Monday, July 12, 2021

Submitting Assignments on Paper No Protection for Students

Senator James Paterson
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, has been conducting an Inquiry into national security risks affecting the Australian higher education and research sector. Committee Chair, Senator James Paterson is reported to have suggested allowing international students to submit assignments on paper. This is to prevent security agencies in their home countries reading their essays. However, a student doesn't just write an assignment off the top of their head, they conduct literature searches, talk to their tutor, and fellow students. These days much of that is done online. Even if the final document is printed on paper, it would leave a long electronic trail, which would indicate what the completed work was about.

Also it is not just international students who have to worry about intelligence agencies. Students who may go on to important jobs in government and industry (or already have them) can expect to be under routine online surveillance by agencies of Australia's potential foes, and friends.

Australian academics need to keep in mind that what they ask their students to study could place them at risk. Universities can seek to secure their electronic systems, but that is not foolproof. Also It will not protect students from old fashioned HUMINT: the collection of information by people.

ps: But perhaps I am a little paranoid, because I used to work for the Defence Department. ;-)


Protecting international students: get essays on paper, Campus Morning Mail, July 12, 2021

No comments:

Post a Comment