Friday 20 Apr 2018 | 13:02 | SYDNEY
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Future of Secrecy

Malcolm Turnbull on secrecy

Last Friday The Interpreter\'s Future of Secrecy discussion culminated in a live event in Canberra. I hope some of the presentations made at the event will be released shortly, but meantime, Malcolm Turnbull agreed to a short interview after his speech. [sound:120319_malcolm_turnbull.

Secrecy and freedom (of information)

If secrets are government\'s attempt at monopoly, then FoI is about liberalisation and opening the market. The FoI experience in Australia illustrates why free trade so often wins in theory but has a hard time in reality. As the previous column argued, politicians and bureaucrats draw both

The secrets economy

In the twin realms of politics and government, secrets are a tradable commodity.  In this market, knowledge really is power – or a function and a facet of power. To use an economic framework: secrecy, knowledge and power are all \'coin of the realm\', the legal currency of a political

Secrecy and transparency in war

The piece by Nicholas Gruen that we published yesterday was cross-posted on Club Troppo, Nick\'s regular blog haunt, and it\'s worth pointing to the subsequent discussion in the comments thread. In response to a reader, Nick mentions a section of his draft post that we agreed to omit from the

The government abuse of secrecy

Major Gen (Retd) Jim Molan is author of Running the War in Iraq. There is a need for secrecy and there is abuse of secrecy. There is a lot to be protected and some good reasons for protecting it. One of the greatest forces for getting the balance wrong is government convenience. Rather than

Secrecy in the age of WikiLeaks

Steve Vinsik is vice president and partner in Global Security Solutions for Unisys Corporation, sponsor of the Lowy Institute\'s \'The Future of Secrecy\' forum. Open, but secure. That is the new approach governments need to take to secrecy and national security in the age of

'Soft' secrecy in the media age

Nicholas Gruen is CEO of Lateral Economics and was Chair of the Government 2.0 Task Force. I recently took my son to the stage play (pictured) of the TV show Yes, Prime Minister. One could predict the kind of plot that would ensue and ensue it did. The Prime Minister and his minions

Reader riposte: Secrecy in the information age

Anna Madeleine Solar-Bassett writes: Social media is going to be a major issue of the secrecy debate moving forward. As Kony 2012 and Wikileaks show, governments that support open and relatively free internet systems (save for IP protections such as copyright in favour of economic

9/11 and the new breed of journalist

The attacks of 9/11 brought about an almost instant reordering of newsroom hierarchies. Old South Asia hands who knew their way around Afghanistan and Pakistan were suddenly in high demand. Former Kabul correspondents, neglected for more than a decade after the withdrawal of Soviet Union, found

Reader riposte: Secrecy and FoI

Peter Timmins writes: Numerous reports and inquiries have confirmed that we have a culture of secrecy in many areas of government. While there have been some positive reforms since 2009, we have a long way to go to move the culture along. As the Australian Law Reform Commission put it in its

Reader riposte: Secrecy in an open society

Daniel Baldino, a Senior Lecturer at Notre Dame University and editor of Democratic Oversight of Intelligence Services, writes: The world of intelligence is closely intertwined in official secrecy. Traditionally, spy agencies have been inclined to operate behind closed doors. Their instinct has

Like to attend our Secrecy Forum?

Our Unisys Forum on the Future of Secrecy, which kicked off on Monday, is gathering pace, and I\'ll have further substantive contributions on The Interpreter soon. But first, I would like to get expressions of interest from you about attending the \'live\' portion of this forum, which will

Reader ripostes: Researching secrecy

Below, a comment from David Gizzi, but first, Alex Burns writes: Austhink\'s Paul Monk raises several important points in his posts to Lowy\'s debate on excessive government secrecy. I discovered Monk\'s perspective on the openness of information through rather unusual

Incentives for secrecy

Paul Monk refers early on in his first post on excessive government secrecy to the fact that \'the actors best placed to change the rules have strong perverse incentives for keeping them as they are.\' It\'s worth drawing out the details of this point a little, and there\'s an excellent summary

Less secrecy means better government

Paul Monk is Director and Principal Consultant of Austhink Consulting. Part one of this post here. That secrecy has been increasing decade by decade despite repeated, even official calls for the trend to be reversed is very telling. Two brief examples from the US help to underscore this

Cut secrecy down to a minimum

Paul Monk is a founder, Director and Principal Consultant of Austhink Consulting. Secrecy is a kind of dead weight on sound and accountable government, in much the same way that excessive and irresponsibly incurred public debt is a dead weight on the effective functioning of our market

The future of secrecy

Starting today and for the next two weeks, The Interpreter will host an online discussion on the theme of government secrecy. This is a perennial topic of dispute in democratic societies — I think Max Weber had a bit to say on the subject, and I have in front of me a 1998 book by Daniel