Feds eye charges for ABC reporter

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 3 : 3-Jul-20

A spokesman for Attorney-General Christian Porter has declined to comment on the Australian Federal Police’s decision to refer an ABC journalist for possible prosecution. The AFP has forwarded a brief of evidence to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions following a two-year investigation into the ‘Afghan Files’ case. However, the brief only names one of the ABC journalists responsible for the series of reports, Dan Oakes. Porter would have to approve any decision to prosecute Oakes, and he has previously stated that he would be unlikely to authorise the prosecution of journalists for publishing classified information.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT

AFP search of journalist’s home illegal

Original article by Michael Pelly, Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 16-Apr-20

Australian Federal Police commissioner Reece Kershaw says News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst could still face criminal charges despite a landmark High Court ruling on the legal validity of a search warrant. The court has unanimously ruled that the warrant used to search her home in June 2019 was invalid as it was too imprecise and "impossibly wide". However, the court narrowly rejected an application for an injunction requiring the AFP to return or destroy data that it seized in the raid.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE

High Court to rule on warrant AFP used to raid journalist Annika Smethurst’s Canberra home

Original article by Elizabeth Byrne, Matthew Doran
abc.net.au – Page: Online : 15-Apr-20

The issue of press freedom will come under scrutiny again on 15 April, when the High Court decides on the validity of a search warrant used in a media raid in June 2019. News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst has challenged the legal validity of the search warrant issued to Australian Federal Police officers who raided her home in Canberra. Her lawyers have argued amongst other things that the law under which the warrant was issued was invalid because it breached the implied constitutional right to freedom of political communication. The ABC has unsuccessfully challenged the search warrant used in a separate raid on its Sydney premises.

CORPORATES
HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION

Guardian journalist unpaid for five weeks

Original article by David Ross
The Australian – Page: 3 : 12-Mar-20

The Australian arm of news publisher The Guardian has provided extensive coverage of the wage underpayments scandal in recent months. However, freelance journalist Russell Jackson has claimed that The Guardian itself has not paid him for five articles that he wrote in January. The Guardian’s Australian editor, Lenore Taylor, has described this as "unacceptable" and said she will ensure that the matter is resolved. Jackson has previously been the news publisher’s deputy sports editor.

CORPORATES
THE GUARDIAN AUSTRALIA

Media regime just a way to keep bad laws

Original article by Richard Ferguson, Leo Shanahan
The Weekend Australian – Page: 7 : 29-Feb-20

The Australian Federal Police and the Department of Home Affairs have used a joint submission to the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security to propose a ‘notice to produce’ regime for journalists. This would require an independent body to assess requests from security agencies for access to documents and communications between journalists and their confidential sources. The proposal has been criticised by News Corp Australia’s executive chairman Michael Miller, while Labor contends that journalists would still be at risk from prosecution and jail.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY JOINT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION

Reporters’ data targeted

Original article by Tamsin Rose
Herald Sun – Page: 8 : 6-Feb-20

A Department of Home Affairs report shows that Australian Federal Police officers were granted six warrants to access the telephone data of journalists during 2018-19. This is three times more than in the previous financial year. The warrants also allowed the AFP to access 20 historical data sets containing information about the journalists’ calls, texts and emails. Government agencies were also issued with 3,561 interception warrants in 2018-19. The AFP came under scrutiny in 2019 over a series of media raids.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE

Protect media freedom to protect the community

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 24 : 15-Nov-19

Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses will use a speech on 15 November to urge the federal government to take action on the issue of media freedom. In addition to calling for better protection for journalists, Moses will argue the need for more safeguards for whistleblowers in the public service. Moses will contend that journalists need greater protection due to the important role they play in protecting the community from government abuse and misinformation.

CORPORATES
LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, HOLDING REDLICH, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, SKY NEWS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE

AFP raid on journo’s home trespass

Original article by Olivia Caisley
The Australian – Page: 7 : 13-Nov-19

The High Court has been told that a warrant to search a News Corp Australia journalist’s home was invalid as it did not state the exact nature of her alleged offence. The lawyer representing Annika Smethurst also alleged that the Australian Federal Police’s search warrant infringed the implied freedom of political communication. Stephen Lloyd SC said the AFP should be either forced to delete any files it had extracted from Smethurst’s mobile phone during the raid in June, or be subject to a court order preventing any use of those files.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NATIONWIDE NEWS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN SIGNALS DIRECTORATE

PM tested on secrecy laws

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Olivia Caisley
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 22-Oct-19

The issue of press freedom came under scrutiny in federal parliament on 21 October. Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated that any decision to prosecute a journalist should be based on the rule of law rather than the "whim of politicians". Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses has responded by calling for Attorney-General Christian Porter to withdraw a recently-issued directive to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions regarding the prosecution of journalists for alleged breaches of four statutes.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

Tweaking will not protect journalists

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 24 : 4-Oct-19

Attorney-General Christian Porter is at odds with Law Council president Arthur Moses over a ministerial directive that allows him to veto prosecutions against journalists over reports that may breach secrecy laws. Porter’s ministerial directive also seemingly contradicts one issued by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in early August, in the wake of the Australian Federal Police’s media raids. Porter’s ministerial directive could potentially enable him to kill off AFP cases against media companies and journalists that have been sanctioned by Dutton.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE