The unprecedented consequences of the digital communications revolution for democracy and the rule of law will be considered tonight (5 September) at a public forum hosted by the University of New South Wales.
To be chaired by UNSW law professor and Australian Press Council chair Julian Disney, tonight's forum, Leaking, Hacking and Regulating, forms part of a two-day international conference, Media, Democracy and Rule of Law, to be hosted by UNSW today and tomorrow.
Opened by the Honourable Michael Kirby, the conference will include analysis of the implications for democracy in the West as online information disrupts the traditional business models upon which independent journalism was built.
The forum will include a debate as to whether the latest round of Wikileaks cables has undermined national security in Australia and elsewhere, or whether it is part of a new form of democracy in which communications technology is enabling the constant public scrutiny of those in power.
The forum will also ask whether new cross-border information regulations are needed or whether the near instant exchange of information across the globe is a largely positively democratising force.
The panellists are professors Robert Manne from La Trobe University and John Keane from the University of Sydney, as well as Polish political journalist Jacek Zakowski.