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Title: ASIO and economic espionage: The new 'subversion'?
Contributor(s): Carne, Greg (author)
Publication Date: 1993
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: Last year, the Joint Parliamentary Committee on ASIO was asked by the Commonwealth Attorney-General to review the organisation's security assessments. ASIO currently screens prospective Commonwealth employees and contractors who may require access in their work to material sensitive to national security interests. The Committee is formally required to: "... review the operation of Part IV of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 and to report on the manner in which the Organisation performs its function of giving security assessments under that Part, the effectiveness of the procedures established for the purpose of performing that function and the usefulness of assessments so issued." While the terms of the reference are broad, the Chairman of the Committee in announcing the review placed particular emphasis on the need for some wider powers for ASIO. These would enable the organisation to check the commercial backgrounds of government advisers in sensitive policy areas who could harm Australia economically. Although apparently innocuous, changes required to the current legislative framework for security assessments would have implications reaching far beyond the commercial intelligence sphere. Civil liberty concerns such as privacy, association and expression unrelated to harm to Australian economic interests are potentially affected. This is made more probable in the context of ongoing reforms in an intelligence community reacting not only to financial constraints but also to a volatile international political and trade scene. The consequences for domestic civil liberties in allowing ASIO a commercial intelligence role have to date escaped serious discussion.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Alternative Law Journal, 18(3), p. 117-120
Publisher: Legal Service Bulletin Cooperative Ltd
Place of Publication: Melbourne, Australia
ISSN: 1037-969X
Field of Research (FOR): 180108 Constitutional Law
180114 Human Rights Law
180120 Legal Institutions (incl. Courts and Justice Systems)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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