Australian National Security or Out of Control Spy Agency

by karwalski

I have not been watching very closely, but I did pick-up the joint-parliament committees on the calendar on the aph.gov.au website a few months ago, and spotted the Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security had a scheduled meeting. I knew nothing more of it and made a brief mention of it in a question to the PM on ABC’s Q&A TV series in regards to oversight and transparency. Little was I aware (like most Australians) of the major reforms they are proposing to national security. I am no expert in the field, but I do call on all experts to read the papers put forward by the committee and make a submission as soon as possible! The deadline for submissions is Monday August 6th (thats 4 weeks from the date of this post).

Discussion papers can be found here – http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees?url=pjcis/nsl2012/index.htm

On the 8th June 2012 (for the 11th of June episode of ABC’s Q&A with Julia Gillard) although not aired on national TV, I asked the following in a video question;

Prime minister Gillard, My question is regarding freedom of information and the intellegence agency, ASIO. Jokingly someone recently told me that ASIO probably has a file on me. I laughed it off at first, but the curious person I am, I did some digging, and sure enough discovered that in plain english in the FAQ Section of the ASIO website that not only is the agency exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, they are also exempt from the Privacy Act, meaning they can obtain citizens private information from any agency or organisation without them knowing or having the oppertunity to dispute. Weather I be a Assylum Seeker, WikiLeaks supporter, Anti-coal activist or everyday citizen, A system with no proper oversight or transparency is deplorable. And before you answer that Inspector General you appointed has oversight, recent senate committes and upcoming submissions show quite the oposite. How can every day Australians be given a fair-go, when your ‘spy agency’ is out of control?

You can watch the video on ABCs website (poor quality audio) http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/video-questions.htm#id=3e4bc5d8-9585-4ca1-9131-8c0e944bec1d

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