Story AFP didn’t want you to read
The Australian Federal Police's decision to raid the ABC and a News Corp journalist's home has caused an outcry around the world.
Police searched the ABC's headquarters yesterday using a warrant that named two reporters and the news director Gaven Morris. It came just a day after authorities searched the home of Sunday Telegraph politics editor Annika Smethurst in Canberra on Tuesday.
The move has been condemned by media organisations in Australia and around the world, with the BBC saying it was "deeply troubling" for the ABC to be searched.
So what were the police looking for?
THE AFGHAN FILES
When the AFP turned up at the Sydney offices of the ABC, they had a warrant that named two reporters: Insiders executive producer Samuel Clark and investigative reporter Daniel Oakes.
They were both reporters that produced a seven-part report in July 2017 called The Afghan Files
The story was based on hundreds of pages of secret defence force documents that were leaked to the ABC.
The papers revealed details about Australia's elite special forces in Afghanistan.
It highlighted troops may have performed unlawful killings during their operations and that Afghan authorities were becoming increasingly upset about Australians allegedly killing unarmed men and children.
The ABC report said the documents suggested "a growing unease at the highest level of Defence about the culture of Australia's special forces".
One document from 2014 talks about a "warrior culture" within the special forces and a willingness by officers to turn a blind eye to poor behaviour.
Other documents talk about divisions between two elite units, the SAS based in Perth and the 2 Commando Regiment based in Sydney.
ABC managing director David Anderson has said the raid was "highly unusual" and that it raised concerns over freedom of the press and proper public scrutiny of national security and defence matters.
"The ABC stands by its journalists, will protect its sources and continue to report without fear or favour on national security and intelligence issues when there is a clear public interest," he said.
Interestingly, the ABC's Melbourne offices, where Clark and Oakes are based, have not been raided.
AFP officers trawled through more than 9200 items during the raids yesterday but has now agreed with the ABC to a two-week hiatus to allow the search warrant to be challenged.
The raid of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst on Tuesday was related to an exclusive report published in The Sunday Telegraph in April 2018 about proposed changes to Australia's spying laws.
Based on top secret letters between the heads of the Department of Home Affairs and Defence, the report revealed the agencies were considering radical new powers for Australia's cyber spy agency, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD).
These new powers would have allowed the agency to spy on Australian citizens without their knowledge for the first time.
Under the plan, emails, bank records and text messages of Australians could be secretly accessed by digital spies, as long as the ministers for Defence and Home Affairs agreed.
At the moment only the AFP and the spy agency ASIO have the power to investigate Australians if they have a warrant but can ask the ASD for technical help. The ASD generally undertakes activities to counter or disrupt cyber-enabled criminals overseas.
Australia's Attorney-General Christian Porter is able to issue ASIO warrants but under the new proposal, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and the Defence Minister, which was previously Marise Payne but is now Linda Reynolds, could have approved cyber spying orders without Mr Porter knowing.
One government source said they were "horrified" about the plan and there was no national security reason for the change, other than "political power grab".
News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller has condemned the raid on Smethurst's home.
"That raid involved seven police officers arriving unannounced at her home early morning, and seven hours searching through her personal belongings,'' Mr Miller said.
"They searched her oven, her bathroom cabinets, her kitchen drawers and her underwear drawers. The raid was unequivocal intimidation.
"It was an affront to press freedom and demonstrated an alarming escalation to silence those who publish truths the government does not want made public.''
Mr Miller said News Corp Australia stood by Smethurst, and would not "resile" from its campaign to protect the public's right to know.
"Equally, we support the ABC's concerns over freedom of the press and proper public scrutiny of national security and defence matters," he said.