19 Sept 2016

Why doesn't Australia have proper oversight of our intelligence agencies

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The US and Britain's intelligence agencies all have federal government oversight why doesn't Australia.
Is it in case the shit hits the fan, they(the pollies) can always claim ignorance or is it as we have seen so often in recent times they can always roll out the "its a case of national security".mmm!
Federal Parliament should generally oversee intelligence operations otherwise they can become a law unto themselves
Currently the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security only looks at the agencies' budgets and administration, though operations are overseen by the independent Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.
Australia's intelligence community is made up of ASIO, ONA, foreign intelligence outfit ASIS, the Defence Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Geospatial Organisation and the Australian Signals Directorate.
Australia's international intelligence co-operation should also be scrutinised by the federal government for obvious reasons.
The "five-eyes" arrangement in which Australia shares intelligence with the US, Britain, Canada and New Zealand is considered by insiders more vital than ever with each country constrained by resources amid a growing workload.
Since 2001, Australia has also been co-operating much more deeply with a wide range of countries including in the Middle East, including with foreign agencies that were previously targets of our spies rather than partners. Surely that makes it more important to have federal oversight.

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