assisting people on Suspected Irregular Entry Vessels. The Counsel Assisting the Coroner suggested that Australian Maritime Safety Authority's major focus for the first 11 hours of the incident had been to transfer the operation to Indonesia.

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