Despite the leak of a proposal to permit Defence agency the Australian Signals Directorate to collect intelligence on Australians, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is defending the move to expand its powers. Security sources confirmed to The Saturday Paper what has been widely speculated: that the leak was a deliberate attempt to draw public attention to the proposal and stop it in its tracks.
“There would be people in Australian Signals Directorate who would be deeply offended at the notion that their talents would be directed to spying on their fellow Australians, rather than defending the nation,” Paul Barratt tells Karen Middleton. “You get these kinds of leaks when people feel that something is seriously amiss.”

Plus: Paul Bongiorno on the big move Scott Morrison may be planning in his budget, Mike Seccombe on the economic case for rethinking immigration, Martin McKenzie-Murray on Bill Cosby, and Alex McKinnon on APRA’s report on the Commonwealth Bank.

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The Saturday Paper