Author: Binoy Kampmark

  • MEDIA

    Best of 2021: Facebook unfriends Australia

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 11 January 2022

    Instead of retaining its control of a fruit market, or preserving an oil monopoly, Facebook harnesses another resource: data. Any regulator or sovereign state keen to challenge the way the Silicon Valley giant gathers, monetises and uses that data will face their ire.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Legitimised judicial captivity: The Assange case

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 16 December 2021

    The legal pursuit of Assange is disturbingly unique not only for using an archaic law against a non-US national; it is also the first instance of an international application of it against a publisher. The law, if applied in the way suggested by the charges, criminalise the receipt, dissemination and publication of national security information, irrespective of motive. If the US Espionage Act 1917 were applied in this way, it would appear to subvert the free press provision in the United States Constitution.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Outgrowing apartheid: FW de Klerk

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 23 November 2021
    26 Comments

    The passing of South Africa’s last apartheid president, FW de Klerk, raises pressing questions about a complex historical character who, according to his brother, Willem de Klerk, slowly outgrew apartheid. In a critical sense, he was bound, understandably, by both time and context: race, the need to defend a racial hierarchy, the historical role of a segregationist system that saw his all-white National Party retain power for decades. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    In the shadow of SIEV-X

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 01 November 2021
    27 Comments

    Two decades ago, an Indonesian vessel given the name SIEV X sank with loss of life that should have caused a flood of tears and a surge of compassion. Instead of being seen in humanitarian terms, the deaths of 353 people became a form of rich political capital, placed in the bank of opportunism to be amortised at a federal election.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Booster bandits and booster jabs

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 14 October 2021
    10 Comments

    With the world clearly divided between those vaccinated against COVID-19 and those who are not, ethicists, public health specialists and politicians have become more preoccupied by the prospect of booster shots. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia’s nuclear submarine trade-off

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 20 September 2021
    29 Comments

    Defence is a costly business, and few branches of defence are more costly, and questionable, than a country’s submarine capability. Since 2009, Project SEA 1000, the name for Australia’s Future Submarine program, has fascinated strategists and defence planners.  In 2016, this resulted in an agreement with the French submarine company DCNS (now called Naval Group) to build an un-designed attack class vessel. Other contenders in the competitive tender — Germany and Japan, for instance — had existing models. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The Tampa legacy 20 years on

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 07 September 2021
    23 Comments

    It took 438 desperate human beings upon the overladen wooden fishing boat, the KM Palapa, to present Australia’s Howard government in August 2001 with an electoral opportunity. At first, there was feigned ignorance from Canberra about any signs of desperation. The vessel, lacking power, lay some 100km off Christmas Island. Despite a coast guard plane noting men jumping up and down on the roof in a frenzy, nothing was initially done.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Civilization as intervention

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 24 August 2021
    10 Comments

    The New York Times editorial on 15 August was all about tragedy in describing the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. ‘Tragic because the American dream of being the “indispensable nation” in shaping a world where the values of civil rights, women’s empowerment and religious tolerance rule proved to be just that: a dream.’

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The amoral world of Donald Rumsfeld

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 22 July 2021
    13 Comments

    The late Donald Rumsfeld, twice US Secretary of Defense, a Fortune 500 CEO, and congressman for three terms, did not let evidence and the firmness of facts trouble him. If he had a cause to pursue he would. Morality was merely an impediment to service.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Murugappan family and the cynicism of refugee politics

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 24 June 2021
    27 Comments

    The Murugappan family have found themselves in the middle of this nasty tangle, their fates politicised and manipulated.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    India travel ban: citizenship comes a distant second place

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 11 May 2021
    10 Comments

    While the ban is unique in its severity, it is not divorced from a broader tendencies as to how citizenship has been appraised during pandemic times. Public health and safety have been prioritised over the standard liberties associated with citizenship.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Adani imperils human rights, as well as the environment

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 13 April 2021
    2 Comments

    In May 2019, Adani Ports entered into an agreement to construct, operate and transfer land held by the Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) military conglomerate for 50 years in an investment valued at US$290 million. Such corporate conduct has broader implications. Investing in Adani is not only environmentally unsound but imperilling of human rights.

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