Defence treaty to ‘censor’ research

12/10/2012 – 10:39 am
Tony McCall

UP TO 90 per cent of academic research could be affected by an Australian-US trade agreement that would make it an offence for academics to communicate findings on research, the University of Sydney has warned.

A Senate committee is examining proposals to join Australia in a defence trade treaty with the US.

The Department of Defence says joining the treaty would ”remove the administrative delays associated with existing Australian and US export-licensing systems … and increase opportunities for Australian companies to bid on eligible US contracts”.

But a by-product of signing up to the treaty, under the proposals before the committee, would be the introduction of export controls, that would restrict the ”intangible transfer” – or communication – by Australian researchers about a wide range of items except with a Defence permit.

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author: Bianca Hall
source: Sydney Morning Herald – national Times (10/10/12)

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