Frank Moorhouse Interview
Over the last decade, in the wake of terrorist attacks around the world, debates have raged over what the public has a right to see, to say, to know, including about the very people who are meant to keep us safe. Recent leaks and congressional reports about the American intelligence agencies have shown just how far they may have stepped past the bounds of civilised norms, but what about the Australian agencies? Can we trust them to keep us safe, and do they need expanded powers, or are we sacrificing freedom unnecessarily?
Frank Moorhouse is one of Australia’s most celebrated writers, and over the course of his work, has examined the worlds of diplomacy and intrigue. He has been an outspoken advocate for freedom of expression, and has even been arrested several time during protests, so it may not be surprising that ASIO has been keeping a file on him. But the fact that they began when he was 17 seems a little excessive. Frank decided it was time to return the agency’s gaze and look at what it is, and what the value of an agency likes this really is. His new book is called Australia Under Surveillance.
Frank talked to Sky Kirkham about the line between security and freedom, the powerlessness of security agencies against individuals, and his own dark past at seventeen: visiting a University club. Originally broadcast on 18/12/2015. Australia Under Surveillance is out through Random House.