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Christian Porter, ASIO, internet censorship, and Nazis: Reading list for March 5 2021

Joey Mann
Joey Mann
Good afternoon everyone,
The past week has been a bombshell week for the allegations against political elites relating to their mistreatment of women. Under the radar was yet another poorly thought-out Internet reform bill which has been swept through the House under our feet, which will potentially destroy the sex-work industry under the guise of protecting children. Meanwhile, far-right terrorists got some coverage.

Content warning: details about sexual assault.
Porter denies rape allegation
Late last week, Four Corners published a bombshell historic rape allegation against a then-unnamed Cabinet minister. On Wednesday, Attorney-General Christian Porter held a press conference naming himself as the accused and strenuously denying the claims.
'Nothing in the allegations that have been printed ever happened'
Mr Porter has not yet confirmed whether he will sue the ABC for defamation, though he has engaged “eminent defamation lawyer” Peter Bartlett.
Porter previously floated the option to sue the ABC when the public broadcaster aired The Canberra Bubble documentary which accused him of being a vile misogynist and of having an inappropriate tryst with a staffer in PUBLIC bar.
When the documentary aired, I argued that he should be struck off the roll if he sues the ABC, a subsidiary of his client as Attorney-General: the Commonwealth.
Tudge and Porter must resign; Porter must be struck off if he sues Four Corners
Many have noticed that Mr Porter apparently did not read the letter sent by the now-deceased victim, meaning he was denying allegations he didn’t even know about:
Even now, the only information I have about the allegations, is what has been circulating online and in certain media outlets.
Christian Porter denies historical rape allegation
Mr Porter seems to believe that if he were to resign, the rule of law would be destroyed. Crikey‘s Bernard Keane, reflecting on Mr Porter’s behaviour in office, believes otherwise:
Porter shredded the rule of law. He shouldn't hide behind what's left of it
New from me
Since the last edition, I’ve published a brief post about ASIO’s recent submission to the extremism inquiry and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s false equivalence between left-wing violence, which ASIO admits is of minimal concern, and right-wing violence, which was identified as a major threat.
ASIO pours cold water on Dutton’s false equivalency
Censorship bill swept in under our noses
The Online Safety Bill is currently before the House. It will allow the eSafety Commissioner to effectively censor the Internet in Australia according to a scheme based on the Classification Code.
Digital Rights Watch argues that the bill is rife for abuse.
Explainer: The Online Safety Bill - Digital Rights Watch
Cameron Wilson at Gizmodo pointed out that there was little consultation for the Bill.
A New Internet Law Has People Worried And The Australian Government Isn't Listening [Updated]
Sex workers are concerned that the Bill could be used to effectively destroy their businesses, as many consensual sex acts deemed to be “degrading” are required to be Refused Classification under the code.
ACA platforms Nazis
A Current Affair aired a piece on the National Socialist Network’s trip to the Grampians this week. The general verdict is that it was… not especially great.
Veteran antifascist researcher Andy Fleming pointed out that it did not do an especially good job explaining the actual threat that fascist movements posed, with viewers buying into the idea that far-right terrorism is emerging in response to a (virtually non-existent) left-wing threat.
Andy Fleming
How do the Left and the Right radicalize each other?

A very, very smol sample of Facebook Fellows look at recognizing reciprocal radicalization between far-left and far-right movements: https://t.co/pVwHnLdOoP
My main critique is the piece’s claim that Telegram’s end-to-end encryption is making intercepting the NSN difficult is somewhat silly. It hasn’t stopped antifascists from doing so. And there’s no good “balanced” way, as the eSafety Commissioner has said there is, that would ensure that encryption backdoors or alternate means of interception would not be discovered by bad actors or misused by the government itself. The technology already exists, and is open source, so forcing platforms to cease using it would only punish legitimate users while criminals have the tech to hide their activities elsewhere.
The NSN’s leader, Tom Sewell, was apparently so incensed at being reported on that he went to Nine’s offices in Docklands and assaulted a security guard after demanding to speak to ACA’s journalists. Sewell claims, despite footage he released clearly showing otherwise, that his attack was in self-defence. Sewell and his cameraman have since been arrested.
In the piece, Dutton announced that British outfit Sonnenkreig Division will be declared a proscribed terror group. Also this week, Victoria moved closer to banning the swastika and expanding their racial discrimination laws.
Victorian parliamentary committee set to announce decision on banning Nazi symbols
Thank you
pls ignore my still very messy room
pls ignore my still very messy room
Thanks for reading the second edition of my reading list! If you liked it, feel free to share it with (or forward it to) your friends and colleagues :)
If you find a link to an interesting read on any of the topics below or have any feedback: feel free to send it in.
I’ll be back next week with another newsletter, in the meantime you can follow me on TwitterInstagram, or Mastodon if you don’t already.
You can find last week’s edition here.
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Joey Mann
Joey Mann @iosefmann

This newsletter focuses on my interests in governance (especially corruption and integrity here in Australia), trade unionism, antifascism, democratisation, political history, and the media. It is an extension of my website, iosef.org, where I occasionally post on these issues.

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Any electoral matter is authorised by J Mann, Canberra ACT 2601