Australia accused of ‘excessive and unnecessary’ secrecy

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia is increasingly suppressing information seen as pivotal to a free and open media. That’s put the country at the center of accusations it’s become one of the world’s most secretive democracies. Last week, a former Australian spy was convicted over his unconfirmed role as a whistleblower in an espionage operation against the government of East Timor. It’s the latest high-profile case in a national system in which secrecy laws are routinely used to suppress information. Another whistleblower who’s now an independent federal lawmaker argues Australia has drifted into becoming a pre-police state through its embrace of secrecy.