Wikileaks, Assange and Defending Democracy
Senator Scott Ludlam, Australian Greens spokesperson on Communications, will join Crikey journalist Bernard Keane and lawyers Greg Barns and Lizzie O’Shae on the stage at 6.30pm tonight in Melbourne to speak on Wikileaks, Julian Assange and Defending Democracy.
“The event at the BMW Edge in Federation Square sold out very quickly because Australians care about freedom of speech and human rights – online and offline. They also care about the fate of Australian citizen Julian Assange,” Senator Ludlam said.
“The Australian Greens have long demanded that our government protect Mr. Assange's legal and consular rights. Along with nearly 80% of the Q&A audience polled this week, we are simply not satisfied.
“Answers to my questions on notice and without notice in the Chamber have been vague and dismissive. Answers to Freedom of Information requests have been frustrated through absurd delays. The only responses to date have been redacted and blacked out to render them utterly meaningless.
“The situation of Wikileaks and Mr. Assange is the visible tip of an iceberg. What lies beneath the surface is the dangerous levels of surveillance becoming routine through constant broadening of legislation such as the Telecommunications Interception Act, the Intelligence Services Amendment and the dangerous Cybercrime legislation currently before the Senate.
“Our freedom of information system is in danger of being compromised if the Information Commissioners proposal to simply reject any request that takes over 40 hours is approved.
“The world is increasingly unsafe for whistleblowers that are punished like never before and deterred by the example authorities are making of Assange.
“Australians do not want our government to follow the steps of the UK, currently proposing secret court hearings and extended state surveillance on the internet, or the US which through its National Defence Authorization Act allows anyone to be arrested forever at any time.
“The government must rethink its treatment of Assange and the placement of his lawyer on an inhibited travel list.”
Web stream of tonight’s event - http://www.ustream.tv/channel/wikileakswebcast
Results of Senator Ludlam’s FOI - http://media.crikey.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/FOI-Ludlam.pdf
Results of Senator Ludlam’s request for the AFP investigation into Wikileaks http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/estimates/afp-report-wikileaks-redacted-almost-entirely
Authorised and printed by Scott Ludlam, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600