We submitted the following FOI this morning. Based on past experience we are not too optimistic. But ABC have managed to release sensitive data by accident so who knows maybe it will eventually get out through unofficial channels. (ed This should be of concern to Australia's intelligence authorities).
Dear Sir/ Madam,
In an op ed piece in today's Australian Newspaper, ABC's Director of news Kate Torney states:
"As the ABC's managing director made clear at Senate estimates last week, that simply isn't true. We did not publish everything we had access to. We took advice from Australia's intelligence authorities on the matter and redacted sensitive operational information that might have compromised national security. What was left was the central revelation that we considered then and consider now to be a matter of legitimate public debate. The allegation that we recklessly dumped unfiltered data doesn't stand up to the most cursory examination."
Under FOI can you please provide me with copies of the advice provided to the ABC by Australia's intelligence authorities on this matter mentioned by Ms Torney above. It is in the public interest to see exactly the advice ABC were provided to better judge ABC's handling of this sensitive issue. For instance which particular advice did ABC apparently ignore while participating in the publication of information that has damaged Australia's relations with Indonesia, putting lives at risk?
We note Ms Torney closes her piece with the following line: "We will not succumb to pressure to suppress or ignore legitimate stories to protect those in power." Given ABC does not want to be branded a hypocrite we expect the documents will be expedited through ABC's FOI process.