The June 2019 raids on media outlets exposed in small part the extent to which Australian authorities now have the power to monitor journalists’ communication and devices, access and alter the data of media outlets and dissuade people from revealing information to journalists in the public interest. In the last decade or so, parliament has granted more and more powers of surveillance without also implementing corresponding safeguards to ensure freedom of the press.
New laws have increasingly criminalised speech and journalism, and the existing whistleblower protection laws are inadequate to ensure the protection of journalists’ sources.
Finally, the June 2019 raids highlighted the woefully inadequate warrant system for those cases where law enforcement are seeking access to journalist information.
Read the Human Rights Law Centre submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security inquiry into the impact of the exercise of law enforcement and intelligence powers on the freedom of the press (July 2019).