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.

From the heart of Australia, in support of Assange

France’s Yellow Vesters will carry a message from the heart of Australia, Alice Springs, all the way to Julian Assange in Belmarsh jail in England. Assange is in jail for ‘jumping bail’ and hiding out at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London…but the USA wants to extradite him to a possible death sentence in American courts. The Alice rally is on 25 January at 4.30pm. Other rallies are being held nationally and internationally. More rallies are scheduled for late February, as Assange’s court hearing begins.

Website aims to regain photos from ‘facevault’

Tasmanians have lost the right to their own images: their driver licence photos been handed over willy-nilly by the state government to the federal security apparatus…in advance of proposed new national laws being passed to make the spooky ‘facevault’ legal. CLA Director Richard Griggs has empowered people to protest through a new website www.deletemyphoto.net

Prison Minister kept in dark over secret prisoner’s 18-month jailing

So secret was the trial and jailing of the ACT’s mystery prisoner that even the territory’s Minister for Corrections, who is also Minister for Justice, did not know about the case until the story broke in the media. Minister Shane Rattenbury still does not know on what grounds he locked up a prisoner for 18 months: he doesn’t know what the prisoner was charged with, or what the prisoner was convicted of. CLA poses some questions to Commonwealth authorities, including Supreme Courts.

82 anti-terror laws in 18 years: has our safety changed?

With new Australian anti-terror laws running at about five a year over 18 years, there are two fundamental questions: has our safety changed for the better, and do we need all of them now, or should there be a consolidated ‘Anti-terror Act’ that reins in the draconian excesses, restores balanced rights and liberties, and better represents the real dangers in 2020 to the nation?