August 7, 2014
In an unbelievable display of arrogance and self-importance, the Australian government recently announced the most sweeping changes to their national security legislation since 9/11.
The new laws will give the Australian government more powers to monitor all types of communication, both phone and internet.
What’s more, telecom companies will be required to store searchable metadata of all activity for two years, enabling the authorities to access details of every phone call made and every website visited.
Powers for “extended detention” and ‘preventative detention’, (pre-crime) have also been extended.
I’m sure it makes you feel better knowing that you could be preventively detained without actually committing any crime—you know, just in case…
It will also become a crime now to travel to a country where terrorists are ‘conducting hostile activities’ unless you have a ‘legitimate excuse’.
Just how these travel bans will be decided upon is unclear. Is Ukraine off limits? Spain? Northern Ireland? Thailand? Russia?
All of this is supposedly necessary because, according to the government, there are 125 Australian citizens currently part of terrorist groups overseas.
Even if correct, 125 people represent 0.0005% of the population of Australia. So for 125 people, the other 24+ million must be subjected to a Big Brother police state.
It all makes even less sense when your read the official justifications for it. Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that:
“We are under a lot of budget pressure at the moment, but the community won’t thank us if we skimp unreasonably on national security.”
Ironically, he admits they don’t have the money for it. But they’re going to come up with an ADDITIONAL $630 million (a significant amount of money in Australia) to boost domestic spying and police state programs… all for 125 people.
But the prize for the dumbest comment you’ll hear this week goes to another pearl of wisdom from the Australian Prime Minister:
“The terrorist threat in this country has not changed, nevertheless it’s as high as it’s ever been.”
Now, as a native English speaker, I’m not entirely sure what he’s trying to tell me.
The government didn’t spend this money last year, and nothing happened.
But now since, according to the PM, nothing has changed, suddenly the government has to spend an additional $630 million to terrorize and spy on citizens.
What a brilliant piece of logic wrapped up in political Newspeak.
Basically they’re telling everyone that they should just be afraid… and that the government must spy on citizens in order to protect them.
This is how it always happens… and we can watch yet another country slide rapidly into a police state.