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Australia’s spy chief is worried democracy is bending toward tyranny. It’s a struggle that will define the 21st century

It isn’t every day one is name checked by the head of our international spy agency. But that’s what happened this week when Paul Symon, the director-general of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, spoke at the Lowy Institute. He was outlining his vision for the future of foreign espionage when he stopped mid-sentence and asked whether Stan Grant was in the room. Now, I was meant to be there but got caught up in work at the ABC. Lucky. I may well have ducked my head and crept for the exit, pleading “It wasn’t me, I wasn’t there!” Symon…