For a university assessment, we had 48 hours to write two ~1000 word essays responding to questions from a list of 12. This first piece was in response to a question asking what the term “national interest” meant with regards to foreign policy. It briefly outlines Australia’s history with Timor-Leste, concluding that national interest has more to do with with the political and commercial interests of Canberra. This is in contrast to the public interest, international human rights interests, and the interests of the Timorese people.Continue reading “What Is the ‘National Interest’ When it Comes to Foreign Policy?”
Tag: national security
National Security and Press Freedom
This is the second of two short pieces written for my Communication Law and Ethics unit. They aren’t anything particularly special, with only 750 words to try explain some current issues in media law, whether the current laws are effective, and the prospects for reform. Still thought it worth sharing given the drought of content on this site recently. This one covers protections for journalists reporting on matters of “national security”, a rather vague phrase used to shield the government from public inquiry and embarrassment – or accountability for criminal activity.Continue reading “National Security and Press Freedom”
Commonwealth Whistleblower Protection Legislation
This was one of two short pieces written for my Communication Law and Ethics unit. They aren’t anything particularly special, with only 750 words to try explain some current issues in media law, whether the current laws are effective, and the prospects for reform. Still thought it worth sharing given the drought of content on this site recently. This piece discusses whistleblower protection legislation. As a side note, with Labor in power, and Mark Dreyfus’ comments, the Witness K and Bernard Collaery case may see a quick and positive resolution – it will be damning if they neglect it.Continue reading “Commonwealth Whistleblower Protection Legislation”
Border Protection as a Defence of White Sovereignty
This essay was written for for my Australian Foreign Policy unit in response to the following question:
How should we make sense of Australia’s approach to the arrival of asylum seekers by boat?
I suggest that we can only understand Australia’s refugee policies by viewing it as a defence of the white nation-state’s sovereignty. This attempt to legitimise white sovereignty over borders runs in tandem with the denial of Indigenous sovereignty, which is also perceived as a threat to the legitimacy of the white nation-state. In both cases, vulnerable groups are marginalised, demonised, and dehumanised by the policies of successive Australian governments. References are provided at the bottom.Continue reading “Border Protection as a Defence of White Sovereignty”
Conflicts Within Australia’s Liberal Democracy: Press Freedom and the Right to Privacy
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.Continue reading “Conflicts Within Australia’s Liberal Democracy: Press Freedom and the Right to Privacy”
Governments Can’t Self-Regulate Surveillance
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.Continue reading “Governments Can’t Self-Regulate Surveillance”
Pine Gap: A Reflection
(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.