UTS student journalists have been live tweeting from outside ABC Headquarters in Ultimo throughout the day and into the night, after it was raided by Australian Federal Police officers.
After nine hours trawling through files and hard drives, the AFP officers and IT technicians left the building, dragging bags behind them.
One of the three people named in the AFP's search warrant is News Director Gaven Morris.
He spoke to waiting media during the afternoon, sharing this advice for all Australian journalists: "Don't be afraid of the job you do. Stand up and be proud of it."
The warrant also named investigative journalists Dan Oakes and Sam Clark.
On its website, the ABC says the raids are over a series of 2017 stories known as The Afghan Files, which revealed allegations of unlawful killings and misconduct by Australian Special Forces in Afghanistan.
News teams from Channel 10, 9 and 7 gathered to report on the AFP's raid at ABC HQ in relation to a 2017 story on the Afghan Files. pic.twitter.com/sM1XDjXMPs— Cassidy Pearce (@cass_pearce) June 5, 2019
The public broadcaster's Head of Investigative Journalism John Lyons, has been live tweeting the action from within.
"I won't reveal the name of the person but from sitting in this room it's clear that the AFP is trying to gather evidence to build a case against one particular person," he wrote.
Mr Lyons' extraordinary thread of information, reveals the extent of the AFP's powers. Officers have already downloaded thousands of emails, notes and scripts.
"... having downloaded 9214 items which include the AFP’s keywords, ABC techs are now putting all those into a new folder. The ABC and AFP will then go through those items one by one to see whether they fit the terms of the warrant," he tweeted
AFP: I’m still staggered by the power of this warrant. It allows the AFP to “add, copy, delete or alter” material in the ABC’s computers. All Australians, please think about that: as of this moment, the AFP has the power to delete material in the ABC’s computers. Australia 2019.— John Lyons (@TheLyonsDen) June 5, 2019
Editorial Director Craig McMurtrie also addressed media.
"This strikes me and everybody in the industry as disturbing," he said.
The journalists' union The Media Arts and Entertainment Alliance (MEAA), has condemned the AFP's actions. It follows a raid this week on the home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst and the possible investigation of 2GB host Ben Fordham.
- Central News Team