Liberal MP Tim "Wolverine" Wilson, a man who spends the better part of each working day criticising China, was singing a different song eight years ago, when he accepted an all-expenses paid trip to visit the campus of — hold your breath — the home of Lucifer, Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies.
The Australian Department of Defence has played down a report by the ABC claiming that private details of defence force members could have been compromised in a breach of what it described as "a highly sensitive military database".
There was a time during John Howard's 11 years as prime minister when Australia was often contemptuously referred to as the deputy sheriff for the US in the Asia-Pacific region.
The British High Commissioner to Australia has lodged a formal complaint with the heads of two Australian parliamentary committees over the leaking of details from a meeting held by UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab with Australian politicians over London's Huawei policy, the ABC reports.
China-bashing has been a popular sport in the Australian media this year, with retired spooks and Australian politicians indulging themselves. The main game appears to be for the spooks to gain influence in determining foreign policy and get the government to allocate more funds for their operations.
The bipartisan Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has rejected both an identity-matching bill and a passports amendment bill in their current form.
The Federal Government's encryption law has been referred to the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, Dr James Renwick, for review and a report by 1 March next year, the first time the panel has referred any legislation to the INSLM.
Just 12 days after the government's encryption law was passed by Parliament, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has announced it would begin a review of the law.
It is somewhat ironic that the director-general of the Australian Signals Directorate, Mike Burgess, has chosen to vent about so-called myths around the new encryption law, when the man himself has been spreading a myth about 5G technology.
If the Australian Labor Party thinks the government's encryption bill will magically become good law if it only passes schedule one and only for anti-terror agencies right now, then it is sadly mistaken.
Rather predictably, the Australian Labor Party has signalled to the Federal Government that it will not stand in the way of the encryption bill being passed by Christmas, with the party doing everything but ending the process of inquiry so that the government can have its way.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says he wants the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security to deal with the government's encryption bill "as quickly as possible", and accused Labor Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus of delaying things and "making excuses and massaging bills down to lowest common denominator".
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