Families in Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre with ‘negative security assessments’ from Australian Intelligence (ASIO) are not told why they are a security threat and cannot apply for a permanent visa. Their indefinite detention may also be based on `suspicions’ about their electronic communications.

 

The FSF's Daniel Pocock writes:

"Open Source has taken on a new meaning. In the intelligence world, it refers to the gathering of information by scouring sites like Facebook looking for hints of trouble, or even looking for patterns of uncomformity. A recent study even suggested that people who have chosen not to create a Facebook profile should be viewed with suspicion.

In Australia, this type of `intelligence' gathering has taken on a sinister new dimension. Not only can the spooks hack your PC without a warrant but they also have a free run of data collected by big data. Anyone vaguely familiar with legal concepts understands that such trivial matters as who you have in your friend list on facebook doesn't make a solid foundation for a prosecution: at least in a regular courtroom, people can't be "guilty by association". Yet in Australia, the inconvenience of court cases has been bypassed by allowing the national spy agency, ASIO, to act as judge and jury, making `Adverse Security Assessments' (ASAs) and sending people straight into the bowels of hell, bypassing the normal judge, jury and jailor.

In 2012, a Sri Lankan woman named Ranjini went to a routine appointment with the immigration department. She was born in Sri Lanka, emigrated to Australia as a refugee to flee the civil war, and subsequently married an Australian. She was finally in control of her destiny, making a meaningful life for herself in a supposedly welcoming community. Entering a Government building with her two children, she was ambushed by 10 thugs from the gestapo, with orders from ASIO to have her whisked away to Villawood, a would-be Guantanamo Bay-style concentration camp in suburban Sydney. This is a tale that has the hallmarks of extraordinary rendition, backed by nothing more than an ASA, with no hard evidence in sight."