Conflicts Within Australia’s Liberal Democracy: Press Freedom and the Right to Privacy

01/09/2021

The following piece is an essay I have written for a university assessment. I seriously hope it makes sense, otherwise there is only disappointment ahead. For a TL;DR, the purpose was to discuss conflicts between two integral parts of the Australian system – liberalism and democracy. This essay essentially puts forward the argument that Australia’s liberal democracy suffers due to assaults on a free press by both the government and corporate power and influences, as well as the invasive domestic surveillance carried out by the government (the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) in particular). The result is a clash between the liberal concepts of the state and private enterprise with the more democratic ideals of the right to information and accountability from the government (in this case through the lens of a genuinely free press), and the right to privacy.

The reference list is also at the end, which happily contains books I have read (and written about) previously. Enjoy, I suppose.

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Governments Can’t Self-Regulate Surveillance

10/10/2020

Reading Sacha Molitorisz’s Net Privacy: How We Can Be Free in an Age of Surveillance, I have appreciated the background and philosophical backing for protecting privacy. In particular, the relational approach to privacy he describes I think is a brilliant way to expand the scope of what actually constitutes privacy as an individual and societal concern. However, there have been a few points that I do not agree with or wish were explored more; as young as it is, the role blockchain technology has and could play in ensuring net privacy is not even mentioned once. Instead, the chapter I am currently reading speaks of regulation and legislation, talking about the privacy of individuals and society but then falling back on the State or global institutions to uphold it – a tad problematic.

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Pine Gap: A Reflection

01/01/2019

(The following first paragraph was added on 02/12/2019): Below I had, at the time, speculated that based on information regarding Pine Gap and the invasion of Timor-Leste, Gough Whitlam’s dismissal in 1975 was likely instigated by the US. With further reading since 1st January 2019, the theory I had strong beliefs in had in fact already been proven – how I didn’t stumble across that at the time, who knows, but the conclusions remain the same. For a quick run-down, YouTuber Friendlyjordies has also since created a video detailing the lead-up to the Dismissal. My tepid concession below that it was only ‘speculation’ can only be excused by a lack of knowledge at the time and my attention on other activities – there was undeniably a coup.

I recently read the book Pine Gap by David Rosenberg, who worked for the NSA and was stationed at Pine Gap, near Alice Springs in Central Australia, for 18 years. The mostly US-run and secretive base has been the centre of numerous conspiracy theories and protests, but David’s book (as he explains his intention to be) dispels a lot of the wild ideas, while confirming the more expected details.

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