Our spy laws are out of date (again)

Research output: Contribution to Newspaper/Magazine/BulletinFeatured article

Abstract

It appears that ASIO is unable to bring about the prosecution of an unamed former politician who betrayed Australia because no laws were broken. Had the betrayal been committed after the introduction of the National Security Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Act 2018 (EFI Act), it might have been a different story.

Shadow Home Affairs Minister, James Paterson, provided a sober assessment of calls to out the politician who committed the betrayal. As the EFI Act (and therefore no crime) existed at the time, a defamation action from the traitor would be highly likely. While everyone wants to know who the traitor is, doing so would ultimately compromise ASIO’s operational tactics.

This is not the first time in ASIO’s history that those who wish to harm our nation could not be charged because no law was broken.

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