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Please forward this to anyone interested in Free Speech, the Rule of Law, Corruption or running a High-Tech startup or business in Australia
Brisbane QLD Australia
E-mail for full contact details
An Open Letter to Tyler Crowley and the Australian High-Tech Community – Visiting Entrepreneurs Program
Brisbane Marketing (City Council)
8/157 Ann St Brisbane QLD 4000
April 24(29), 2013
Federal Government Corruption Makes Australia too Dangerous for High-Tech Business and Start-ups
You are a well-respected US High-Tech Start-up Entrepreneur recently invited to Brisbane to share your insights on stimulating an entrepreneurial culture. You said you believed we were on the cusp of greatness. Unfortunately I have bad news for you and High-Tech Entrepreneurs starting their business in Australia:
Australia is in the midst of a serious corruption epidemic in the Federal Government. The Government’s research organisations (DSTO and CSIRO) have been stealing technology from innovators to plagiarise and pass on to government business partners. The Media have been unable to report the full-extent due to restrictions on Freedom of Speech in Australia.
Entrepreneurs don’t find out until it’s too late; When they do, they discover the Australian Federal Police (AFP) will not investigate and are threatening whistleblowers that they must not to talk to the media. The government has their lawyers unlawfully breaching Legal Service Directions to deny victims justice through the civil courts. Six federal government ministers have been implicated.
Confronted with evidence that corrupt public officials are passing confidential trade secrets to government business partners and rigging evaluations in favour of them, the government’s lawyers responded:
“The reason we believe your claim will fail is because you allege that the Commonwealth owes innovators submitting products or technology for evaluation a duty of care to ensure that the evaluations are either fair, proper and accurate or that the confidential information is respected. There is no such duty of care in Australian law.”
Companies large and small have been victims. They have fought back by refusing to reveal their technology, but late last year despite protests by academics the government passed the Defence Trade Controls Act. This forces researchers to reveal even non-military technology (e.g. biotech, communications, IT security)  to public servants with a long history of stealing intellectual property. Researchers who refuse are subject to 6 months to 10 years in prison. The Commonwealth Chief Scientist who promoted the Bill is aware of the thefts but says he can’t do anything.
A well-respected industry figure who was a victim said: “Australia is a really bad place to do business because your biggest competitor is the DSTO, and they have a monopoly.”
In the United States there is a strong tradition of Free Speech and Free Enterprise under the Rule of Law. In the US theft of Trade Secrets is a Felony punishable by imprisonment and fines of over US$10M. In Australia it is not. Worse, the Australian government is the one doing the stealing. This makes Australia a dangerous place for a High-Tech Business.
This will no doubt come as a great shock to many Australians reading this. It came as a shock to me. The problem is the public never gets to hear about it, but that’s about to change:
Corrupt public officials are not being held to account. Departmental units are not investigating corruption. Academics interviewing whistleblowers conclude these units exist to identify whistleblowers and stop them before they go to the media. Whistleblowers are silenced by sitting on their complaints (until they give up), threats, leaking their identity (exposing them to reprisals) and falsifying reports to conceal the corruption.
Oversight bodies such as the Ombudsman are ineffective. Although these controls exist on paper, the public servants responsible simply ignore them. The Public Service Commissioner told me he only needs to ensure that agencies have procedures written down, but it is not his responsibility if they don’t follow them.
State governments have anti-corruption bodies, but the Federal Government doesn’t. The then-Public Service Minister Mr. Gary Gray claimed they don’t need one because the Public Service Commissioner already has those powers. In fact I wrote to the Public Service Commissioner who wrote back and told me he doesn’t. He said he is powerless to act on corruption in another department unless the department head is corrupt. 
MPs, other whistleblowers and myself have written many
letters to the six ministers responsible and the Prime Minister without result.
Cabinet must by now be well aware they have a serious corruption problem.
Readers might ask why there hasn’t been more news? After all, superficially Australia resembles America; You would assume we have the same Free Speech rights that Americans do under their First Amendment:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” US Bill of Rights.
American journalists can promptly report corruption using Absence of Malice (The Public Figure Doctrine). Australian journalists have no similar protection and must sit on stories of corruption, sometimes for years. They can only safely report a story once it has gone to court under Judicial Privilege. But that takes years and many corruption stories never get to court, especially when the police (the AFP) is stonewalling.
If the media try and print it beforehand they can be sued for defamation. Even if what they print is true, trials are still lengthy and costly. Some cases have cost up to $7M and others have run for 13 years. Sir Leslie Thiess sued Channel 9 who alleged he was corrupt. Channel 9 won proving 67 out of 70 of the corruption allegations against him were true, but the trial cost them $5M they didn’t get back.
The Courier Mail’s Phil Dickie and ABC’s Chris Masters broke the story on endemic corruption in the Queensland government. That led to a Royal Commission with many police and politicians going to jail. Chris Masters and the ABC then spent the next 13 years in court fighting Defamation suits. They won, twice, but it cost them $1M in legal costs. To this day the ABC will not release the transcript of the TV broadcast for fear of further defamation actions 27 years after it happened. How’s that for a ‘free press’? 
Chris Masters recently said: “The hardest things that I ever did in my career were not to do with gathering the story in the first place but in defending it … The worst thing is the emotional burden waking up every day knowing you’ve got court matters to deal with … it gets to a point where it can be extremely demoralising. You begin to say to yourself, I didn’t get into this to be a professional witness or professional defendant.”  “I call it my death by a 1000 courts. The emotional drain tends to be understood only by those who experience it. You watch your morale and assets erode all the while surrounded by lawyers who are having the time of their lives. Horrible.”
Journalists find it very hard to get anyone to talk to them. The AFP arrests public servants who reveal embarrassing information about the government using Section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914. If it was used for National Security you could understand it, but it’s used to suppress anything embarrassing simply by deeming it to be ‘confidential.’ This reached high-farce when the National Gallery of Australia threatened employees with two years jail if they went public with allegations of poor management by the gallery’s administrators. Journalists can be prosecuted for merely having such information in their possession.
Dr Johan Lidberg of the Monash University School of Journalism says: “Section 70 of the federal Crimes Act, and its counterparts in state laws, is an outdated and draconian piece of legislation that inhibits the flow of information that should be in the public domain and shoots the messenger.”
At a talk hosted by Free Speech Victoria, Chris Masters said that ‘Australia is a very secret society and the defamation laws are a big contributor to this culture. Self-censorship is all about self-preservation and it is everywhere.’
Compare that to the US Supreme Court which upheld the Public Figure Doctrine: “At the heart of the First Amendment is the recognition of the fundamental importance of the free flow and opinions on matters of public interest and concern.” 
Australia’s harsh defamation laws prevent the free-flow of
information. The media is prevented
from reporting on corruption in a timely manner, if they report on it at
all. Without transparency, corruption flourishes unchecked.
Under Labor Mr. Conroy and Ms. Roxon have attacked Free Speech by the public.
Mr. Conroy has tried to censor the Internet.
This is open to abuse, such as when the AFP shut down a web site criticising
the then prime minister.
Mr. Conroy’s recent attempts at media law reform may have censored bloggers by
limiting their reporting under the Privacy Act.
Ms. Roxon threatened laws to remove anonymity from the Internet.
Anonymity is the only tool the public have to criticise people in power without
being subject to reprisals.
Ms. Roxon also promised not to snoop on Australians visiting web sites as they
surf the web,
only to pass a “lite” version of those laws two weeks later.
Public officials already have access to similar information without a warrant:  These include not just the police as you’d expect, but the Tax Office, Immigration, Health and Ageing, Medicare, state and local government and even the RSPCA. Data accessed includes phone and internet account information, outwards and inwards call details, internet access, and details of websites visited. However a warrant is still needed to see the actual content of communications. Australia does not have an equivalent of the US Bill of Rights.
If Ms. Roxon is – as she claims – so concerned about crime, then why didn’t she express any concern when the media and myself warned the AFP were not investigating crime in the public service? 
The Internet gives the public Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Association and Access to Information that they have never had before. Once the only way to find out the law was to pay a lawyer to look it up for you. Now when a corrupt public official claims they have broken no laws, I am able to look up the laws myself and show complete with elements and evidence that they have. Badly-run governments are terrified of the Internet and trying to close the gate after the horse has bolted.
In theory even if the Media is silenced, corrupt officials can still be held to account in the courts.
In practice they avoid accountability under Criminal Law because the AFP fiercely resists criminal investigations which might embarrass the government.
In theory victims of corruption can seek justice under Civil Law in the civil courts, but the courts are too expensive for most Australians. Such a case would cost $100K-$2M in legal fees, only a fraction of which would be repaid if they win. Additionally the courts have strict tests on calculating damages which are particularly harsh on start-up businesses; It’s quite possible to go to court, win, and still be a million dollars out-of-pocket. The price of justice should not be bankruptcy.
Australia operates under the Adversarial system of Law where it is not the facts of a case that are important, but how well they are argued. Hiring a lawyer is essential, but most Australians can’t afford one. Self-representation isn’t viable, and pro bono (‘free’) representation is almost non-existent; The only firms with the resources to take on the government are the “Big Law” firms, but they can’t represent you because the government has them all “on retainer.” Smaller law firms don’t have pro bono departments. They will explain that lawyers are businessmen first-and-foremost. If you can’t afford them, they won’t help.
The Magna Carta says “To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice.” But today’s lawyers are businessmen who do only that. A partner at a medium-sized law firm told me: “It’s not our job to save the world.”
America has the False Claims Act that rewards whistleblowers for revealing government corruption. This allows lawyers to represent whistleblowers No-Win No-Fee. Australia has no comparable program and according to Whistleblowers Australia the only ‘rewards’ whistleblowers get are 90% of them are fired, 20% have a relationship breakdown, 20% are sued for defamation, 9% go bankrupt and 6% commit suicide.
Lawyers are paid by the hour, so it is not in their interest to settle a case. Instead they escalate litigation to run up legal costs and stress their opponent’s finances until they can no longer afford it. If it goes to court and it is appealed all the way to the High Court, all the better; Lawyers get paid regardless of who wins. They will spend more of their client’s money fighting a case than they would to settle it. This is even worse when the government is involved, because it’s not even their client’s money: It’s taxpayer money; Thus lawyers are paid with taxpayer money to help public officials conceal misuse of taxpayer money!
The worst known example of court abuse is the HMAS Voyager disaster where lawyers ran up costs and denied victims compensation for over 40 years. Recognising this was unacceptable the Liberal Party’s Attorney-General Daryl Williams introduced the Model Litigant Policy which requires government lawyers to act honestly, keep legal costs to a minimum and offer alternate dispute resolution. This is indeed law, but Labor are ignoring it and allowing government lawyers to profit by breaking it.
I explained to then Attorney-General Ms. Roxon “Laws provide certainty needed by business to operate and for society to function. The Rule of Law holds that laws must be upheld and applied equally to everybody. Failure to uphold the law benefits no one except those breaking it and is to the ultimate detriment of society.” Her department wrote back it would not be appropriate for her to comment, and the abuses continued.
I did ask one large company why they didn’t take the DSTO to court. They said in terms of legal costs and loss of employee time (and reprisals from the government), it just wasn’t worth it; They would be far better off taking the money to pay lawyers and investing it in their business instead. They hid what they were working on as best they could to prevent further thefts by the DSTO. Now they can’t even do that. It is interesting the new laws ban the very techniques they were using to keep the DSTO out.
Victims of corruption have no redress under Criminal, Civil or Administrative Law. You cannot do business in a society where you not protected by The Rule of Law.
The European Inquisitorial System of Justice engages in a search for the truth; Justice means fairness, and fairness requires a search for the truth otherwise the wrong side might win.
People are surprised to learn that the Australian Adversarial System of Justice does not engage in a search for the truth. Lawyers tell me scientists and engineers in particular are tripped up by this, because they mistakenly assume that court cases are won with reason and logic and by telling the truth. They are not.
The Adversarial system is about winning an argument before a jury by whatever means necessary; Lawyers call this ‘Sophistry’: ‘The use of fallacious arguments with the intention of deceiving.’
Lawyers aren’t supposed to lie to a court, but they are
allowed to mislead it. They can lie by omission. They can conceal evidence of
guilt or innocence. They can trick a judge into taking a position they will be
reluctant to reverse, trapping them in Confirmation Bias. They use
emotional tricks to manipulate the jury, such as trick questions or repeating
falsehoods until they sound true. They will mock and yell at witnesses who
aren’t allowed to yell back, and cloud facts with irrelevant emotional
arguments. (Can you imagine a scientist trying to sell a paper on climate
change by prefixing their data with an emotional argument?)
The public don’t know this because they watch Law & Order and assume the justice system works well. Indeed with a good judge and two very skilled lawyers the Adversarial system may work (if it uncovers the truth!), but lawyers are very expensive and most people can’t afford them. A police officer suggested there should be a running dollar total in the corner of TV legal dramas so the audience can see how much the courts are costing.
There has been discussion of replacing our Adversarial System of Justice with an Inquisitorial one, but it’s fiercely resisted by the legal fraternity who have a vested interest in the current system. A serious flaw in the Adversarial system is that it rewards lawyers for disputing everything. Why encourage two parties to reach an amicable settlement when they could be spending millions in court?
The Adversarial system is a faith-based system of justice. We need to replace it with a more scientific, truth-based system that does not conceal evidence and delivers a far better quality of justice at far less cost. A ‘discounted’ Adversarial court for people on lower-incomes that comes with the same flaws won’t do. A brief statistical analysis showed the Adversarial system with a 50% failure rate with a jury and a 72.5% failure rate with a judge; A 38% failure rate continuing with Fitzgerald defendants and a 69.8% failure rate continuing with ICAC defendants. The Inquisitorial system only has a 5% failure rate.
In Australia there are two parties; Labor (currently in government) and the Liberal Coalition (in opposition). It is an election year so in case you are concerned my motivations are political, I am in fact from a Labor family and was once a Labor supporter. Unfortunately I am not yet convinced the Opposition will be better:
A few opposition figures have taken an interest and called the government to account, but others have sat on the fence. One won’t even ask the government questions and the best I could wrangle out of them over a sixteen-month period was a tepid “could have been handled better.”
Many lawyers and journalists have been though my documentation and said I have strong evidence of corruption, so I do not understand why this figure is so reluctant to hold the government to account. They won’t even return my phone calls.
I realise now I identify with the Liberal Party’s
pro-business core values, but one thing I’ve learned from this experience is
what people say and what they do are often two very different things. I
would be greatly concerned if a newly-elected Coalition government in fact
tacitly endorses this corruption and would permit it to continue. The Coalition
must take a firm stance and condemn it now.
I once spoke to Mr. Abbott’s office who said corruption doesn’t register as an election issue. Having seen the Queensland government thrown out in 1989, I assure him it can be one.
I don’t believe the public are apathetic about corruption. They just aren’t told it’s going on. The media have a hard time reporting it, and often reports are watered down and can’t name names. Stories are quickly buried, as was the CSIRO’s alleged $2½M fraud of Novartis. Those public that did hear it probably assumed the fraud perpetrators have already been arrested. In truth, it is unlikely the AFP were even called.
The public don’t like corruption. They watch movies to cheer superheroes who fight it. I’ve never seen a movie where they cheer on corrupt politicians and public servants. The public view corrupt public officials with utter contempt; Only sexual offenders are more despised. Neither do the public think much of people they elect who have the power to stop it, but wring their hands and make excuses for doing nothing.
1. Journalists and Public servants should be able to speak out on matters of public interest without the threat of arrest by the AFP.
a. Section 70-79 of the Crimes Act must be revised so it only refers to matters of genuine National Security, and not merely matters that embarrass the government.
c. Whistleblower Allan Kessing should be granted the pardon denied him by Labor’s Jason Clare. Senator Xenophon said: “The scandal here is that this man, who deserves a medal for the work that he did 10 years ago, was actually persecuted through the courts, had his life effectively ruined by virtue of being charged under Section 70 of the Crimes Act.”
2. Australia’s repressive defamation laws need to be reformed so journalists may report on corruption in a timely manner.
a. Australian journalists need the Absence of Malice (Public Figure Doctrine) protection.
b. Australian journalists need Shield laws so they are not threatened with jail for protecting anonymous sources.
3. I call upon the Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC to restore the Rule of Law:
a. I have written to the Attorney-General separately and identified Seventeen Public Officers whom I allege have committed the following. I call on him to act on these allegations.
i. Misconduct (Section 13 Public Service Act).
ii. Breaches of Sections 135.1, 137.1, 142.2 (Criminal Code).
iii. Breaches of Sections 192G, 192D, 192E (Crimes Act)
iv. Breaches of Legal Services Directions 2005 (Model Litigant Policy)
v. Breach of Fiduciary Responsibility.
vi. Misfeasance in Public Office.
b. The Office of Legal Services Coordination (OLSC) is seriously dysfunctional. The OLSC is allowing government lawyers to abuse the Model Litigant Policy at great expense to the taxpayer. The Attorney-General must restore order to his department.
c. The AFP has become politicised and is incapable of policing public servants and politicians. The government must establish an independent corruption body that can investigate crimes in the federal government without political interference.
d. The majority of Australians cannot afford to use the justice system. While this may be in the financial interests of lawyers, the Attorney-General must consider the long term effects of a society where most citizens have no access to justice: It causes social harm, burdens commerce and encourages bribery of government officials. It makes crime a more attractive proposition than trying to earn an honest living. The Australian Justice System is badly in need of reform. This cannot be left in the hands of those who have a vested-interest in preserving the Status Quo.
Defence Trade Control Act harms business by forcing businesses to
surrender their Right to Confidentiality and reveal their research to
corrupt public officials with a long history of stealing IP. This Act was not
necessary to prevent export to hostile regimes, because these were already
banned. This is bad legislation that will drive academic research and high-tech
I want to create a new high-tech start-up company, but it would be foolhardy of me to do it here given the passage of this bill violating our confidentiality, the continued criminality within the government, the failure of the AFP to enforce the law, the failure of the Attorney-General’s department to uphold the Rule of Law, and the lack of an enforced legal framework for the protection of trade secrets.
If this is all too depressing, there is some good news here: The Independent MPs Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott, Nick Xenophon and Andrew Wilkie have all taken strong stances to support Whistleblowers and Open Government.
After my local MP and state senators told me there was nothing more they could do for me, I wrote to the Independents and it is as a result of their actions that this corruption was ultimately unmasked. If it were not for them, my faith in our system of government would have been severely tested.
After Tyler’s visit the Lord Mayor of Brisbane Graham Quirk said he wanted to attract tech entrepreneurs and praised Brisbane’s small community of “App” developers.
It’s unlikely the government would steal from App developers, but Apps are only one type of technology; There are far bigger, world-changing opportunities available but entrepreneurs can’t pursue those unless they know their investment and their intellectual property will be protected. In Australia, it won’t be.
I started my own business in America before I moved back here (don’t ask me why!) I have friends still active in High-tech entrepreneurialism and they tell me in terms of access to talent, connections and venture capital that America is far superior to Australia.
I applaud the Brisbane City Council and Queensland Government for doing all they can to attract innovators, but they already begin with a severe handicap and their efforts are for naught when they are undermined by federal government corruption. I urge Tyler and the other recipients of this letter to contact the policymakers on the following page and let their thoughts be known to them:
Note to any Identity Hackers who see this: That is not my usual signature. :-)
E-mail for full contact details
2013-04-04(19) Letter to Attorney-General regarding his Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower) Bill.
Updated Summary of Complaint documenting breaches by 17 public officers.
2012-05-14 Letter to Ms. Roxon and Mr. Snowdon regarding breaches of the Model Litigant Policy and the Criminal Code the AFP were not investigating.
2012-04-19 Letter to Mr Warren Snowdon re irregularities in the abrupt termination of Defence General Counsel’s “Independent” investigation.
Letter to Minister for Justice Jason Clare regarding failure of AFP to act on
Crime report of 2011-08-22.
2011-11-01 Letter to Public Service Commissioner documenting breaches by named public servants by statute and with evidence. (PSC claims no power)
2011-07-08 Letter from Commonwealth Ombudsman claiming they have no power.
2009-08-11 Original Complaint submitted to Department of Defence.
and other attachments to substantiate claims against the DSTO and others are
available on Request in Confidence under Qualified Privilege. CSIRO
Whistleblowers will make a separate submission.
Liberal National Coalition (Opposition)
Tony Abbott (02) 6277 4022
Julia Gillard (02) 6277 7700
George Brandis SC (02) 6277 3163
Mark Dreyfus QC (02) 6277 7300
Michael Keenan (02) 6277 4223
Jason Clare (02) 6277 7290
David Johnston (02) 6277 3222
Stephen Smith (02) 6277 7800
Stuart Robert (02) 6277 2106
Warren Snowdon (02) 6277 7820
Defence Force Support
Ian Macdonald (02) 6277 3722
Gary Humphries (02) 6277 3446
Mike Kelly (02) 6277 7730
Sophie Mirabella (02) 6277 2301
Don Farrell (02) 6277 7580
Greg Combet (02) 6277 7920
Brett Mason (02) 6277 3756
Dr Craig Emerson (02) 6277 7420
Andrew Robb (02) 6277 2062
Penny Wong (02) 6277 7400
Bruce Billson (02) 6277 4257
Gary Gray (02) 6277 7930
Help on Defamation and Free Speech:
Dissent: How to Speak Out:
Please also sign this petition in Support of Australian journalists threatened with imprisonment: http://tinyurl.com/cz3yuhu
Adele Ferguson and Steve Pennells – change.org #pressfreedom
Table of Contents
Crowley returns to Oz as Brisbane’s first Visiting Entrepreneur”, Smart Start
 Government Motion to Dismiss Jones v. Commonwealth
Trade Control Bill: “Tighter Defence ties will bind academics and stifle innovation”,
Jill Trewhella, SMH, 2013-04-23.
 “Ian Chubb
defends researchers' prospects under the Defence Trade Controls Bill”, Jill
Rowbotham, The Australian, 2012-11-02,
“Scientists are concerned that use, development and research into certain materials and technology will be curtailed because of their classification as "dual-use'' goods, that can have military as well as civilian applications. Researchers who proceed without permits run the risk of prosecution, although not during the (2 year) trial. …University of Sydney deputy vice-chancellor (research) Jill Trewhella characterised the Bill as an "attack on our research enterprise'' …. It was "extraordinary'' for these kinds of constraints to be put on "our communication for fundamental science that is ordinarily shared in the open scientific literature'', she said. Some scientists were going to "have to assess the impact of this regulatory regime on their ability to be competitive and to do their work in Australia...they're concerned that they may have to go elsewhere to do their research.'' (Chief Commonwealth Scientist) Professor Chubb (promoting the bill) said: "Those boxing at shadows and guessing at what it (the laws) might mean to some unspecified but allegedly 'substantial' number of researchers can continue to do that if it makes them happy.''” http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/chubbs-defends-researchers-prospects-under-the-defence-trade-controls-bill/story-e6frgcjx-1226508483554
“Defence treaty to 'censor' research”, 2012-10-10, Bianca Hall, SMH, “Up to 90 per cent of academic research could be affected by an Australian-US trade agreement that would make it an offence for academics to communicate findings on research, the University of Sydney has warned. A Senate committee is examining proposals to join Australia in a defence trade treaty with the US. … Researchers would be prohibited from communicating - in emails, research papers or speeches - information on goods listed on Australia's Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL) in prohibited circumstances without a permit. The DSGL list falls into two parts: one covers defence-related goods, and the second covers so-called ''dual use'' goods, which could be adapted for civilian and military uses, like computing technologies that could be used for military purposes.”http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/defence-treaty-to-censor-research-20121009-27bao.html
“Controversial Defence Trade Controls Bill passes the Senate”, Jill Rowbotham,
The Australia, 2012-10-23. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/defence-bill-amendment-dumped/story-e6frgcjx-1226507419757
Youtube: Scott Ludlam's Final Speech on Defence Trade Control Bill 2012-10-31 (worth watching): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ImEbbewOSQ.
ABC Lateline: "Laws will stifle research claim scientists", 2012-10-31 http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3623059.htm.
 “Science and
the slammer: the consequences of Australia’s new export control regime”,
2012-10-16, Michael J. Biercuk,
Senior Lecturer in the School of Physics, University of Sydney. “To understand exactly what technologies are controlled, we have to review the Defence Strategic Goods List (DSGL) – a 380 page technical legal document that lists a dauntingly broad range of materials and technologies. The whole document is heavily cross-referenced and requires flipping between appendices, the main list, and even a separate explanatory memorandum to understand the legal definitions it uses. Of particular concern are “dual-use” goods; these may be employed in a complex weapons system such as a missile, but might also find standard uses for civilian purposes – including scientific and medical research. This part of the list covers things like lasers, electronics, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, standard chemicals, even elements of the periodic table – and not the ones associated with producing nuclear weapons either. Unfortunately, after reviewing the DSGL it becomes obvious that cutting-edge scientific research relies heavily on exactly the kinds of technology that the list seeks to control. … Not even the Americans have this” http://theconversation.com/science-and-the-slammer-the-consequences-of-australias-new-export-control-regime-10127
 Defence Trade Control Act 2012 http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/num_act/dtca2012207/ Full-text: http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/download.cgi/cgi-bin/download.cgi/download/au/legis/cth/num_act/dtca2012207.txt
 2013-02-28 Letter from Department of Innovation on behalf of Commonwealth Chief Scientist claiming no responsibility.
 US Economic Espionage Act of 1996, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_Espionage_Act_of_1996
faked documents, whistleblower tells court”, Nicky Phillips, SMH,
duped global drug firm with generic chemicals as 'secret formula’”, 2013-04-11,
Linton Besser and Nicky Phillips.
for CSIRO bullying probe”, Noel Towell, 2012-12-27.
agencies lack firepower to deal with fraud”, 2011-10-03, Canberra Times, Linton
“An unknown number of corruption cases lie undiscovered inside the vast Commonwealth bureaucracy”,
“Whistleblower raised victimisation with RBA chief,” 2012-10-04, Nick McKenzie
and Richard Baker, SMH,
“The whistleblower who exposed alleged corruption at Reserve Bank currency printing subsidiaries has revealed he wrote directly to governor Glenn Stevens last year to express his frustration over his mistreatment.”
 “Public service keeps fraud cases private”, 2011-09-24, SMH, Linton Besser,
“A code of silence surrounds graft accusations in
"Our costly complacency on corruption", 2013-03-05, Stephen Bartos, Canberra Times,
was surprised that a serious matter like this and its serious implications for
people involved in this activity, that it could be just sort of dismissed
relatively easily.” “AFP 'ignored corruption complaint'”,
2010-05-25, Richard Baker & Nick McKenzie,
The Age. http://www.theage.com.au/national/afp-ignored-corruption-complaint-20100524-w81a.html
 “Former cop
says inducement offered to shut AWB inquiry”, Ashley Hall, 2012-06-07,
AFP cop alleges he was bribed to shut down Australian Wheat Board corruption investigation.
'withheld key whistleblower evidence' in Kessing case”, Chris Merritt,
2011-08-19, The Australian.
“Barrister Peter Lowe, who defended Mr Kessing, said federal authorities withheld a key document and instead provided the defence with a document that was "liable to mislead"” http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/legal-affairs/afp-withheld-key-whistleblower-evidence-in-kessing-case/story-e6frg97x-1226117735249
 “Governments don’t like sunlight,” Tim Dunlop, 2007-06-26, News.com.au, Whistleblower Desmond Kelly acquitted, http://blogs.news.com.au/news/blogocracy/index.php/news/comments/governments_dont_like_sunlight/
 Correspondence with Ombudsman (claims no power): 2011-07-08, 2012-05-13, 2012-05-25
 Correspondence with Public Service Commissioner (claims no power): 2012-12-13, 2012-12-20
Service Minister Gary Gray denies corruption, claims system is working,’
The Hon Gary Gray, AO MP Special Minister of State, and Special Minister of State for Public Service and Integrity
 Correspondence with Public Service Commissioner (claims no power): 2012-12-13, 2012-12-20
 “Why does
Australia promote secrecy by restricting free speech?” 2001-06-03, Crikey
does not have explicit freedom of speech in any constitutional or statutory
declaration of rights, with the exception of political speech which is
protected from criminal prosecution at common law per Australian Capital
Television Pty Ltd v Commonwealth.”,
“Australians who have sued for defamation”, Stephen Mayne, 2011-06-05, “Here
is a list of notable Australians who have sued for defamation over the years,
some of which was first worked up by Crikey.”
http://www.maynereport.com/articles/2009/03/10-1024-2493.html (List of Australian Defamation suits)
“Thiess loses bribery appeal”, 1992-04-08, Bill Mason, Green Left Weekly. http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/4036
Reflections” (Original ABC TV broadcast was called “The Moonlight State”),
Chris Masters, 2008.
Story”, Chris Masters, http://booko.com.au/9780207161766/Inside-Story
Chris Masters writes about the making of eight of his programs including ‘The Moonlight State’ (Corruption in Queensland)
 “Journos in
the dock: the real threat to press freedom?”, Sally Whyte, 2013-04-08, Crikey,
“There’s a trend towards journalists being taken to court for refusing to give up their sources.”
 Personal Communication: Chris Masters. Reprinted with permission.
 “Media union: Shield laws needed,” Sally Jackson, The Australian, 2013-04-02, “Journalists' union the Media Alliance has called for a uniform national approach to shield laws for journalists amid what it calls "an unprecedented assault on press freedom” http://www.theaustralian.com.au/media/media-union-shield-laws-needed/story-e6frg996-1226610911392
shield laws do not go far enough”, Christopher Warren, 2009-05-13, Crikey.
 “Bend over, lift your balls!’: Tony Barrass on journos in jail.” 2013-04-09, “Former WA bureau chief of The Australian Tony Barrass reflects on his time in jail for protecting his sources, as five of his colleagues are facing the same fate.”http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/04/09/bend-over-lift-your-balls-tony-barrass-on-journos-in-jail/
 http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ca191482/index.html#s70 (Disclosure of information by Commonwealth officers, Official Secrets), Crimes Act 1914.
 “Still life with Kennedy”, Joyce Morgan, 2003-05-26, "the gallery warned staff this month they could face jail terms if they release information to the public. ... It reminded them that two years' jail was the penalty for breaching section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914 by which Commonwealth officers are bound. ... In 2001 … told staff its contents were confidential and "could be taken out of context by a mischievous or malicious person with the intent of causing embarrassment or casting undue criticism". http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/05/25/1053801272521.html
shield laws are fair, but problems remain for journos”, Rhiana Whitson, Crikey,
from Injustice: Human Rights in Australian Law”, O'Neill, Rice &
Douglas, 2nd Edition. pp.472.
ISBN 978-1862874145. http://booko.com.au/9781862874145/Retreat-from-Injustice
 “One man's cry for freedom disappears into a black pit,” 2012-05-05, Michael West, SMH, The Freedom of Information Act is no substitute for transparency as it is easily subverted; Will Matthews spent nine years waiting for his FOI request.
Australia’s FOI laws are in the bottom-half of world rankings: http://www.rtirating.org/view_country.php?country_name=Australia
orders spoof site shut,” Louisa Hearn, 2006-03-17, “A spoof John Howard
website that featured a soul searching "apology" speech for the Iraq
war has been shut down under orders from the Australian Government.”
 “High Court
threat as Stephen Conroy is facing defeat over proposed media reforms,” Benson
& Gemma Jones, 2013-03-19,
“The bills give the power to the PIMA to withdraw protections afforded to newspapers to report, particularly on the activities of government and politicians, without being in breach of privacy laws.” http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/high-court-threat-as-stephen-conroy-is-facing-defeat-over-proposed-media-reforms/story-e6freuy9-1226600157133
 “New laws
flagged to combat 'vile' trolls”, 2012-09-11, Clancy Yeates, Glenn Jackson,
Lisa Davies, Brisbane Times,
“Politicians vowed to investigate calls to give police greater powers to address anonymous online abuse.”
 “A Case
for Pseudonyms”, Electronic Frontier Foundation, https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/07/case-pseudonyms
Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens in deciding McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm’n 514 U.S. 334, 357 (1995):
“Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation—and their ideas from suppression—at the hand of an intolerant society. The right to remain anonymous may be abused when it shields fraudulent conduct. But political speech by its nature will sometimes have unpalatable consequences, and, in general, our society accords greater weight to the value of free speech than to the dangers of its misuse.”
Compare that to Australia where the courts will jail journalists for doing their jobs; The US obviously has a corruption problem too, but when their press learn about corruption they are able to report it; In Australia they can’t. I find talking to journalists fascinating because you learn just how much news isn’t reported. Chris Masters wrote a book called “Not for Publication” along those lines. Perhaps one of the reasons the US has been economically so much more successful than Australia is that they do have a Free Press (that can report corruption), where as we in Australia don’t.
edges towards keeping online data for two years,” 2012-09-04, Dylan Welch, Ben
Grubb, Bianca Hall, Lucy Battersby.
“The data retention plan - which would force all Australian telcos and internet service providers to store the online data of all Australians for up to two years.” EFA said “The proposal that ASIO would be permitted to 'add, delete or alter data or interfere with, interrupt, or obstruct the lawful use of a computer' could lead to some very serious consequences … It could also provide the means for evidence to be "planted" on innocent parties.” “Victoria's Acting Privacy Commissioner, Anthony Bendall, dubbed the proposals ''characteristic of a police state'', arguing that data retention in particular was ''premised on the assumption that all citizens should be monitored''.” http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/roxon-edges-towards-keeping-online-data-for-two-years-20120903-25amz.html
 “Roxon puts
web surveillance plans on ice,” 2012-08-10, Philip Dorling, SMH, “A
controversial internet security plan to store the web history of all
Australians for up to two years has been stalled by the federal government
until after the next election.”
passes ‘lite’ data retention laws”, 2012-08-22, Darren Pauli, IT News,
careful, She might hear you.” Philip Dorling, 2012-09-25, The Age.
“Attorney-General Nicola Roxon wants unprecedented access to the private lives of Australians”,
 2012-05-14 Letter to Ms. Roxon and Mr. Snowdon regarding breaches of Criminal Code and failure to uphold the Rule of Law.
 “Internet freedom under threat,” 2012-10-10, Asher Moses, SMH,
 “What’s Wrong with the Legal System”, Evan Whitton, ABC Counterpoint, 2010-05- 24. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jZmyGqFXWP8
Happens to Whistleblowers, and Why”, Jean Lennane.
 “Lawyers still battling over Voyager”, Nicola Berkovic, The Australian, 2008-05-02, “The Rudd Government is spending millions of dollars on litigation because of its failure to deliver on a key election promise. More than 44 years after Australia's worst peacetime naval disaster, survivors of the collision between HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Voyager are still fighting the Government for compensation.” http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/legal-affairs/lawyers-still-battling-over-voyager/story-e6frg97x-1111116220804
(A lawyer said to me: ‘The only ones who win out of these things are the lawyers’)
 2012-05-14 Discrepancies in Answer given by Senator Ludwig on behalf of Ms. Roxon in Hansard (Q1439 on 2012-02-09)
 “Gillard Government lashed for ‘ignoring’ breaches of Model Litigant rules”, Chris Merritt, The Australian, 2012-04-13. http://www.ruleoflaw.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Media-13-4-12-Australian-Gillard-government-lashed-for-ignoring-breaches-of-model-litigant.pdf
Defence Trade Control Act - Section 48.
(e.g. Denial of Site Access versus. ‘Occupier to provide authorised officer with facilities and assistance’)
 America has an Adversarial system with many of the same flaws, but the American Rule for costs makes it much harder for a rich litigant to bankrupt a poor one by outspending them. The American Rule “is that each party pays only their own attorney's fees, regardless of whether they win or lose. This allows people to bring cases and lawsuits without the fear of incurring excessive costs if they lose the case. In contrast, in England and other countries, the losing side is often required to pay the other side's attorney's fees after losing a trial.” http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/attorney-fees-does-losing-side-30337.html
 http://netk.net.au/Whitton/OCLS.pdf “Our Corrupt Legal System,” Evan Whitton,
2009, ISBN: 978-1-921681-07-3.
(e.g. pp. 17, “On average, the cost of a libel action in (Adversarial system) England is 140 times that of a libel action in (Inquisitorial system) Europe.”)
 Child sexual abuse cases: “Figures from the NSW District Court show that the jury convicted in half the cases while the judge, when hearing a case alone, convicted in only a quarter.” Janet Fife-Yeomans. The Australian, 1994-08-27. Integrated with other data on probable guilt and innocence of defendants.
defined as innocent person found guilty, or guilty person found innocent.
Limited sample. Currently expanding survey.
“Civil Litigation In New South Wales: Empirical And Analytical Comparisons With Germany,” Marfording & Eyland,
‘Litigation costs appear to be considerably higher in NSW than in Germany. Interview data suggest that satisfaction levels with the civil litigation system, the court system, and the quality of judges were considerably lower amongst interview participants in New South Wales than in Baden, (Germany).’ http://ssrn.com/abstract=1641554
 Shadow Science Minister Sophie Mirabella has vigorously represented CSIRO whistleblowers. The Shadow Attorney General George Brandis and his Parliamentary Secretary Senator Humphries have challenged the Attorney-General over the government’s abuse of the court system. Senator Brandis’ office also provided advice regarding my conversation with the AFP regarding their failure to investigate after my follow-up letter to Mr. Clare of 2012-03-12 and have my notes of that conversation.
 Please don’t try and infer who this person is; Your guess may be wrong. I have not identified this particular person because they know who they are, and I am not trying to make trouble for them; I just want them to do what an Opposition is supposed to do and ask the government questions.
 April 11:
“How the CSIRO cheated a global drugs giant,” 2013-04-11, Linton Besser
and Nicky Phillips, The Age, “The CSIRO has duped one of the world's biggest
pharmaceutical companies into buying anti-counterfeit technology which could be
easily compromised - passing off cheap chemicals it had bought from China as a
''trade secret'' formula. …Damning internal documents seen by Fairfax show
DataTrace and some of the most senior officials at the CSIRO knew that Novartis
was being misled in a deal believed to be worth $2.5 million.”http://www.theage.com.au/technology/sci-tech/how-the-csiro-cheated-a-global-drugs-giant-20130410-2hluf.html
April 11: Brief Statement. http://www.csiro.au/en/Portals/Media/Statement-regarding-anti-counterfeit-technology-claims.aspx
April 12: “More than 85 years of growth, change and impact”, Opinion piece was provided to Fairfax by CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Megan Clark on Friday, 12 April 2013. http://www.csiro.au/Portals/Media/More-than-85-years-growth-change-impact.aspx
April 15: “CSIRO Defends Its Allegedly Dodgy Behaviour Without Mentioning The Transgression Once”, Luke Hopewell, http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2013/04/csiro-defends-its-allegedly-dodgy-behaviour-without-mentioning-the-transgression-once/
April 17: “CSIRO cuts to hit Canberra”, 2013-04-17, Hamish Boland-Rudder, SMH, http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/csiro-cuts-to-hit-canberra-20130417-2hzmi.html
 “Wilkie acts to help whistleblowers”, 2012-10-30, AAP, SMH, Independent MP Andrew Wilkie’s Whistleblower Bill, http://www.smh.com.au/national/wilkie-acts-to-help-whistleblowers-20121029-28fmt.html
 “Whistleblower turned MP acts to protect leakers,” Chris Merritt, The Australian, 2012-10-29, “After losing patience with federal Labor's inaction on whistleblower reform, independent MP Andrew Wilkie will today unveil a private member's bill intended to force the Gillard government to provide legal protection for public servants who leak to the media. The Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Bill amounts to a partial repeal of the provisions in the Commonwealth Crimes Act used against former Customs officer Allan Kessing, who was convicted in 2007 of revealing long-ignored reports outlining criminal conduct at Sydney Airport.” http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/legal-affairs/whistleblower-turned-mp-acts-to-protect-leakers/story-e6frg97x-1226504904995
 “Labor’s whistleblower bill just window dressing without change,” Matthew Knott, 2013-03-26, Crikey,
“The Gillard government’s proposed whistleblower protection laws are weak, ill-defined and will need to be amended if government agencies are to become more transparent and accountable … Dr A.J Brown, professor of public policy and law at Griffith University, says there are “serious problems” … “Currently, I wouldn’t be supporting the bill,” … Brown’s biggest beef is that politicians — including the Prime Minister, ministers and the Speaker of the House of Reps — are not counted as “public officials” under the bill despite the power they wield. It means public servants who blow the whistle on wrongdoing by politicians, including concerns about corruption or bribery, would not be protected.” http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/03/26/labors-whistleblower-bill-just-window-dressing-without-an-overhaul/
 “Labor ignored whistleblower on airport security flaws,” Chris Merritt, The Australian, 2009-09-07, “The Labor Party turned away whistleblower Allan Kessing and refused to act when he provided federal MP Anthony Albanese - now the Transport Minister - with access to a secret report on security flaws at Sydney airport.” http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/legal-affairs/labor-ignored-whistleblower-on-airport-security-flaws/story-e6frg97x-1225770024986
 “No ALP
pardon for Kessing in whistleblower case”, Chris Merritt, The Australian,
“Justice Minister Jason Clare informed Mr Kessing by letter that his pardon application had failed. "Having regard to all the relevant information and based on the advice of the Attorney-General's Department, I have decided not to recommend that the Governor-General grant you a pardon," Mr Clare wrote.” http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/legal-affairs/no-alp-pardon-for-kessing-in-whistleblower-case/story-e6frg97x-1226513265554
 “Customs whistleblower must be pardoned: Xenophon,” 2012-12-21, ABC, “The scandal here is that this man, who deserves a medal for the work that he did 10 years ago, was actually persecuted through the courts, had his life effectively ruined by virtue of being charged under Section 70 of the Crimes Act.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-21/whistleblower-xenophon/4439782
 Mr. Snowdon set up a DSTO Probity Board that is supposed to prevent IP theft, but I am told this board is only allowed to give the department “general advice” without examining thefts. http://www.dsto.defence.gov.au/news/6648/ But the department’s claim that the government is legally allowed to breach confidentiality and rig reviews (quoted on the front page of this letter) was made after the board’s formation. This contradictory stance was raised with Mr. Snowdon who will not respond to it.
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Document Change History
v57: 2013-04-29: Corrected dates on Footnote 5, 12, 13.