Spy versus spy: government control of sensitive information

Local government Australia
Attachment Size
apo-nid1261.pdf 185.07 KB

From June to September 2004, government officials ‘cleansed’ computers which held copies of an original manuscript by former Office of National Assessments analyst Andrew Wilkie. Wilkie had agreed with the government’s instruction to remove some passages from the manuscript of the book Axis of Deceit after a lawyer hired to vet the book for sensitive content handed it over to the Attorney-General’s Department. Recipients of the draft book allegedly consented under some pressure to have their computer hard drive ‘cleansed’. Susan Harris Rimmer examines the relevant agency powers and finds the use of consent in this incident raises several issues of concern such as bypassing the need for search or computer access warrants, restricting freedom of speech in relation to publishing and the accountability of Australia’s national security officials.

Publication Details