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In the Name of Security – Secrecy, Surveillance and Journalism

In the Name of Security – Secrecy, Surveillance and Journalism

Edited by Johan Lidberg & Denis Muller

‘In the Name of Security – Secrecy, Surveillance and Journalism’ investigates the effects of the increased number of anti-terror laws, new mass surveillance technologies and a global fear- driven security paradigm have had on in-depth public interest journalism since 11 September 2001 in a number of countries.

PDF, 250 Pages


May 2018

£18.36, $30.36

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EPUB, 250 Pages


May 2018

£18.36, $30.36

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About This Book

The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on 11 September 2001 saw the start of the so-called war on terror. The aim of ‘In the Name of Security – Secrecy, Surveillance and Journalism’is to assess the impact of surveillance and other security measures on in-depth public interest journalism. How has the global fear-driven security paradigm sparked by 11 September affected journalism? Moves by governments to expand the powers of intelligence and security organizations and legislate for the retention of personal data for several years have the potential to stall investigative journalism. Such journalism, with its focus on accountability and scrutiny of powerful interests in society, is a pillar of democracy.

Investigative journalism informs society by providing information that enables citizens to have input into democratic processes. But will whistleblowers acting in public interest in future contact reporters if they risk being exposed by state and corporate surveillance? Will journalists provide fearless coverage of security issues when they risk jail for reporting them?

At the core of ‘In the Name of Security – Secrecy, Surveillance and Journalism’ sits what the authors have labeled the ‘trust us dilemma’. Governments justify passing, at times, oppressive and far-reaching anti-terror laws to keep citizens safe from terror. By doing so governments are asking the public to trust their good intentions and the integrity of the security agencies. But how can the public decide to trust the government and its agencies if it does not have access to information on which to base its decision?

‘In the Name of Security – Secrecy, Surveillance and Journalism’ takes an internationally comparative approach using case studies from the powerful intelligence-sharing group known as the Five Eyes consisting of the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Chapters assessing a selection of EU countries and some of the BRICS countries provide additional and important points of comparison to the English-speaking countries that make up the Five Eyes.

The core questions in the book are investigated and assessed in the disciplines of journalism studies, law and international relations. The topics covered include an overview and assessment of the latest technological developments allowing the mass surveillance of large populations including the use of drones (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles).


Author Information

Johan Lidberg is associate professor in journalism in the School of Media, Film and Journalism, at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, where he is also the research coordinator and deputy head of the journalism department.

Denis Muller is senior research fellow at the Centre for Advancing Journalism, Melbourne University, Australia.


No series for this title.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Johan Lidberg and Denis Muller; Chapter 1. The Public Privacy Conundrum – Anonymity and the Law in an Era of Mass Surveillance, Moira Paterson; Chapter 2. ‘Undesirable Types’ – The Surveillance of Journalists, Fay Anderson; Chapter 3. Surveillance and National Security ‘Hyper-Legislation’ – Calibrating Restraints on Rights with a Freedom of Expression Threshold, Mark Pearson and Joseph M Fernandez; Chapter 4. The Ethics of Reporting National Security Matters, Bill Birnbauer and Denis Muller; Chapter 5. When One Person’s Noble Whistleblower Becomes Another’s Poisonous Leaker, Matthew Ricketson; Chapter 6. Who Watches the Watchmen? Access to Information, Accountability and Government Secrecy, Johan Lidberg; Chapter 7. Eyes and Ears in the Sky – Drones and Mass Surveillance, Trevor McCrisken; Chapter 8. Looking over My Shoulder – Public Perceptions of Surveillance, Denis Muller, Johan Lidberg and Michael Budinski; Chapter 9. Journalism and National Security in Three BISA Countries – Brazil, India and South Africa, Débora Medeiros, Alam Srinivas and Tinus De Jager; Chapter 10. Journalism and National Security in the European Union, Johan Lidberg and Denis Muller; Chapter 11. The Security Reporter Today – Journalists and Journalism in an Age of Surveillance, Stephanie Brookes; Conclusion. Journalism and the State of Exception, Johan Lidberg and Denis Muller; List of Contributors; Index.

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