Station: ABC Date: 27/08/2014. Program: NATIONAL PRESS CLUB ADDRESS Time: 12:32 PM. Compere: Summary ID: M - PDF

Please download to get full document.

View again

of 34
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Information Report



Views: 8 | Pages: 34

Extension: PDF | Download: 0

Related documents
Page: 1 Transcript Station: ABC Date: 27/08/2014 Program: NATIONAL PRESS CLUB ADDRESS Time: 12:32 PM Compere: Summary ID: M Item: NATIONAL PRESS CLUB ADDRESS BY DAVID IRVINE, DIRECTOR-GENERAL,
Page: 1 Transcript Station: ABC Date: 27/08/2014 Program: NATIONAL PRESS CLUB ADDRESS Time: 12:32 PM Compere: Summary ID: M Item: NATIONAL PRESS CLUB ADDRESS BY DAVID IRVINE, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, ASIO. INTERVIEWEES: DAVID IRVINE, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, ASIO; LAURIE WILSON, NPC Audience: Male 16+ Female 16+ All people COMPERE: we welcome him. Laurie Wilson, our president, will formally introduce Mr Irvine at the commencement of the broadcast and I thank ABC One, 24 and Sky News for taking today's event live and national. With us at the head table is David's wife, Robyn, welcome. And also the Deputy General of ASIO, Kerri Hartland, we extend our welcome to you. Aron Whillans from the National Australia Bank who are our principal sponsors and we thank them for their continuing support. Aaron's with the government and corporate affairs area. Next week - and I don't think this is coincidental, Mr Irvine - but it's the Blueprint for an Ageing Australia and Retirement Incomes. So, Everald Compton, Brian Howe - Brian Howe, the Former Deputy Prime Minister will be the speaker and Professor Gill Lewin. They're tabling a report called Blueprint for the Ageing Australia and I think it's quite a hard-hitting report. For those interested in economic and social policy, we invited you to get along. Page: 2 Last, mobile phones, no matter what organisation you're from, I'd be very grateful if you would turn it to off or silent if it has to be - if you have to leave it on. It's very distracting when it goes off during the broadcast. With those few words, welcome and I'd ask Laurie Wilson and David Irvine to make their way to the forum and again, on behalf of the board, I'm sure we're going to enjoy what's an historic address for us, because I don't think we've had anyone from ASIO in our 50-year history. So, here we go. SPEAKER: Today at the National Press Club, the Director-General of Security, David Irvine. After more than five years running ASIO, Mr Irvine's heading into retirement next month. He'll speak about ASIO's role and responsibilities in a speech titled Diligence in the Shadows, as he delivers today's National Press Club address. [Bell] Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the National Press Club for today's National Australia Bank address. Our guest today brings a unique perspective to the security challenging facing Australia. Having served as Director-General of ASIO for the past five years and prior to that for six years as Director-General of ASIS, Australia's intelligence security agency - secret intelligence agency, I should say. And that, of course, followed a distinguished career in the diplomatic service. His term as Director-General of Security ends in just a fortnight. He's planning to take some Page: 3 gardening leave and perhaps look at other aspects of his career possibly after that, but certainly planning to take a decent break, he says. And that, of course, coincides - comes at a time when the Government is seeking to strengthen Australia's counter-terrorism laws in the face of increasing concern about so-called home-grown terrorism and the radicalisation of an increasing number of young Australians. To discuss what he describes as Diligence in the Shadows, ASIO's responsibility, would you please welcome David Irvine. [Applause] Thank you, Laurie. During my five years as Director-General of Security, I have in fact occasionally emerged from the shadows, usually to talk on three specific subjects. The threats from terrorism and from cyber attacks, and more - perhaps esoterically for some - the Australian experience of managing a secret security intelligence service in a democracy under the rule of law. In recent months, however, I have been in the public arena more than is customary and perhaps more than I would prefer. And this is because we are facing significant issues in relation to security and in relation to the safety of Australians. We are also debating how to improve the mechanisms by which Australia detects and responds to security threats. Page: 4 I think today I want to make three essential points. The first point is that the threats that Australia faces today from espionage and terrorism are real, but they are also manageable, if we maintain our vigilance and if we continue to update our intelligence capabilities to meet the changing demands of what we in ASIO call the operating environment. The second point is, after five years, I am more than ever convinced that Australia actually needs a security service, a service that is governed by the rule of law, and with appropriate safeguards in place to protect against threats to the nation's security and threats to the lives of our citizens. The third point is - following from that - is that the existing regime of checks and balances, in respect of ASIO, is working. And it doesn't need substantial revamping and certainly not revamping that merely increases the cost and the bureaucracy, but adds nothing to the effectiveness of the oversight we already have. The security environment today is becoming more complex and certainly much more complex than when I was appointed in This is in part due to the march of technology and in part because of changes in the nature of the threats we face. Currently, ASIO's operational capabilities are focused on countering terrorism in Australia and overseas. They are focused on detecting and countering the clandestine activities of foreign powers, including and increasingly in the new worlds of cyber espionage and cyber sabotage. And we are also involved and focused on the securing of Australia's borders and our critical infrastructure. Page: 5 Let me talk a little bit about terrorism. The great evil of terrorism, from whatever source, is that it is designed to strike fear and cause mass casualties amongst innocent civilians. Such threats can come from religious or ideologically focused groups, from the right or the left. But our principle concern for more than a decade has been the threat of terrorism by extremists adhering to a particularly violent interpretation of Islam. In the case of al-qaeda, and its various off-shots in the Middle East, in Africa and Southeast Asia, not to mention the West, the intent is to punish, to ferment social upheaval, to destroy the public's confidence in their governments. It is a doctrine of brutality, as we have seen. It's a doctrine of hate, and I think it's the doctrine of inhumanity. Australians haven't been immune from such violence. Over 100 Australians have died in terrorist incidents in the past 12 years. True, we haven't had a terrorist attack on Australian soil in that period, but planning for a number of mass casualty attacks on our soil has been detected and the attacks have been thwarted by ASIO working in close cooperation with its State and Commonwealth law enforcement partners. We have been long, in my time, monitoring a small number of Muslim Australians who support violent extremism and who frequently express the aspiration of conducting terrorist attacks in Australia. We have needed to be in a position to move quickly, to nip things in the bud, as soon as such people move from talk and aspiration, to active planning and to final preparations. Of course, it's not only groups that are of Page: 6 concern. A recurring nightmare has been - for me, anyway - has been the so-called lone wolf, often radicalised over the internet and who has managed to avoid coming across our radar. In the past two years, however, the situation in Syria and Iraq has radically complicated the threat, adding energy and allure to the extremist Islamic narrative. The draw of foreign fighters to Syria and Iraq is significant, and includes more Australians than any other previous extremist conflict put together. The number of Australians of potential security concern to ASIO and our law enforcement partners has increased substantially. ASIO believes there are about 60 or so Australians fighting with the two principal extremist al- Qaeda derivatives, I'll call them; Jabhat al-nusra and the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. We believe 15 Australians have already been killed in the current conflicts, including two young Australian suicide bombers. Another 100 people here in Australia are actively supporting these extremist groups, recruiting new fighters to go overseas and indeed grooming potential suicide candidates and providing - as well as providing funding and equipment. Now, not all of those Australians currently in Syria and Iraq will return. But some tens of Australians have already returned and a good number of these remain of concern to the security authorities. People who have returned with potentially enhanced religious commitment to violence, and commitment to violence in the name of a distorted brand of Islam, as well as Page: 7 having had training in the use of weapons, bombmaking and so on. I believe that the terrorist threat will be with us for some time into the future. But I guess the point I want to make, most emphatically, is: we should not allow that to panic us and we should not allow that to dominate our lives. We should be using the powers of the democratic state and the courts to protect both the community and individuals. Of course to this end, the Government has recently sought to ensure that the national counter-terrorism effort is properly resourced and has appropriate legislative backing. A key point that I want to make, too, is that ASIO recognises that the tiny number of violent extremists, who nevertheless can make a rather big bang, does not represent the Islamic communities of Australia. We are talking about a few hundred abhorrent souls in a community of half a million Muslims and it's grossly unfair to blame Australian Muslims, who see themselves as a committed component of Australia's multicultural society, it's wrong to be blaming them for the sins of a tiny minority. And as the Government has said increasingly in recent times, our fight is with terrorism, it is not with Islam and it is not with our Muslim community. I think also we should recognise that the strongest defence against violent extremism at the present time lies within the Australian Muslim community itself. Recent uninformed criticism of the leadership of Australia's Muslim community ignores the fact that Page: 8 most Muslim leaders, both civilian and spiritual, have striven hard to address the problem of a few misguided people in their midst. And I know from my own experience that the problem in Australia would be far greater without their efforts. So we should be thanking them and continuing to work with them. One final point in relation to terrorism is that in addition to treating all relevant stakeholders in Australia as partners, we anticipate that there will be a spike over the next few years, with the release of terrorist prisoners in - and the return of foreign fighters from Syria and Iraq - to Indonesia. We should continue to support our Indonesian friends as we deal with the shared phenomenon of violent extremism. Now, while terrorism and physical violence is plain for all to see on our TV screens, in our newspapers and online; ASIO cannot lose sight of its crucial role to prevent and mitigate against espionage and cyber espionage and cyber security threats. Now, there is little that I can or will say about the harmful actions of foreign powers, in respect of espionage and foreign interference, which are age-old threats. However, I can say that we are seeing a growth in espionage and foreign interference against Australia, both through cyber and more traditional methods. Further, the threat to Government information from self-motivated malicious insiders has increased, and we are working across Government and with the private sector to manage that particular challenge. Page: 9 All this means that we must, as an organisation, continue to adapt and evolve as technology evolves and ensure that we can meet these more complex challenges. Again, the Government has recently introduced legislation that will go some way towards modernising the ASIO Act. I want to say that the ASIO Act is based on extraordinarily firm and, I believe, entirely intellectually defensible principles. But it is in need of regular updating to reflect the rapid advances in technology and, in particular, of course, these days, the social media age. My final theme focuses on the role of a security service in a democratic society and how ASIO operates in a way which balances the security of Australia and Australians with their civil liberties. It's important to remember that an organisation like ASIO in democratic Australia operates according to the rule of law and operates not just under fairly restrictive - a strict legislative regime, but also under quite comprehensive oversight and accountability regimes. Each time changes to intelligence-related legislation are mooted, there is invariably a veritable avalanche of objections or expressions of disquiet that fill the media. This, of course, is a healthy and robust aspect of our democracy, although some of the arguments may be informed by misplaced concerns or out-dated or lazy stereotypes about the intelligence business. I constantly feel the need to remind people that ASIO is not the security apparatus of a non-democratic or totalitarian state. Page: 10 My concern is that when we have these debates they should take place against a better understanding of how Australian democracy already provides appropriate protections of civil liberties while fulfilling the first duty of Government, which, of course, is to protect national security and to protect the lives of its citizens. ASIO's role is to identify and assess possible threats to national security, or threats to the likes of our citizens, and to do so in sufficient time and with sufficient accuracy to prevent such events occurring. Our work, therefore, is predictive and advisory. It's an exercise in informing risk management and enabling Government to take preventive action before bombs go off. This is actually quite different from much of law enforcement work, which focuses on the evidentiary processes leading to prosecutions. The other characteristic of a security intelligent service that I want to emphasise, is the need for such a service to operate in secrecy. Justice Robert Hope said intelligence agencies simply cannot operate in full public view if they are going to be effective. And why is this? Well as any journalist will understand, we need to protect our sources. If we are not discreet in our activities we can put our important community contacts and covert human sources in real personal danger. If our operating techniques become known in detail, it will give our adversaries a better chance of disguising malicious activities. As well, we have to protect intelligence provided by our friends and our allies, because such intelligence can be a significant force multiplier for Australia's security. Page: 11 And finally - this is a point not often understood and certainly did not appear to have been understood by WikiLeaks - security and secrecy is actually to the benefit of individuals whom ASIO may be investigating. Their reputations, their livelihoods future prospects may be damaged if our work is not conducted discreetly, out of the public gaze. And of course, so many of our investigations, thankfully, prove that these people are not a security concern. So there we have it, in terms of the essence of ASIO. Predictive judgments to stall threats to security and secrecy in a democracy. How do we manage all of that? Today's intelligence community, its conceptual philosophy, its scope, its essential structure, its balance of human rights and state power, its operating procedures, its accountability and oversight mechanisms; derive in large part from the extraordinarily insightful work of Justice Robert Marsden Hope in his Royal Commissions on Intelligence and Security, the first held between 1973 and 1977, and the second in And following from Hope's recommendations, ASIO's security function was very clearly defined in law: counter espionage, countering politically motivated violence, counter sabotage, working to protect intracommunal harmony and so on. It's all there in the Act for you to see. Similarly, the methods ASIO may use to collect intelligence are also subject to the law. They include the use of covert and overt human sources. They include information supplied by foreign partners and they include information derived from a range of Page: 12 intrusive methods that - in circumstances - that require a warrant for us to get; such as the interception of communications, the use of listening and tracking devices, remote access to computers, overt or covert entry to and search of premises, and so on. And in relation to counter-terrorism, the Director- General may seek a warrant from an independent judicial authority to allow compulsory questioning to collect intelligence about terrorism. And in limited circumstances, which fortunately we have never had to use so far, the detention by the police of a person for questioning about terrorism. As a Director-General of Security, my challenge is to ensure ASIO is taking all necessary steps to protect the security and to protect our democratic institutions while at the same time ensuring the appropriate protection of individual civil liberties and the life of the society that we cherish. This isn't just a simplistic or theoretical conflict between national security and the rights of individuals. The security and safety of our citizens living within our community, your safety, is just as much a human right as all the other civil liberties that we talk about. Justice Hope said that in the final analysis public safety and individual liberty sustain each other. That's a fundamental working principle within ASIO. So we work under the law, but it's also essential that there be a robust and effective oversight and accountability framework for agencies that must conduct their business out of the public view. I believe that we already have such a system in Australia. Our - Page: 13 Australia's approach maintains a clear focus on lawfulness, on proportionality, on accountability, and that is achieved through legislation, through parliamentary oversight, through ministerial accountability and through independent oversight. For example, ASIO is accountable to the Parliament; the organisation provides an annual report to Parliament, its activities, as I know to my occasional discomfort, are scrutinised heavily in the Senate Estimates process. ASIO briefs the Opposition, it appears before the bipartisan Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security and it provides other public and private briefings to the Senate as required. It's also audited by the ANAO. ASIO reports to the National Security Committee of Cabinet, but it is responsible for its activities to the Attorney-General, who authorises personally each of ASIO's warrants for the use of its intrusive powers. One feature of ministerial accountability that's typically not recognised in the public debate is that the ASIO Act requires the organisation to comply with strict guidelines in its operations that are issued by the Attorney-General. For example, in relation to politically motivated violence, countering terrorism for example, the guidelines - which are publicly available, they can found on the ASIO website - provide that any means for obtaining information must be proportionate to the gravity of the threat and that inquiries and investigations into individuals and groups should be undertaken using as little intrusion into individual Page: 14 privacy as is possible. It's a guideline to which we scrupulously adhere. In addition, of course, ASIO's security assessments may be subject to review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the Independent Reviewer of Adverse Security Assessments, and the courts. There is also the Indep
View more...
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks