Censorship

U.S.-Australia Treaty Could Censor Research

Academics would need a government permit to communicate

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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.