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Information overload delays Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security report

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) is busy finalising its consideration of the Inquiry into the impact of the exercise of law enforcement and intelligence powers on the freedom of the press.

The Chair, Mr Andrew Hastie MP, said ‘The Committee has received considerable evidence from submitters and witnesses regarding the media and their ability to operate effectively within Australia’s democratic society. All members are endeavouring to achieve a bipartisan report, which delivers tangible areas for reform and consideration. This will not be possible by the end of November.’

Assange event State Library Vic. 4 December, 6.30pm, "What is happening to Journalism & Julian Assange?"

Kristinn Hrafnsson - Editor in Chief of WikiLeaks
Suelette Dreyfus - technology researcher, journalist, and writer
Julian Burnside QC - part of Assange's legal team
Lizzie O'Shea - lawyer, writer, broadcaster

Recent raids on broadcasters, journalists and whistleblowers in Australia for precisely the kind of journalism that has cost Julian Assange a decade of his life, has prompted debate about the role of a free press in democracies such as Australia and of investigative journalists doing national security reporting. (Reservations required but event is free.)

Judge tosses DNC suit against Assange and Trump

Here is further explantion of the huge significance of the judgement handed down against the US Democrats' attempt to charge Julian Assange with espionage and somehow prosecute a non-US citizen as if they were a US citizen. That successive Australian governments have allowed the US and the UK to go after Assange in absolute refusal of Assange's human rights is damning of our political class.

Submissions sought: Committee to scrutinise the impact of the exercise of law enforcement and intelligence powers on the freedom of the press

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has commenced an inquiry into the impact of the exercise of law enforcement and intelligence powers on the freedom of the press. The inquiry was referred by the Attorney-General, The Hon Christian Porter MP, on 4 July 2019, for the PJCIS to inquire into the Terms of Reference. (Details inside.) This is a reaction to public and press reaction over the raid by the Australian federal police of the home of News Corp Australia journalist Annika Smethurst, to find out how she had come by a leaked plan to allow government spying on Australians. A warrant from an ACT magistrate gave police authority to search the home, computer and mobile phone of the journalist. News Corp Australia called this a "dangerous act of intimidation targeted at public interest reporting." Smethurst had authored an article about heads of defence and home affairs ministries in Australia having talked about "draconian new powers to allow the Australian Signals Directorate to spy on Australian citizens for the first time. Under the mooted plan, spies would be allowed to secretly access emails, bank accounts and text messages with approval from the defence and home affairs ministers." See inside for how you can contribute - by 26 July 2019. Consider how Australian governments have failed to protect Julian Assange in the name of a perceived right to conceal war crimes.

The War on Assange Is a War on Press Freedom

This article by Chris Hedges has also been published on Truthdig (15/7/18) and Russia Insider (22/7/18):

UPDATE: 23/7/2018 Worldwide protests being organised against the eviction of Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy. See here and here.

The failure on the part of establishment media to defend Julian Assange, who has been trapped in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012, has been denied communication with the outside world since March and appears to be facing imminent expulsion and arrest, is astonishing. The extradition of the publisher—the maniacal goal of the U.S. government—would set a legal precedent that would criminalize any journalistic oversight or investigation of the corporate state. It would turn leaks and whistleblowing into treason. It would shroud in total secrecy the actions of the ruling global elites. If Assange is extradited to the United States and sentenced, The New York Times, The Washington Post and every other media organization, no matter how tepid their coverage of the corporate state, would be subject to the same draconian censorship. Under the precedent set, Donald Trump's Supreme Court would enthusiastically uphold the arrest and imprisonment of any publisher, editor or reporter in the name of national security.

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