Last minute geek

last minute tech news from around the net

Wednesday, Jul 17th

Last update12:41:00 PM

You are here: English BoingBoing ibag Australia's raids on journalists signal an authoritarian turning point

Australia's raids on journalists signal an authoritarian turning point

User Rating: / 0
PoorBest 
Yesterday's spectacular series of raids on Australian journalists by the Australian Federal Police are a turning point in how democracies view the role of the press and leaks: the raid targeted News Corp's Annika Smethurst over her reporting on a secret plan to grant the Australian Signals Directorate -- a spy agency -- the power to surveil Australians; 2GB radio's Ben Fordham over his reporting on human rights abuses of refugees; and ABC Sydney's offices over their 2017 Afghan files reports, which documented war-crimes and other misconduct by Australian military personnel. All of these reports are months or even years old, and yet the Australian police carried out their raids now, prompting many to ask what has changed to inspire these unprecedented attacks on journalism? The most notable and obvious change is legal: Australia's 2018 passage of sweeping new surveillance laws and new secrecy offenses paved the way for the action, which puts at risk such key journalistic virtues as source confidentiality and the courage of the press to challenge and reveal official misconduct. The Australian authorities insist that the raids were not coordinated and that it's all a coincidence. As Caitlin Johnson points out, that's a hell of a coincidence, and if it's true, it's even scarier than the idea that the raids were coordinated -- instead, it means that Australia's cops and prosecutors have gotten the message that it's open season on public interest journalism and are acting accordingly, with lots more to come. Australia is a politically unstable state whose governments routinely fail -- the country has gone through five prime ministers since 2013. Read the rest

Read all
Comment Policy:
We pre-moderate any comments and welcome all kinds of thoughts, supportive, dissenting, critical or otherwise. We delete or censor comments that are:

* abusive
* off-topic
* contain personal attacks, or against any company or organization
* promote hate of any kind
* use excessively foul language
* is blatantly spam or advertising

We do not discriminate based on the person who is posting, and we never censor comments for political or ideological reasons. We never delete an appropriate comment because we disagree with its viewpoint or ideology, and we never publish an inappropriate comment because we agree with or support its viewpoint or ideology.


Attention spammers: we manually approve all comments. Spamming and blatant advertising will NOT be published on this site and is deleted immediately, you've been warned, do not waste your time here.

Add comment

Security code
Refresh