Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein trav­els across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia to witness the reality of disaster capitalism. He discovers how companies such as G4S, Serco, and Halliburton cash in on or­ganized misery in a hidden world of privatized detention centers, militarized private security, aid profiteering, and destructive mining.

Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help cor­porations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local commu­nity forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.

What emerges through Loewenstein’s re­porting is a dark history of multinational corpo­rations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valu­able commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015.

Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

ABC Radio’s The World Today on Edward Snowden and Prism

I was interviewed today for ABC Radio’s The World Today program:

ELEANOR HALL: In the Federal Parliament today, The Greens will attempt to get an explanation from the Government about Australia’s involvement in the US PRISM surveillance system.

America’s National Security Agency confirmed last week that it is running a clandestine internet surveillance program which pulls in data from large social networks.

The Federal Government in Australia has refused to confirm or deny if US spy agencies have shared information with Australian authorities.

As Will Ockenden reports.

WILL OCKENDEN: It’s been a big few weeks for national security, intelligence and big data enthusiasts.

Revelations about the National Security Agency’s PRISM project by former contractor Edward Snowden have caused a controversy and debate in America.

The US government has answered some questions about how widespread the program is, how deep the monitoring goes, and where collected data ends up.

But in Australia the Federal Government has remained more tight-lipped, and Greens’ communications spokesman Scott Ludlam wants answers.

SCOTT LUDLAN: I want from the Government to know whether this warrantless surveillance scandal that’s unfolding in the United States is occurring here.

Are Australian agencies using this technology or are we importing large data dumps from the United States?

WILL OCKENDEN: Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus hasn’t confirmed or denied if intelligence agencies in the US have shared information from PRISM with authorities in Australia.

Senator Scott Ludlam raised the matter in the Senate yesterday.

SCOTT LUDLAM: Minister, are Australian authorities and agencies receiving huge volumes of information from the United States?

WILL OCKENDEN: The Minister representing the Attorney-General in the Senate is Joe Ludwig.

JOE LUDWIG: As a matter of principle – a long standing one at that – the Government doesn’t comment on intelligence matters.

WILL OCKENDEN: He says if there were any Australian involvement in the sharing of intelligence, like the operation of US PRISM system itself, it would be within the bounds of law.

JOE LUDWIG: The relevant Australian agencies are discussing with their US counterparts any possible implication the NSA disclosure may have for the Australian Government. There is – can I be plain about this – no basis to claim the Australian agencies get access to information from the US that would not otherwise be legal in Australia.

WILL OCKENDEN: The Greens say they’ll try to get Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus to explain to Parliament Australia’s involvement in the PRISM system, via a motion today.

Information activist and writer Antony Loewenstein says, even if the motion does pass, any statement is unlikely to provide much information.

ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN: Regardless of who’s in power in Canberra there’s a sense somehow that although the US prosecutes intelligence security around the world, Australia wants to be seen under that umbrella and rarely asks questions privately or publicly.

WILL OCKENDEN: He also wonders why the surveillance debate in Australia has been less than the debates overseas.

ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN: Some in the media and many of the political elites on both major sides collude to keep the issue as unimportant or simply, business at usual.

WILL OCKENDEN: While it’s not known if US spy agencies are sharing data with Australia, authorities here are increasingly requesting data from the big US technology companies.

Government requests for data about Australian users of Google went up by more than 11 per cent in the last half of 2012 to 584 requests.

It’s somewhat of a trend. Requests for Google user data have gone up every year since 2009.

The World Today asked the Attorney-General’s office how often the Government asks for data from social media and email providers, like Google, Facebook and Microsoft.

In a statement, it said it doesn’t report on how many individual requests are made to specific providers.

ELEANOR HALL: Will Ockenden.