Former counterterrorism agent Carrick Ryan will join the InnovationAus.com roster of columnists, bringing a focus on the cross-section of technology and the law, with a particular focus on privacy and judicial overreach.
After 10 years as a federal agent at the Australian Federal Police (AFP), of which five was spent serving on the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team, Mr Ryan has embraced political commentating. The joint team was first established in 2002 and is a collaboration between the NSW Police Force, the AFP, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and the NSW Crime Commission.
Wielding a Bachelor of Media and Communications and a Master of Politics and International Relations, he has garnered around 50,000 followers across Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. On his blog, Mr Ryan publishes his commentary on a broad range of issues including political trust, technology, surveillance and privacy, religion, gender issues, and China.
Speaking at an InnovationAus.com panel on ‘Transparency in Government’ last year, Mr Ryan highlighted the importance of making government transparency and accountability important to voters. He states that his broader mission is to help develop the level of political engagement and discourse, doing his part to strengthen Australian democracy.
In 2020, Mr Ryan told his Instagram followers that he believes “that a functioning democracy relies on an informed electorate” and that he believes the Australian public has not been properly informed “over the last few years”. He noted that people are shifting away from traditional news outlets and that he hopes to be part of a correction to the misinformation spread on social media.
In his first column for InnovationAus.com, Mr Ryan will recount his experience of monitoring a suspect through a surveillance device installed in his bedroom and explores the process of and attitudes towards monitoring Australian citizens.
InnovationAus.com publisher Corrie McLeod said that Mr Ryan’s columns will sit in an area adjacent to the publication’s editorial team, helping to broaden the scope of the newsletter. She added that he has a “timely, relevant voice when we’re talking about the impact of technology and the way we live our lives”.
Insight from an experienced individual is particularly unique in a time when in tech regulation conversations can be dominated by big tech companies and advocacy groups, Ms McLeod added.
“He’s a columnist that can frame the big picture of the technology and law within the context of its human impact. These are important conversations that are just going to become more important.”
Mr Ryan’s website bears the warning that “evil prevails when good people do nothing, democracy fails when good people remain silent”.
Carrick Ryan is the nom de plume for a former counterterrorism agent at the Australian Federal Police and current fraud investigator at a Big Four bank. You can follow Carrick on Facebook here and on Twitter here.
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