IPA extends its parliamentary influence

The Institue of Public Affairs – Australia’s prime agency of the right – has an income of about $7m a year. including $4m in donations from the big end of town. It spent in 2020 just under $7m in pushing it point of view. And did so successfully, as former employees of the IPA now dot the federal parliamentary landscape, taking up influential positions.

Why are governments constructing the Surveillance State?

Australia continues to rack up more and more surveillance laws, as successive governments increasingly restrict freedoms in the name of unprovable ‘cyber threats’, the latest bogeyman of the security community, which must invent new threats continuously to maintain its huge growth rate of the past 20 years. Paul Gregoire reports.

Identify…disrupt: Dutton to further extend surveillance state

The drip-drip-drip of inexorable increasingly-repressive surveillance laws keep emanating from the black hole of Home Affairs, run by Minister Peter Dutton and his sidekick Mike ‘The Pezz’ Pezzullo. The title of their latest Bill explains what they want to do to the Australian people and society: Identify and Disrupt.

Australia’s national security suffers from ‘rubber stamp’ syndrome

A recent explosive parliamentary committee report has revealed the failings of the UK’s security agencies in relation to tunnel vision. But no such close review, monitoring, questioning and analysis emanates from Australia’s equivalent parliamentary committee, the PJCIS, security specialist Dr Tony Murney says. Has the unrepresentative Australian committee fallen captive to local and foreign security interests?

Canada illustrates the danger of ‘emergency’ laws

Fifty years after Canada’s most recent police state imposition, two academics warn about the repressive history of laws brought in to cope with ‘emergencies’. Citizens must not give governments powers that are certain to be abused by later suspension of civil liberties, police crackdowns and, with today’s and tomorrow’s technology, electronic Big Brother surveillance.

Fencing off the House of Ghosts

Currently ghostly and almost unused due to Covid-19, trod by very few feet other than the police and security guards, Australia’s Parliament House is still fenced off from the people. This enclosed community, preventing overall access by the citizens of the nation, is against every principle on which the parliament chose the design after a mammoth, worldwide architectural competition. Tony Murney investigates…or tries to!

Is counterterrorism policy out of step with reality?

At last the experts are starting to agree with what civil libertarians like CLA have been saying for a decade and a half: everything to do with counterring terrorism is massively out of kilter with reality, including the funds and people/material resources allocated, the parliamentary time spent on it, and the  massive headlines given to it. In Australia, we literally have had much more important things to worry about since about 2005.