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Former ASIO head David Irvine saw data retention and metadata as effective counter-terror measures. But experience overseas is proving otherwise. Lukas Coch/AAP

The security benefits of warrantless surveillance are as clear as mud

The value and utility of the NSA’s metadata retention programs – which formed the template for Australia's metadata regime – have too often been over-exaggerated.
Police in NSW will soon be equipped with body cameras – as will their counterparts on Queensland’s Gold Coast in domestic violence incidents. AAP/Andi Yu

Beware the unintended consequences of police-worn body cameras

Police-worn body cameras could be a helpful tool for law enforcement in cases involving domestic violence. But they could also have unintended consequences.
A police helicopter and a police drone fly over a street march in Baltimore, Maryland, following the April 2015 death in custody of young black man Freddie Gray. Reuters/Adrees Latif

Police militarisation takes off with weaponised crowd-control drones

The use of drones by authorities has increased around the globe. In the US, drones have been used not only for police surveillance and in operations, but also to patrol its southern borders.
Would reporter Bob Woodward have been able to protect Deep Throat’s identity from today’s surveillance tools? Reuters/Alex Gallardo

How surveillance is wrecking journalist-source confidentiality

Four decades on, in a digital era of surveillance and data storage, Watergate remains a useful yardstick for assessing the value of source confidentiality.
Nothing of what William’s subjects had in life escaped the Domesday Book. Today, more covertly, those in power are using mass surveillance to collect all the digital details of our lives. Flickr/Andrew Barclay

Digital Domesday: surveillance threatens us with a new serfdom

Almost 1000 years after their ruler demanded every detail of serfs' lives, the digital age and mass surveillance are creating a new and undemocratic imbalance between citizens and those with power over them.

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