PM rejects fears on press freedom

Original article by Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 2 : 6-Sep-19

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stressed that the Coalition is "absolutely" committed to press freedom. He has also expressed his view that there are sufficient protections for whistleblowers, while he has defended the Australian Federal Police over the recent raid on the Canberra home of Australian Signals Directorate officer Cameron Gill. News Corp Australia executive Campbell Reid has claimed that the AFP raid was aimed at intimidating potential whistleblowers into not approaching the media.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIAN SIGNALS DIRECTORATE, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

Lawyers unite to stop erosion of freedoms

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 6 : 4-Sep-19

The Australian Federal Police raids on the ABC’s Sydney offices and the home of a News Corp journalist continue to attract scrutiny. Law Council president Arthur Moses will use a National Press Club speech on 4 September to express concern that Australians’ rights and freedoms are being eroded in the interests of ensuring national security. Victorian Bar president Matt Collins will in turn urge changes to the nation’s defamation laws. The ABC and News Corp are expected to challenge the legality of the AFP raids under the implied freedom of political communication in the Constitution.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, VICTORIAN BAR INCORPORATED, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA), ALLIANCE FOR JOURNALISTS’ FREEDOM

ABC loses bid to see federal police reasons for search warrant

Original article by Hannah Wootton
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 : 21-Aug-19

The Federal Court has ruled that the ABC had no "proper basis" for its claim that the Australian Federal Police failed to consider public policy factors when it applied for a warrant to search the public broadcaster’s Sydney offices in June. These factors included the protection of journalists’ sources and the implied freedom of political communication in the Constitution. The ABC is seeking to have the AFP’s warrant declared invalid and return of documents that were seized in the raid.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Secretive government agency linked to AFP raid on ABC, documents show

Original article by John Lyons
abc.net au – Page: Online : 7-Aug-19

The Australian Federal Police has released documents relating to the recent raid on the Sydney offices of the ABC, in response to a Freedom of Information request from Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick. However, the AFP has withheld some documents on the grounds that they contain material relating to a government agency that is exempt from FOI laws. Patrick says the AFP’s actions show that a second agency was involved in the investigation that led to the raid, and he believes that it is either ASIO or the Australian Signals Directorate. He has urged the federal government to reveal which agency was involved.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, CENTRE ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ORGANISATION, AUSTRALIAN SIGNALS DIRECTORATE, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN SECRET INTELLIGENCE SERVICE

Home Affairs fights to restrict media

Original article by Mark Schliebs
The Australian – Page: 6 : 7-Aug-19

The Department of Home Affairs has used its submission to a parliamentary inquiry into press freedom to argue that the existing rules governing police search warrants are adequate. The Right to Know Coalition recently told the inquiry that the media industry should have the right to challenge warrants that are used to gather evidence against journalists. Home Affairs has contended that there is the potential for material evidence to be destroyed if there is advance notice that a warrant is to be issued. The ABC has rejected this suggestion, arguing that the destruction of ­evidence is a criminal offence under existing laws.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY JOINT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY, AUSTRALIA’S RIGHT TO KNOW COALITION OF MEDIA COMPANIES, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC

Media coalition seeks right to fight warrants

Original article by Leo Shanahan
The Weekend Australian – Page: 8 : 3-Aug-19

The Right to Know Coalition has used its submission to a parliamentary inquiry into freedom of the press to call for changes to the rules governing the issuance of police warrants. The coalition, which comprises 14 media companies and organisations, argued amongst other things that the media industry should have the right to challenge warrants that are used to gather evidence against journalists, and that all such applications should be put to an independent judge in open court. The inquiry was commissioned in response to the recent media raids.

CORPORATES
RIGHT TO KNOW COALITION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS

Police asked to fingerprint ABC suspects

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 3 : 16-Jul-19

The ABC has revealed that the Australian Federal Police sought access to the fingerprints and palm prints of journalists Dan Oakes and Sam Clark. The request was part of the AFP’s investigation into alleged offences under the Crimes Act, the Defence Act and the Criminal Code. Its actions have been criticised by John Lyons, the ABC’s head of investigations, who has expressed concern about the "criminalising" of legitimate investigative journalism. Press freedom has been under scrutiny in the wake of the AFP’s raids on the ABC’s Sydney office and the home of a News Corp Australia journalist.

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

Media, foreign leaders step up freedom push

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Jacquelin Magnay
The Australian – Page: 4 : 12-Jul-19

The ABC and News Corp Australia still do not know if any journalists will be prosecuted following the police raids in early June. ABC MD David Anderson says the public broadcaster has asked Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to intervene, although government sources say that he has no power to do so. The Australian Federal Police raids have attracted scrutiny at the Global Conference for Media Freedom, with human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt expressing concern about the implications of the raids for freedom of the press globally.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, GREAT BRITAIN. FOREIGN OFFICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Media bosses in dark on charges

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 4 : 4-Jul-19

Attorney-General Christian Porter and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher held talks with media industry representatives on 3 July. The meeting failed to ease the media sector’s concerns about Australian Federal Police raids on the ABC’s Sydney office and the home of a News Corp Australia journalist in early June, and whether journalists will face prosecution as a result of the raids. Media executives have also expressed reservations about the government’s plans for the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security to hold an inquiry into press freedom.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, SPECIAL BROADCASTING SERVICE (SBS), FREE TV AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY JOINT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, CENTRE ALLIANCE

Press freedom probe backed

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 2 : 3-Jul-19

The parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security will undertake an inquiry into the impact of police and intelligence agencies’ powers on freedom of the press. The inquiry was approved by federal cabinet on 2 July, and follows the recent police raids on the ABC’s offices and the home of a News Corp Australia journalist. Labor proposes to establish a separate inquiry into press freedom and the public’s right to know, while media companies advocate changes to laws affecting freedom of the press rather than a parliamentary inquiry.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY JOINT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS