The current ASIO bill before federal parliament is a very big worry. No-one should be allowed to arbitrarily detain people on suspicion of having contact with a member of an what has simply been designated by the Attorney General as a terrorist organisation. As an academic who regularly comes into contact with hundreds of students on a daily basis, it follows that I could be detained at the whim of the security organisation, if this bill were to pass.

Why do ASIO want such powers? Or rather, why do the current government want to give these powers to them? The proximate explanation for this power is so that people in contact with "suspected terrorists" may be detained so as to not inform them of a possible attempt at arrest. Clearly such draconian and undemocratic powers aren't necessary for that outcome. This ought to make us worry about what the actual reason might be.


I’m Greg Restall, and this is my personal website. I am the Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews, and the Director of the Arché Philosophical Research Centre for Logic, Language, Metaphysics and Epistemology I like thinking about – and helping other people think about – logic and philosophy and the many different ways they can inform each other.


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