friendly jordies defamation and arrest case - Politics | PoFo

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I think this is a pretty important developing story in relation to free speech.

At its core, its rather mundane - yet another liberal politician is accused of corruption, over-reacts and sues the person accusing them. Pretty standard fare in today's political climate.

Where the shit hit the fan was this extraordinary arrest of the friendly jordies producer by an anti-terrorist squad. Totally ridiculous and over the top, and you have to wonder, what does this say about the unit - as well as NSW police overall - and how much they are in the pocket of the NSW coalition government?

Its worth watching the friendlyjordies video series on this, he is quite entertaining. In his videos, friendlyjordies makes a good case that his producer wasn't doing anything a "legitimate" journalist wouldn't be doing in pursuit of the truth. Yes, he may be a ratbag, but really how is it any different to what A current affair spent years doing to anyone they felt like harassing? Didn't see any plain clothed anti-terrorist goons jumping on them. I think there is an important question here about what is a journalist? Are we content with the seemingly orthodox view that only those hired by big news corporations are legit - and the law has carte blanche to harass and bully anyone else who pursues independent journalism? I don't. And by the way, the friendlyjordies producer actually has a press pass to the NSW parliament.
I highly question the civil liberties implications of even having such a unit.

It seems like they have created a whole special division for singling out and targeting individuals based on suspicious beliefs and values, especially if there are indications they may be gun owners.

Subjecting citizens for investigating and monitoring based on these type of criteria seems like beginning to cross a blurry line for individual freedoms, and I would imagine there's probably going to be a huge amount of political bias as well, with the investigations being more likely to target those closer to one side of political persuasion.

from the article:

"In 2017, the NSW Police Force created a special section, the Fixated Persons Investigations Unit (FPIU). Its remit, as advertised, was to plug a growing and scary gap in policing: lone-wolf violent (or potentially violent) offenders who have been showing signs of dangerous extremism but fall short of the threshold for terrorism.

The target market, we were told, were the (mostly) men we traditionally refer to as "crazies". Individuals who have become obsessed with a single mad idea, a group in society or another person, and who are at risk of turning that obsession into acts of violence. An example might have been the man whose actions were part of the reason for the unit’s creation: Man Haron Monis, the Lindt cafe gunman.

Two years after its formation, the FPIU had reportedly completed more than 100 investigations, charged 40 people and seized 31 firearms. It was, we were told, working well and achieving its purpose."

This unit probably began the investigation, and then since they determined what they found could constitute something that was illegal, naturally they wanted to be the ones to make the arrest, but they are more of an anti-terrorism unit so were accustomed to much more heavy-handed tactics that were obviously blatantly overly excessive in this case.
Apparently individuals or journalists getting too aggressive and verbally hounding a politician in two different places makes them suspect of being a crazy political extremist.

It clearly does seem excessive. I really think that's going to be a terrible precedent if this type of thing is seen as crossing the line and being illegal disorderly conduct and harassment.
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