keywords: Spies

  • 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

    Dreyfus redivivus

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 March 2021
    10 Comments

    Any government decision can cause hurt to some groups in society. There is a difference, however, between decisions that are only painful and those that are vindictive. The former may be regretted, but vindictiveness implies a satisfaction in causing pain that does not arise out of need. The reason for it must be sought in the minds and hearts and culture of those who devise the policies.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Class and COVID-19

    • David James
    • 17 September 2020
    5 Comments

    The issue of class, economic inequality, has for some time been conspicuously absent in contemporary political debate. In the wake of COVID-19, which will greatly exacerbate income and wealth disparities, such inattention must be addressed.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Common ground amid polarised China debate

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 December 2019
    5 Comments

    If China spies upon Australia, Australia spied on East Timor. If China detains Uighurs in harsh conditions, so has Australia detained people in brutal and demeaning conditions on Manus Island. If China lays out money to nations on our region to secure its national interests, so does Australia, most notably to Nauru and PNG.

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  • MEDIA

    AFP raids coverage missed key points

    • Jules O'Donnell
    • 13 June 2019
    10 Comments

    Demands for the protection of fundamental rights are, of course, a good thing. But the media coverage of the AFP raids took a scattergun approach and, in some cases, contained oversight and inaccuracy. Here are some important details that were lost in the furore.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Kafka in Australia: the trial of Witness K

    • Susan Connelly
    • 06 April 2019
    18 Comments

    Our own version of Kafka's The Trial is being played out under our very noses. 'Witness K' and his lawyer Bernard Collaery have been charged with making known Australian state secrets in connection with ASIS spying on Timor-Leste. The similarities between the plights of Kafka's Josef K and Witness K do not end with their names.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Witness K and foreign interference hypocrisy

    • Lizzie O'Shea
    • 03 July 2018
    10 Comments

    Over this last week, two remarkably contradictory things happened in Canberra. The Attorney-General shepherded through some of the most significant changes to foreign interference laws in recent times. It was also reported that he signed off on charges laid against Witness K, a former officer of ASIS, and his lawyer.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Conversations about China need more nuance

    • Tseen Khoo
    • 12 April 2018
    3 Comments

    While no-one expects nuanced discussions on Twitter, the name-calling does none of the participants any favours. What does become apparent in the conversations around Clive Hamilton's The Silent Invasion is how entrenched 'yellow peril' rhetoric is in the way people talk about 'the Chinese'.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Russian spy games: a Novichok fact check

    • Justin Glyn
    • 19 March 2018
    15 Comments

    It's like the plot of a John Le Carre novel: A former double agent found unconscious on a park bench; allegations Mother Russia poisoned him with a secret nerve agent; diplomatic repercussions. Before assuming life imitates art, it would be well to check our facts, not least because stumbling into war with a nuclear power is a silly thing to do.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    US is no stranger to electoral meddling

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 10 March 2017
    4 Comments

    Each day is met by the same reports: electoral interference has supposedly taken place, instigated by Russian, or at the very least outsourced Russian entities, in the elections of Europe and the United States. Such claims assert, not merely the reality of these claims, but the nature of their influence. Such a stance detracts from one fundamental point: that the manipulation of electoral systems has been, and remains, common fare, irrespective of the finger pointing at Moscow.

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  • MEDIA

    2015 in review: Australia's film industry boys club

    • Rochelle Siemienowicz
    • 13 January 2016

    The success of the Australian comedy The Dressmaker is thrilling to those watching the local film industry. There's more to cheer in the fact the film is proudly female in both story and production. We're not as bad as Hollywood, but even in Australia, there are not enough films for women, about women and by women. Since the 1970s male directors have been responsible for more than 85 per cent of the feature films made. Why does it matter? Because women are more likely to tell stories about women.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Gospel stories of the security state

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 17 December 2015
    19 Comments

    The pastel coloured domesticity of the images of Jesus' birth does not do justice to its context. Herod's sending out first his spies to find where the Messiah was to be born, and then his soldiers to eradicate the threat the child posed to national security, may not appear on Christmas cards, but they frame the story of Jesus' birth. The disjunction between the tenderness of the Christmas stories and the brutality of their public context is mirrored in the conflict between the humane values of the Gospel and the harsh instrumental values of the public world in any age.

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