News that endangers the security of Australia “should not be fit to print”, Tony Abbott has said, after lawyers warned that planned legislation means journalists could face jail for reporting disclosures about certain spy operations.
The Prime Minister has warned journalists to show 'sense of responsibility' as Coalition tries to push through tougher security laws.
The prime minister said the government must “get the balance right” and called on journalists to display “a sense of responsibility”.
National security legislation presented to the Senate on Thursday would expand the powers of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (Asio) and create a new offence punishable by five years in jail for “any person” who disclosed information relating to “special intelligence operations”.
The person would be liable for a 10-year term if the disclosure would “endanger the health or safety of any person or prejudice the effective conduct of a special intelligence operation”.
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