New Threats to Security, Old Threats to Liberty


Professor of Law George Williams and Internet industry legal expert Samantha Yorke will discuss the Commonwealth government’s proposed changes to national security laws and potential introduction of data retention requirements.

The proposed laws pose significant challenges for liberal democracy. The data retention laws in particular have both legal and resource implications for companies as well as considerable privacy implications for citizens.

The extent and impact of the proposals will be discussed to understand what is necessary for security in the age of terror and what is necessary for liberty in an age of reason.

George Williams

George Williams AO is the Anthony Mason Professor of Law and the Foundation Director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the University of New South Wales. He has written and edited 31 books, including Australian Constitutional Law and TheoryandGlobal Anti-Terrorism Law and Policy.

As chair of the Victorian Human Rights Consultation Committee in 2005 he helped bring about Australia’s first State bill of rights, the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. He is engaged in a five year international project on anti-terror laws and democracy. 

In 2011 Professor Williams was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the law in the fields of anti-terrorism, human rights and constitutional law.

Samantha Yorke

Samantha Yorke is Managing Director of New Mediation Pty Ltd and is an advisor to Quixo Facto, an Internet start up. She is an accredited mediator, technology lawyer and policy advisor experienced in the digital media and technology sectors both in Europe and Australia. 

Prior to establishing New Mediation, a legal and policy consultancy practice, Sam worked for Yahoo! as General Counsel and Asia Pacific Legal Director as well as for Microsoft in the UK as a corporate attorney. 

Sam is a Deputy Member of the NSW Information and Privacy Commissioner’s Office Advisory Committee.

Online registrations have now closed, however limited spaces are still available by calling reception on 02 9438 4377.

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