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section heading icon     overview

This guide explores secrecy in the digital environment, considering principles, legislation and practice.

It includes discussion of whistleblowing, judicial review of administrative decisions and 'information access' law such as freedom of information and archives legislation. It also highlights conundrums in professional, media and confessional privilege.

subsection heading icon     contents of this guide

This guide covers -

  • secrecy principles and challenges - the shape of information flows in digital and pre-digital environments
  • studies - points of entry to the literature on secrecy, confidentiality and accountability
  • official secrets - government secrecy legislation and practice
  • Australian secrets - the shape of official secrecy in Australia
  • international - secret-keeping, sharing and the accountability of international organisations such as the ICRC, ICANN and World Bank
  • private - confidentiality protection for personal and commercial information under common law, contract law and other law
  • technical - technological measures as a complement to or substitute for intellectual property and other law
  • FOI - Freedom of Information law and practice in Australia and overseas
  • Archives - Archives Acts and other 'access' legislation
  • whistleblowing - whistleblowing issues and legislation
  • Aust whistles - the shape of whistleblowing in Australia
  • leaks - media management, cooption and disinformation
  • review - piercing the veil of secrecy through judicial and other review of government agencies?
  • reporting - the media as a Fourth Estate
  • journalists - questions about special protection for journalists in old and new media
  • professional - nondisclosure by some professions
  • confessional - special protection for non-disclosure by clergy
  • justice - self-incrimination, protection for police and other aspects of the justice system
  • witnesses - questions about witness protection schemes
  • financial - financial secrecy regimes

It is complemented by detailed guides on Censorship and Privacy, along with notes on matters such as the Australian censorship regimes, whistleblowing incidents, unauthorised photography and memoir bans.



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version of July 2006
© Bruce Arnold
Caslon Analytics | caslon.com.au