Australian intelligence officers will soon have the right to prosecute the entire network. With just one commission, reporters or informers who disclose confidential information will face 10 years in prison.
The government's first batch of tough anti-terrorism bills will strengthen the power of the domestic intelligence agency ASIO. This bill passed a 44:12 vote in the Senate last Thursday night.
Anyone-including journalists, whistleblowers, and bloggers-anyone who "randomly" discloses "information related to special intelligence operations" will face up to 10 years of prison life.
ASIO officials may authorize any action as a "special intelligence operation."
This also gives ASIO great pardon in certain circumstances in criminal and civil liability under certain circumstances.
Many people, including lawyers and professional scholars, said they were worried that intelligence agencies would abuse their power.