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Australian Police Chief Seeks Terror Reporting Ban

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the ignorance-is-bliss dept.

Censorship 146

DJMajah writes "News.com.au reports that Australian Federal Police chief Mick Keelty has called for a media blackout on reporting of terrorism investigations and cases before trial in a speech to the Sydney Institute last night. Although he doesn't believe public institutions should be immune from public accountability, he goes on to say that public discussion should be delayed until information is made available by the courts or legal proceedings are complete. This all comes after last year's widely reported case of Dr. Mohammed Haneef who was detained then later deported from Australia on evidence described as weak — and seen by some, including Haneef, as a conspiracy."

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146 comments

First Post (0, Offtopic)

laddiebuck (868690) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243072)

This was going to be the first post, but it took such a long time to clear with the censors because of the also, possibly I shouldn't have written about or about rights to free issues.

NIGGERS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22243564)

Good mods find good posts and mod them up. Shitty mods find bad posts and mod them down. I wrote this to waste mod points. Guess which one I am targeting?

1984 (5, Interesting)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243084)

If the media can only report what the courts tell them, then who's to say that the information isn't censored? Seems very 1984ish to me. If Australia takes this step, it's only a matter of time before they're creating news altogether.

Re:1984 (5, Informative)

tpgp (48001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243196)

If Australia takes this step,

I don't think Australia's likely to take this step, the person asking for this is the dumbass cop who arrested an innocent man to attempt to test new anti-terror laws (his relationship with the previous Australian government also suggests he did it for political gain).

Read this article [myapologetics.com] for a better understanding of the Haneef case.

The current government does not support the calls to censor the media.

Re:1984 (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243212)

Yes, the current government merely wants to set up a list of forbidden sites that you have to opt into to view.

Sorry, but these pack of freedom-hating political hacks ain't that much different than Howard's bunch of freedom-hating political hacks.

Re:1984 (4, Insightful)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243284)

The new mouthpiece has smaller eyebrows and a better hairdo. Other than that it's business as usual.

Re:1984 (4, Funny)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243574)

He also has a taste for earwax. :)

Re:1984 (2, Funny)

highwaytohell (621667) | more than 6 years ago | (#22244960)

Maybe its just me, and it more than likely is, but i'll be damned if Kevin Rudd isn't a child of the corn come to life...

Re:1984 (2, Informative)

tpgp (48001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243296)

Sorry, but these pack of freedom-hating political hacks ain't that much different than Howard's bunch of freedom-hating political hacks.

I don't think you can really compare a dumbassed plan to censor the internet (that will probably never be implemented), with the actual arrest & incarceration (without due process), followed by deportation of an innocent man.

Get a sense of perspective.

Re:1984 (3, Insightful)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243334)

They've only been in for two months. The other side had over a decade. Once they're warmed up, we'll see the level of stupidity they exhibit. Sense of perspective, indeed.

Re:1984 (0, Redundant)

tpgp (48001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243402)

They've only been in for two months. The other side had over a decade. Once they're warmed up, we'll see the level of stupidity they exhibit. Sense of perspective, indeed.

Indeed, we will see what level of stupidity they may exhibit.

However, we have already seen the level of extreme and dangerous stupidity the Howard govt exhibited.

If you had a sense of perspective, you'd see the difference between proven & potential stupidity.

Re:1984 (3, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243492)

If you had a sense of perspective, you'd see the difference between proven & potential stupidity.

Yah, proven stupidity has limits, potential stupidity is boundless. At least until the wave function collapses, when it becomes proven stupidity....

Re:1984 (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243932)

oh ye of short memory.

labor is the party that tries to please everyone, and thats where they screw up... because when you try to please everyone you end up pleasing no one.

Perspective. (4, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22244402)

Compare no, link yes! This is Mick trying to cover Mick's arse by blaming the media. Previously he has tried to blame scotland yard, Indian police, unidentified tipsters, the chief prosecuter, disloyal officers, and of course Haneef himself. Personly I am suprised he hasn't thought of pinning the mess on Corey [news.com.au]

Mick's problem is not that he prostitutes his position to curry political favour, it's the fact that everyone knows it.

As for Labour sticking with Mick, not a chance! Remeber in 2000 the AFP raided the home of a Labour MP's adviser in what amounted to a fishing expedition on opposition foreign policy of the time. Labour will relish doing Mick slowly and publicly with the promised full blown inquiry. As for Labour being any better, well soak in the irony of Rudd suggesting Mick's opinion on censorship should be censored [smh.com.au] .

Re:1984 (1)

Gideon Fubar (833343) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243302)

At least this lot are actually likely to understand when we tell them it's not technically possible.

Then they can spend all that extra money on fibre...

</optimistic>

Re:1984 (2, Informative)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243520)

While the guy may take photo-ops with his laptop open, the fact that he suggested such a stupendous plan argues against his technical competency.

Re:1984 (1)

Gideon Fubar (833343) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243554)

I know, i know.. that was all for the schools and for show. I could propose that he's only suggesting it to keep ignorant parents happy, and that he knows it's not feasible or wanted, but you're most likely right.

At least we're finally rid of Howard tho.

Re:1984 (2, Interesting)

Redlazer (786403) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243614)

They are ALL freedom-hating political hacks, because there is more power to gain from restriction the freedom of others, than there is in setting others free.

-Red

Re:1984 (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 6 years ago | (#22244626)

I don't think Australia's likely to take this step, the person asking for this is the dumbass cop w
You're wrong there. He isn't a dumbass. He can't be a dumbass. He might be an arsehole, he might need a kick up the arse, he might even have a face like an arse (an arse-face). But an ass in Australia is a donkey, and dumbass makes no sense whatsoever.

Re:1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22245002)

Rubbish!

Before you lot go flapping off at the mouth read the ACTUAL transcript of his speech.

http://www.afp.gov.au/media/national_media/national_speeches/2008/address_to_the_sydney_institute [afp.gov.au]

Seems like he's being sensible but the media want to blow things out of all proportion so they can sell more newspapers.

Typical media scare mongering and you Big Brother clowns fall for it every time.

Re:1984 (2, Insightful)

webword (82711) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243298)

All news is created these days.

Seriously, very little reporting goes on. This is *especially* true at local levels. The national news agencies feed "news" down to local affiliates to push one position or another. Why would they do this? Major news media are not independent and objective. They are driven by profit and the wrong news hurts profits.

Re:1984 (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243342)

If Australia takes this step, it's only a matter of time before they're creating news altogether.
This is a step, but a small one. You may report whatever you like, just not about terrorism while an investigation is still continuing. Yes, it's a damage to accountability, but I at least see the reasons why he's done it. While it is worrying, I certainly don't think "it's only a matter of time before they're creating news".

Re:1984 (4, Interesting)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243480)

Well, I can somewhat understand his (and your) reasoning--it prevents "trial by public opinion". However, why couldn't the alleged terrorism and details be reported on, while at the same time keeping the name(s) of the suspects secret? A blanket-ban on reporting on terrorism could be seen as irresponsible. For example, if I heard that Mr-X had been captured and it became apparent that he was targeting my local nightclub (whatever), then I'd stay the hell away. With no reporting on the subject at all, I may well go out for a beer and end up with an molotov cocktail (so to speak).

Re:1984 (2, Insightful)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243764)

Or what happened to kick up this fuss in the first place could happen to you, where a man was detained and interrogated without charge, found innocent yet still has a permanent record as a terrorist security risk. Good luck living a normal life with that stigma. He wants this censorship because he royally fucked up his job as AFP Commissioner and the embarrassment and media exposure has probably cost him his job.

Re:1984 (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243906)

Umm, which is exactly what I was saying. Which is why I said report without naming names.

Re:1984 (4, Insightful)

tx_kanuck (667833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243506)

Yes, it's a damage to accountability

It is a damage to accountability, but how much is it really? Telling the press (and the public) that they have to wait until after the trial has concluded is something that's been done for many years. Lots of courts have issued publication bans to the media during a trial. As long as the publication ban is removed as soon as the verdict is rendered, is it really that damaging to the accountability?

It's a sword that cuts both ways, especially in a jury trial. If the prosecution feels they have a weak case, they may try to poison the jury pool, however if the defence feels they can make themselves into a martyr to assist their weak case, then they can also do that. To help defend against that, either side can run to the judge for a publication ban, and this just removes that step. It forces both sides to do their fighting in the courtroom itself, and not on the steps outside.

Should a publication ban be in place until all legal avenues have been exhaused? No. An investigation and trial can last for many years. Until both sides have the option to go to in front of a judge to present their cases no publication ban should exist. Once the court procedings have moved onto the appeal stage no publication ban should exist. During the inital trial (at least until the jury has been picked), I can see the justification of a publication ban. Ideally, for a jury you want to pick the most unbiased people you can. A automatic 30 day publication ban (starting once the defendant has seen a judge and been formally charged, but removeable at the judges discretion just as imposing a ban is) can help with that. Once the jury has been picked though, to continue the publication ban requires a signed order from the judge (and one that can be appealed). I'm not entirely happy with that compromise, but given the medias abilty to sensationalize even the most minor events (not that it would ever happen on /.), I would be able to live with that.

Re:1984 (5, Insightful)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243984)

That's true - for regular trials. But here we have trials for nebulously defined "terrorism", which you can just randomly (from your perspective) end up in with no proper charges raised against you. They're putting people to trial because they feel like it and just being the defendant in such a trial means that you'll probably be regarded a terrorism risk by many nations.

It's scary enough that they can do that. The process requires absolute and total transparency as far as possible without revealing security-relevant information. Nobody should be randomly tried without everyone knowing about it, especially not in such a potentially life-ruining way. And the people should know about it when it happens, not after the fact.

Secret above-the-law trials are just about the last thing we need. Manipulating data after the fact is easy, hence any special terrorist trials should be broadcasted live. By more then one source.

Re:1984 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22244588)

The normal laws of contempt and jepordising a trial apply - NOTHING need be done, as the existing laws are perfectly adequate, and if its really sensitive the existing in-camera applications can be made - unless you are saying magistrates cannot be trusted. Compared to prejudcial comments, and leaks by the supposed good guys, this case proved the proponents unworthy and untrustworthy liars. Liars should not escape scruitiny, no matter who they are.

Re:1984 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22243396)

"This all comes after last years widely reported case of Dr. Mohammed Haneef who was detained then later deported from Australia on evidence described as weak"
It was not just weak, it was falsified.

It is precisely because of how they handled the Haneef case that they *should* be scrutinised, monitored, and observed, every step of the way.

Re:1984 (4, Informative)

kingturkey (930819) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243772)

From an article in The Australian (a national paper): "Attorney-General Robert McClelland has publicly rebuked Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Keelty over his call for a press blackout on terror laws."

"The Government has no plans to introduce a media blackout on the reporting of terrorism cases,'' Mr McClelland said.

So basically it's just the AFP chief's fantasy.

http://theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,23138259-2702,00.html [news.com.au]

Until legal proceedings are finished (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22244388)

So all they'd need to do is copy all important information to another legal proceeding, never finish that one, and all that information will remain secret forever.

Are you kidding me? (5, Interesting)

metlin (258108) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243090)

Wow, seriously.

It always starts small -- shut down the press for this reason, and then expand and control.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. I simply cannot believe that people would make such recommendations, and not understand the import of their intent.

It's one thing for a tin-pot dictator in the middle of nowhere to do so, and it is quite another for someone in a position of authority in a western-styled democracy to make such statements. Then again, could be that the position of authority is what's making him make such statements.

I am just... baffled.

Re:Are you kidding me? (4, Interesting)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243160)

To misquote the fictitious but very wise Samuel Vimes, "If you start censoring for good reasons, pretty soon you'll be censoring them for bad ones".

Re:Are you kidding me? (4, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243268)

I am just... baffled.

Don't be.

This is one of the consequences of a long-term effort by the previous Howard government to boost the power of the AFP and ASIO and to erode civil liberties in Australia. Howard's support for Bush was more than just lip service.

Keelty in particular has been deeply involved in the more unsavoury side of recent failed prosecutions, including allowing the detention and slander of suspects to continue even though he know there was no evidence [apo.org.au] .

In many ways, Keelty's reticence is understandable, given that he was slapped down [apo.org.au] by Howard for saying AFP intelligence showed Australia's involvement in Iraq was increasing our exposure to terrorism, but this response - burying evidence yet again - is just wrong.

Re:Are you kidding me? (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243438)

It's one thing for a tin-pot dictator in the middle of nowhere to do so, and it is quite another for someone in a position of authority in a western-styled democracy to make such statements.
You're right. He's living in a democracy, and hell, his position in power probably gave him the inspiration to say it. He's not forcing it upon us, he's not trying to pull of a coup, he's just suggesting, in the spirit of democracy, that we may want to give the police some space only on terrorism cases, and only for a limited amount of time. I find it hard to get quite as shocked as you evidently have over this issue.

Re:Are you kidding me? (2, Insightful)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243448)

It shits me because they don't want to be subject to public scrutiny - no matter how much they say that they are all of that.

As others have said it can take from months to years before a case is decided. In that time the media will have moved onto other things and the general public will be none-the-wiser about some insignificant person who was arrested and dropped out of society some time ago.

Most of the "terrorism" arrests that you hear about in the news are bogus. It's usually the authorities have decided they want to have a poke about in a person's life for some other reason. Find some flimsy link to terrorism (he knew a guy who once called a guy who once shared a public bus with a suspected terrorist) and arrest him, detain him for long enough to snoop through his house and generally find out all there is to know.

When he gets out a week or so later (if they really do find nothing they care about) they put a media block in place to prevent the public finding out. It doesn't matter that the guy's been gagged and can't even tell his (now) ex employer why he's a week late for work. If they find something they keep up the terrorist guise and charge him with other things as well.

Ok, so that was a hypothetical, but it's scary either way.

Fuck this proposal I tell you.

Re:Are you kidding me? (4, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243512)

Some background on this. This guy tried trial by media when the court would not give him his way and it backfired spectacularly. What he dreamed of being a dramatic showcase terrorism trial did not work, so he leaked bits of interrogation transcripts out of context to the media and then the defence leaked the bits that put them into context.

So how did this start? A doctor that had the misfortune to be related to a terrorist suspect received a bit of heavy handed treatment that previously would have been beyond Australian law and various bits of "spin" were realeased to try to justify this. Vast numbers of people normally not connected with law enforcement were involved since this was the first real test of Australia's anti-terrorist organisations. When they found nothing it all came down to pretending it was real to try to save face and justify expense. The media was initially bluffed but when it finally came time for him to be charged the courts were not. At that point the Australian media were upset that they were manipulated with very poorly constructed lies and turned on the AFP taking delight in each new revelation of utter incompentance.

Re:Are you kidding me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22244542)

He may be in a position of authority but he has no actual power to make the changes he seeks.

Call the free speech niggers! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22243104)

Put Jesse Jackson on a plane to aussie-land ASAP!

Re:Call the free speech niggers! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22243692)

it can't possibly work. there aren't enough cameras in Australia and that nigger loves him some cameras yo

Not supported by the Governement (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22243112)

The Federal Government and the Prime Minister have said they have no intentions of doing this.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/rudd-blacks-out-keeltys-opinion/2008/01/31/1201714110077.html [smh.com.au]

Re:Not supported by the Governement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22243136)

As, according to TFA, have the current opposition.

Nothing to see here.

Re:Not supported by the Governement (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243230)

Other than a self-serving police officer trying to get rules in place to protect him from having the public learn of his incompetence.

Fire this moron, strip of his pension and put him in a job where he might have some abilities, like cleaning out sewers or testing experimental drug therapies.

Re:Not supported by the Governement (1)

Gideon Fubar (833343) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243274)

The case was handled like a sport, and the AFP were trying for a win regardless of the cost...

I can't say for sure that there really was a conspiracy here, but fraudulent ploys like this won the former government two successive elections... three times constitutes enemy action?

Re:Not supported by the Governement (3, Insightful)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243266)

Kelty's just a bit of a whiner, really. He's consistantly blamed everyone else for the repeated federal police screw ups, and his latest target is the media. I'm not surprised that the current government isn't taking him to seriously, especially considering how keen they are to distance themselves from the corrupt practices of the previous government.

The only positive out of the actions of the previous government and the AFP is that they were so transparently corrupt and incompetent that our judiciary could prevent us from going down the path of breaking international law to the extent that the current US administration has. If there had been a media blackout, or "editors club" as proposed, the previous government wouldn't have appeared so twisted and the new government wouldn't have got elected. They know it. Mick really should wait until closer to a second term election when the current government has a few dirty secrets to hide before trying to float an idea like this.

Nothing to see here. Nothing's been sensored, there actually is nothing to see beyond a sad old whiner pointing the finger yet again.

Keeps the politicians out of it. (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243122)

If they stop reporting, then people won't ask politicians for statements and they won't need to stuff both feet (plus those of an advisor) in their mouth. Keeping the Immigration Minister away from the Haneef case would have been a start.

Re:Keeps the politicians out of it. (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243378)

If they stop reporting, then people won't ask politicians for statements and they won't need to stuff both feet (plus those of an advisor) in their mouth.

Um, that's not the advisor's foot....

...But then again, that's not the politician's mouth.

It's just not fair! (5, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243144)

Those poor Australian police. All that open, free society stuff is just so darned inconvenient when you want to make sure some guy's enjoying the attentions of an Egyptian torturer before news of his arrest is published.

If I was Osama, I'd be laughing myself sick watching these clowns destroy that nasty, evil free society I hate so much. I couldn't do a better job with another hundred planes.

Re:It's just not fair! (0)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243180)

Given their origins, [wikipedia.org] you shouldn't be surprised. And the stuff you're talking about is more likely the realm of ASIO and ASIS.

Re:It's just not fair! (0, Flamebait)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243490)

If I was Osama, I'd be laughing myself sick watching these clowns destroy that nasty, evil free society I hate so much. I couldn't do a better job with another hundred planes.
No, thundernuts, you just don't get it. These kinds of measures have been brought up, discussed, and dismissed, many, MANY times before. They will doubtless be discussed many, MANY times more. Our ability to discuss ideas openly and without restrictions is exactly what makes our society free, even when the topic at hand happens to be the proposed introduction of restrictions. Your overreaction is, sadly, rather typical.

Re:It's just not fair! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22243536)

Bah, what YOU don't get is that this kind of proposal is not Keelty's job to put on the discussion table. In fact, it's not his job to put any proposals on the public discussion table, he's there to manage the police force.

Democracy doesn't mean anarchy. Everyone has a role to play, and Keelty's is to STFU about checks and balances which concern the police, and let the pollies and the public do the talking.

Re:It's just not fair! (1)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243600)

It's the job of the public service to make comment without fear or favour.

Keelty might be an idiot, but he knows his role better than you do obviously.

Re:It's just not fair! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22243760)

It seems I know his role better than you. As a civil servant, he can comment IN PRIVATE, UP THE CHAIN OF AUTHORITY. That doesn't include the media. He can talk to them on his own dime after hours, as a private person.

Wrong (1)

Morosoph (693565) | more than 6 years ago | (#22244942)

Civil servants might believe that, as might the government, but the civil servant's first duty is to the people. That means: he or she blabs when it is appropriate. Insiders tend to believe that the short-term integrity of the hierarchy is synonymous with the public good. They are wrong.

Re:It's just not fair! (2, Interesting)

riseoftheindividual (1214958) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243628)

They will doubtless be discussed many, MANY times more.

I'll admit I'm ignorant of how it works in Australia, but here rights encroachment generally happens in one of two ways:
The politicians keep discussing it over the years and eventually it push it through, usually on the back of some shocking-to-the-public-conscience event. Like weapons regulations get tightened every time some little girl dies at the hands of some asshole who used a gun. See we can't hang him because we have to respect his civil rights so instead we limit the civil right to bear arms for everyone else while our system goes out of its way to put on a show of respecting the civil rights of the animal actually guilty of the crime.
The other way is that a politician or civil leader(often law enforcement officers) will make an outrageous demand, moving the bar of outrage causing comments substantially, then the actual steps taken, though they were unthinkable just a few years before, don't seem so bad.
Anyway, I hope that's not how your system works down there.

Re:It's just not fair! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22244264)

In Australia you don't have the right to bear arms

Re:It's just not fair! (1)

b0nafide (1229682) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243710)

if i were a skeptical, ruthless, oil-based economy, i might just hire somebody to create the conditions for my continued exploitation of the status quo.

Re:It's just not fair! (Is it not?) (1)

soni.mathe (1154617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243712)

If I was Osama, I'd be laughing myself sick watching these clowns destroy that nasty, evil free society I hate so much. I couldn't do a better job with another hundred planes.

Perhaps if you were Osama and believed the mythology of the Neo-Conservatives. He provided funding and inspiration for the terrorists at an earlier date but was never directly involved in the 9/11 attacks. In fact his "multinational terrorist organization" Al-Qaeda did not exist until after the American government declared it did; in reality Osama has and has a small ineffective group of Islamic fundamentalist followers. This is a link to a BBC documentary, The Power of Nightmares [google.com] that provides a more accurate depiction of the so called "War on Terror".

Re:It's just not fair! (Is it not?) (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22244498)

Al-Qaeda did not exist until after the American government declared it did

Hahahahaha.

Oh wait, you're serious.

Re:It's just not fair! (Is it not?) (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#22244552)

Al-Qaeda did not exist until after the American government declared it did; in reality Osama has and has a small ineffective group of Islamic fundamentalist followers.
I don't know whether you are sarcastic or you are serious.

Did you hatch from an addled egg?

The phenomenal amount of ignorance you show is staggering, even to a comrade.

Please read the report by http://www.9-11commission.gov/ [9-11commission.gov] detailing the history, growth, attempts to stifle, and finally dispersing of osama's terror network.

This is exactly why you should cultivate the habit of reading once in a while rather than sitting and watching Sopranos.

Way too much tv (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243156)

The people who get to make up these plans way too much television without getting the moral of the story. It is as if they have armies of interns looking for the most popular of the bad ideas expression in science fiction stories.

not for slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22243182)

I fail to see why this is relevant for slashdot...

Re:not for slashdot (0)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243232)

Because if they begin to censor us from viewing terrorist cases, maybe the comments posted by slashdotters would be inappropriately political. The government managed to release their own 'firewall' package recently, and there has been some very strong discussions on forcing us to ask for pornographic access when we connect to the Internet. If they start censoring us in the media, where does it end.

Re:not for slashdot (2)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243806)

You post as an Anonymous Coward on slashdot and you can't see how media censorship affects you? Please.

Halt to criticism of Keelty (5, Insightful)

nbauman (624611) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243214)

Here's where Keelty gets to the point:

He also called for a halt to criticism of public institutions.

He's calling for an end to criticism of government institutions, specifically himself. This is particularly inappropriate given his record of incompetence and false charges against Mohammed Haneef.

Wouldn't we all like to be protected from criticism of ourselves and our incompetence.

For half a second there. . . (2, Funny)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243216)

. . . my hopes flared, thinking that the police chief meant that everybody should quit going on and on about this tiresome 'Terror Threat' we all supposedly face and that the media should stop broadcasting fear to the public.

But then I realized that he fully bought into the fairy tale and just wanted to make sure that the people nabbed and tazered while waiting to board their flights are prosecuted in star chambers.

Oh well.


-FL

He's copped a right caning for it... (4, Informative)

Goonie (8651) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243220)

Keelty's copped a barrage of (deserved) criticism in the media for his speech. One of the major metropolitan dailies, The Age, editorialised thusly [theage.com.au] :

Controlling the flow on information is one of the pillars of a secret state and this "tension", or balance, can be a healthy sign of a democracy. The AFP is responsible for fighting terrorism, and it is acknowledged that such a fight involves enormous complexities. However, Mr Keelty has stepped into waters beyond his remit.

Although the AFP often operates in secret to investigate terrorism, its obligation to the public carries with it the greater principle of a duty to open justice. This principle can only be adjudged in the "court of public opinion", of which Mr Keelty is so dismissive. It only needs one example: Mohamed Haneef.


He's also been criticised heavily by the Federal Opposition spokeperson [theage.com.au] on justice matters, Christopher Pyne, whose party appointed Keelty to the job and under whose watch most of the contentious matters Keelty is referring to occurred.

The organization Keelty heads, the Australian Federal Police, screwed up a terrorism case badly (the guy was a doctor who had the misfortune to have some distant relatives amongst the British firebombers of last year) in a blaze of publicity. He's coming across as blaming the messenger for his organization's faults.

Re:He's copped a right caning for it... (5, Informative)

pnevin (168332) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243356)

Keelty's got form. One of the reasons why the Haneef case fell apart was because the guy's barrister released the transcript of Haneef's police interviews to the press, as a response to repeated damaging AFP leaks and also to show what a confused mess the AFP's case actually was. As a result, Keelty is seeking to have the lawyer struck off for unprofessional conduct [abc.net.au] .

Keelty always had an enthusiastic ear in the last government, who were desperately seeking another Tampa [wikipedia.org] in an election year. The new government, thankfully, appears to be treating matters a bit more soberly.

Re:He's copped a right caning for it... (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243558)

It's quite funny really that he thinks trial by media is professional if he does it but releasing the source it comes from is not. The disgusting end of the affair was when after the court threw the case out Haneef was deported really on the grounds that the Immigration Minister did not like him. In Australia we currently have a bizzare situation where every immigration application has to be personally approved by the Minister - something that is likely to change back to a more professional approach soon instead of the tinpot feudalism that plagued that department over most of the last decade.

Ul-Haque (1)

miskate (730309) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243258)

Forget the Haneef stuffup, it's things like what happened in the Ul-Haque case [austlii.edu.au] that the Feds really don't want the press talking about pre-trial. Or at any other time I'd wager. ASIO wasn't happy with the outcome [ninemsn.com.au] anyway.

Re:Ul-Haque (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22243400)

ASIO failed to stop the Bali Bombings, not once but *twice*. Add to that how cases like Ul-Haque and Haneef were bungled, as a citizen I have no faith in those guys. Secrecy is used as a mask to protect incompetence.

Re:Ul-Haque (1, Troll)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243432)

They do a rather efficient job on home soil. I fail to see why they should be policing everything about a country that isn't their own. Take Bali for the current example. The club wasn't the Australian embassy so at what point has it reached our jurisdiction? The people working for ASIO can't be expected to cover the entire worlds policies. How would you feel if suddenly American police were patrolling the streets because you suggested you might want to blow up a land-mark and there MAY be American citizens there.

I'm not trying to detract from the pain, sorrow, or loss that people felt over the bombings, but it wasn't Australia who screwed up in preventing those attacks...

And finally, if you think you can do a better job, go and apply. Reform the system. Me, I can't. I don't trust them to stay out of my business, but I do trust them to do what they can.

Re:Ul-Haque (1)

SJ2000 (1128057) | more than 6 years ago | (#22244442)

There are plenty of other intelligence agencies in the world, why not blame them too? There is only so much an organisation can do, hell, they can't even carry guns Other then the 1973 issue related to Yugoslav consulate bombings (Which wasn't proven anyway) ASIO isn't known for withholding information on threats.

Re:Ul-Haque (1)

SJ2000 (1128057) | more than 6 years ago | (#22244464)

they can't even carry guns
I retract that statement, I can't find any references I had for it, not that it matters it's only Slashdot.

Keelty is a Serial Incompetent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22243352)

Keelty and the AFP demonstrated incredible incompetency in the case of Dr Haneef. The AFP even selectively leaked details to the press, then called for Hanfeef's lawyer to be disbarred when he released the whole transcript (to show the AFP were leaking selectively). I'm amazed Keelty still has a job after that. The police acted like thugs at the APEC protests. Politically Keelty was too close to the old government.

This is about Keelty tried to stop the press from reporting his serial incompetency. When we get an incompetant cop who calls for free speech to be restricted, it's really time to pension him off.

http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/letters/index.php/theaustralian/comments/keelty_has_nothing_to_fear_from_a_free_and_fair_media [news.com.au]
http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/keelty-defends-afp-over-haneef/2007/07/20/1184560027975.html?s_cid=rss_news [theage.com.au]

Why he's pissed... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22243376)

Some of the evidence that the Federal Police were trying to have accepted was found by the press to be wrong, and had to be retracted. From that point the case started to collapse.
If it hadn't been for the inconvenient press, it is quite likely that Hanif would have been convicted.
It is this sort of thing that Keelty is trying to forestall.
The press are just so damned annoying when you are trying to fit somebody up...

The AFP are just getting pissy. (4, Insightful)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243394)

They've recently found that judges in Australia, unlike the US, won't let them claim someone is a terrorist without actually showing what their evidence is. As such they've been looking like a bunch of idiots lately because they appear to be either letting Terrorists go or harrassing innocent people.

This is basically a last ditch attempt by the police to try and get the cushy situation their compatriots have in the US where all it takes is a gut feeling and cries of national security to toss someone in Guantanamo Bay. The judges aren't letting them do that here, and the public is getting royally pissed off(the Haneef and APEC failures were a part, if only a small part, of getting the previous government kicked out of office).

Even if our FOI laws aren't the greatest they're not actually going to censor this sort of thing.

Re:The AFP are just getting pissy. (2, Interesting)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#22244162)

Isn't it a paradox?
The country with 16 amendments, oldest republic, has the judiciary and the executive hell bent on supressing the hard won Habeus Corpus and Innocent-until-proven-guilty concepts?

  While a continent which is still under the rule of a queen, does not have constitutionally guaranteed rights against seizure, privacy, etc., the judiciary is hell bent on making sure the congress[parliment] and the Executive do NOT trample upon individual rights and privacy?

I have always found it a paradox.

A country with so many laws on privacy, freedom, etc., holds its own citizens in jail without a trial, while,
A country with no laws or even a constitution guaranteeing such rights provides so much freedom of thought and action...

Re:The AFP are just getting pissy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22244368)

We don't have freedom of speech, either.

Re:The AFP are just getting pissy. (2, Insightful)

SJ2000 (1128057) | more than 6 years ago | (#22244392)

...under the rule of a queen...
...in a ceremonial role who is represented by the Governor General who acts on direct advice from the Prime Minister. Not a good defence for the system, but history proves this to some what functional (Despite Whitlam)

...does not have constitutionally guaranteed rights against seizure...
It has to be done on "just terms" as in accordance with Section 51(xxxi) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_51(xxxi)_of_the_Australian_Constitution [wikipedia.org]

I agree with you whole heartily though, many of Australia's rights are "implied" in the constitution and exist merely through the High [Supreme] Court's "creative" interpretations.
Such as the implied right for Political speech in Australian Captial Television Pty Ltd v. Commonwealth (1992) which was also extended in 1994 in Theophanous v. The Herald And Weekly Times. Australia also took an active role in 1948 when drafting the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

Unfortunately, many attempts to introduce entrenched Human Rights into the constitution such Lionel Murphy in 1973 and 1985 with the Federal attorney-general have failed before they even reached the stage of a referendum. So really the argument of Australia's intent to protect right could go both ways. Despite what one thinks, there is opportunity for the Australian government to abuse the lack of rights but it hasn't happened.

don't jump to conclusions (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22244768)

First of all, the US does not have a clearly constitutionally defined right to privacy. But those rights have been steadily created by US courts, and later written into law. And the US pioneered a lot of privacy legislation and rights that later became the basis of similar legislation by other nations.

Furthermore, although Americans like to complain a lot and air a lot of political dirty laundry in public, it's wrong to conclude from that that the US is necessarily worse than Australia in areas of privacy or individual rights. I think you really need to do a deeper analysis than just go by what people talk about in the media.

Finally, although after 9/11, under Bush, the US lost some ground in terms of individual rights and privacy rights, it's too soon to tell what the long-term outcome will be. McCarthy and Nixon, for example, both were serious political crises, and both led to a strengthening of privacy rights and free speech in the US.

Re:The AFP are just getting pissy. (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22244716)

They've recently found that judges in Australia, unlike the US, won't let them claim someone is a terrorist without actually showing what their evidence is.

US judges won't either; the problem is that the executive refuses to bring those cases before judges.

Not That Bad (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243412)

I think claiming that this is the first step into becoming a police state would be exaggerating the problem. The police are hoping for a little temporary discretion from the media while terrorism cases (always an emotive point nowadays) are being investigated. After the investigations are completed the media are free to investigate themselves, and publish whatever they want. I'm not saying it's ideal, but I can see why the police want a bit of temporary breathing space. It's a long road from this to being a police state.

Re:Not That Bad (1)

td0414 (1230374) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243590)

We don't have a Bill of Rights to guarantee our democracy. Attempts to take democracy away from us are made step by step and this is a step in the wrong direction. And the previous government had already taken steps in the wrong direction. The guy is a hypocrite because he made significant use of the media to distort the facts of this case. If we'd believed his media presentation without the ability to present the other side I don't think Haneef would have been given justice. It would have disappeared because we wouldn't have fought for him because we didn't know the full picture. At least now he has the right to return if he should wish to.

Re:Not That Bad (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22244110)

We don't have a Bill of Rights to guarantee our democracy. Attempts to take democracy away from us are made step by step and this is a step in the wrong direction.
True, but the power of a Bill of Rights comes entirely from the people who support it. We really don't need a Bill of Rights to uphold our own rights, if we just protect them ourselves. Mandatory voting also helps, since people are forced to put effort into the political system, and politicians have to pander to everyone, not just the few who are actively interested in politics.

This alone isn't too bad. It's just one guy appealing to the public to allow him some legally-sanctioned breathing space. There has always been people who want to restrict our rights to help combat terrorism, and this is just another case of one of them speaking their mind.

Re:Not That Bad (1)

SJ2000 (1128057) | more than 6 years ago | (#22244418)

We have the High Court to thank for what protections Australia does have and they've been doing an OK job so far in freedom of political speech which has popped multiple times in the early 90's.

Re:Not That Bad (2, Interesting)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243826)

The police are hoping for a little temporary discretion from the media while terrorism cases (always an emotive point nowadays) are being investigated.

IMO the AFP should not expect that when they themselves leak details of the investigation to the media.

Delivered to... (2, Insightful)

DuJ (1230362) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243440)

It's important to understand who this address was delivered to, The Sydney Institute. They like to pretend they're a neutral think-tank but in reality are firmly alligned to the right wing on most, if not all issues.

Who should have kept out (1)

metalmonkey (1083851) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243464)

It is the government that should have kept out of the case until the court case had proven his guilt or innocence. As evidence came (in the media) out that he was not really involved, the government stepped in and said - doesn't matter we'll cancel his visa and get him deported, bypassing the court entirely. The day after he was granted bail, he was put into a detention centre with cancelled visa.

Fixing a Lost Media Battle by Breaking Democracy (1)

td0414 (1230374) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243530)

This guy and the Oz government, at the time, used the media in an attempt to mislead us by presenting a one-sided view of the case. They complained when Haneef's legal team made effective rebuttal through the media. Investigative journalism uncovered they're weak case which was, by all appearances, built in co-ordination with the government. That's already mixing executive and legislative power and now he tries to breakdown our democracy further by "delaying" public comment on ongoing (for years?) terrorism cases. The guy is a sore loser and has dangerous ideas.

I don't understand your criticisms (1)

cowwoc2001 (976892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243660)

I think you guys are wrong in suggesting that this limits Freedom of Speech in some unfair manner. How is this any different from preventing live media reports in the middle of a war-zone? Does it really make sense to broadcast live reports of the exact positions and plans of your armed forces?

In my view, this is a very reasonable limitation of Freedom of Speech and more to the point it simply *delays* when you may report on the matter. If you believe that this delay hampers the rights of the defendant in an unfair way then that is worth discussing, but I don't see this as being the case.

It doesn't help the cops torture anyone or pull any dirty tricks because whether the media reports on it right away or when the case reaches court it amounts to the same thing: cops that abuse the rights of the defendant will be punished by having the evidence revoked and/or the officers themselves punished. Whether the story breaks out way before the defendant reaches the court or on the day of he still enjoys the exact same legal rights.

If you are afraid that defendants will be tortured then laws should be passed to punish the offenders once the case reaches court and laws should be passed to ensure such cases *must* reach the court within a reasonable period of time. This way anyone who abuses their power won't get off easy.

The media doesn't protect people's rights, the courts do. All the media does is apply pressure on politicians or citizens which indirectly affects what laws get passed. The media has a very short attention span. Their stories are controlled by a spin factor more than anything else, as opposed to courthouses that take the necessary time to study the case in great detail. I wouldn't want to live in a court where a person's guilt is determined by the media, if you know what I mean, because popularity and justice are two different things altogether.

Re:I don't understand your criticisms (3, Insightful)

wharlie (972709) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243812)

"Whether the story breaks out way before the defendant reaches the court or on the day of he still enjoys the exact same legal rights."
"The media doesn't protect people's rights, the courts do."

You have contradicted your own argument, if the media has no effect on a persons rights then it shouldn't matter what (or when) they report.

Re:I don't understand your criticisms (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22244794)

I think you guys are wrong in suggesting that this limits Freedom of Speech in some unfair manner. How is this any different from preventing live media reports in the middle of a war-zone? Does it really make sense to broadcast live reports of the exact positions and plans of your armed forces?

Well, gee, let's see...

If you disclose positions and strengths of military forces, the enemy can attack and kill your forces.

If you do live reporting from court cases, ... I give up. What bad consequence is going to happen?

All the media does is apply pressure on politicians or citizens which indirectly affects what laws get passed.

Yes, it's called "democracy". You should try it sometime, instead of pushing for fascist "the state can do no wrong and will protect you" ideas.

as long as (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22243694)

they also stop from reporting on terrorist threat hype also, then it may balance out ?

The irony of the situation is... (1)

PhunkySchtuff (208108) | more than 6 years ago | (#22243830)

The irony of the situation is that the Australian Federal Police (AFP), who arrested Dr. Mohammed Haneef, used the media to no end in justifying the arrest, explaining why he was such a dangerous terrorist and how they were saving the world. They played the mass media to their ends, yet couldn't handle the lawyers for the defence doing the same thing to explain to the general public why he was innocent.
They're now blaming the media for covering both sides of the story, and eventually favouring the case for Dr. Haneef once the facts became known, for their inability to prosecute successfully, basically saying that if only they had have been able to push their agenda in the media, and there was no opposition to the lies they were spreading, then they may have been able to prosecute Dr. Haneef successfully.

Re:The irony of the situation is... (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#22244118)

Doesn't Australia have FoxTel which is a subsidiary of Fox News?

Fox can "assist" the police and the state in spreading Fear, Terror, and a terrifying amount of stupidity in its news.
Fox can also run a yellow sticker at the bottom of your TV stating the Terror Alert is Yellow, thus keeping the citizens constantly on alert.

Maybe 'Oreilly can be transferred to Australia to assist the government there in setting up its Free News Network.
Instead of the annoying news networks which ask awkward questions about suspects, Fox News would ask the correct questions, like, "Is Aussie homeland safe from the terrorist? How many more terror attacks were foiled?". Damn these stupid Nine MSN, Optus, etc., which seem to think bringing truth to the ignorant public is worth more.

Wait ! Peter Costello and John Howard, the two dingoes, are not in power anymore.
And the new PM has already started pulling out of Iraq, signed the Kyoto accord, publicly apologised to the Lost Generation, etc., all things "unacceptable" to Fox which grew up on a steady diet War, illegal spying, etc.

Damn...

I pity Fox.

mod Up (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22243878)

to them...7hen guys are usUally

anyone read the title alone (2, Funny)

jon_joy_1999 (946738) | more than 6 years ago | (#22244384)

and wonder why banning people from dialing 911 (or whatever the emergency phone number is in australia is) is a good thing?

what a nutcase (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22244602)

Keelty seems to be a complete nutcase:

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/national/keelty-warns-against-robot-criminals/2007/07/05/1183351363490.html [brisbanetimes.com.au]

AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty believes organised crime gangs will utilise cloned part-robot humans in the future


Although there is method to the madness:

Mr Keelty said the police force would have to use experts from the private sector to fight tech-savvy organised criminals, because it lacked the necessary skills.


Apparently, he wants to use such nutty pretexts to funnel money to private companies.

Keelty did not call for a ban (1)

amirulbahr (1216502) | more than 6 years ago | (#22245018)

He did not call for a ban, he instead asked for the media to exercise some self-restraint on these matters. The main point he was making is that if an innocent person's name is dragged through the mud, then it is the media's fault for doing it.

I happen to disagree with him though. If you detain someone without reasonable grounds and continue to interrogate and harass for days, then you're pretty much responsible for the ill treatment.
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