National security vs the public’s right to know: Where do we draw the line? | Four Corners


[REPORTER, STEVE CANNANE] Since the 9/11
terrorist attacks over 70 new laws have been passed in Australia
in the name of national security, and many of them interfere with democratic rights and freedoms. As Australia’s security state
has expanded in response to the war on terror, so too has
Australia’s state of secrecy. More government documents are being
classified, more journalists are being monitored, more whistleblowers
are being charged. It begs the question; where do we draw
the line between national security and the public’s right to know. A series of police
investigations and raids has brought this question into sharp focus. [NEWS REPORTER] Tonight, the ABC’s Sydney headquarters raided by the Federal Police. [STEVE CANNANE] In June a team of
federal police raided the ABC’s Sydney headquarters over a series of stories
alleging killings of unarmed civilians by Australian soldiers This came a day after a News Corp journalist had her home searched by federal police after breaking a story about
increased surveillance powers [REPORTER] Do you think it’s right to
be going after the media like this? [STEVE CANNANE] The raids gained
international attention. [AMAL CLOONEY] Australia’s parliament just launched an inquiry into press freedom after police raided [the] Sydney headquarters of the ABC news channel alleging that classified material was
used in a report on killings by Australian forces in Afghanistan [NATIONAL PRESS CLUB] We have the ABCs managing director … [STEVE CANNANE] It’s brought
about a rare display of unity from Australia’s media organisations. [MICHAEL MILLER, NEWS CORP] These
raids put our democracy in danger and put the public’s right to know in danger
and that put people who talk to journalists in danger. [HUGH MARKS, NINE] Much too often
these days the words “national security” are conveniently invoked as a means of
shutting down the flow of information and debate on often what are spurious
grounds. [DAVID ANDERSON, ABC] Decriminalising journalism is a mandatory first step. No one deserves to be
punished for doing their job and pursuing information that
is clearly in the public interest. [ANDREW WILKIE, MP] I fear we’re living in very dangerous times here in Australia. There is clearly a reduction in civil liberties,
whistleblowers are being pursued in the courts, journalists are being raided. I would characterise
it as being in a pre-police state which, left unchecked, will get even
worse and one day we’ll wake up and wonder how on earth we got here. [BRET WALKER SC] The country
generally should have a good hard look, with no preconceptions, about
just what is the scope of information about government that should be kept
secret from the people, for how long and why. I think that for far too long there
has been this notion that a very few people will decide what’s good for us to
know and what’s good for us not to know and I, for one, am not prepared to
give them a blank cheque.

22 thoughts on “National security vs the public’s right to know: Where do we draw the line? | Four Corners

  • We clearly are living in frightening times. Our rights and free speech are being taken away from us. The elite can use whatever excuses they like but the truth remains. It's not a democracy if you cannot say criticise the elite oligarchs. Corporations paying no tax. It's no coincidence that we lost our guns and with it the loss of coercive power. We never see the police, the criminals or the military lose their guns. Imagine Americans losing their guns. Only criminals, drug cartels, thugs, pimps, police and the military with weapons? A truelly terrifying nightmare. When the scales of wealth shifts from the poor to the wealthy expect trouble.

  • Our government, with poor legislation impacting our farmers and minorities have killed more Australian's than terrorists. We need to hold our government accountable before they can orchestrate a tragedy that lets them assume even more power.

  • Also, our information that they harvest is just sold to coperations and foreign governments. We live in a puppet state, and its high time we cut the strings.

  • We need to know yes. Journalists and whistleblowers should be protected. Too many times now the mainstream media reports what the establishment wants us to know, not what is actually going on. When lives are in jeopardy we definitely need to know, we need to make conscious decisions and the pollies need to follow what WE want. Independent news should not be censored and called fake news just because they don't toe the establishment line.

  • been saying it for ages the shadow government and the federal governments are behind all terror attacks they are all false flags , they do this to enslave us with terror laws and political correctness is used to silence us – tiptoe small steps we are heading towards dictatorship

  • The very last instalment in the complete capture of Australia will become evident when the government enforces a cashless society. We will become enslaved forever by globalist bankers. Australians will become lambs to the slaughter.

  • So take on the LibNat party and expose their corruption, you sycophants.

    Every time you turn a blind eye and play their game, lest they cut your funding, they grow in power. The corporate channels won't do it because they're owned by the donors, but you can.

    Make the difference. Call out corruption at every turn, make calls without apologies and drop distracting identity politics from discussion.

  • So take on the LibNat party and expose their corruption, you sycophants.

    Every time you turn a blind eye and play their game, lest they cut your funding, they grow in power. The corporate channels won't do it because they're owned by the donors, but you can.

    Make the difference. Call out corruption at every turn, make calls without apologies and drop distracting identity politics from discussion.

  • Funny how the government only whinge about the media when the media use something against the government and not when someone's being chased down the street with a camera down their face and not in a courtroom in front of their peers

  • Until our journalists actually do the public a favour by accurately describing the truth about 9/11, its familiar and household usage as a significant event in the justification of any "draconian" legislation, is just a disingenuous propagandised muddying of the waters, and causing reduced clarity as events unfold.. What duty is this..

    Most of the new generation of reporters are not even curious. Their views on current conflicts and events has me wondering if you'd find USB ports at the base of the noggin.

  • When the searching for truth becomes the enemy, then claiming its suppression is necessary for national security is the least of our worries. Targeting whistleblowers, Journalists, Lawyers, persistent political blocking of Royal Commissions become frighteningly similar behaviour we see in creeping police states around the world. It's been a short march from the War on terror to the War on civil liberties. Keep fighting the good fight Four Corners,

  • Public knowledge IS public safety. Herr politician being controlled by King Rupert make Australia the world's most controlled society, and people don't give a toss.

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