NB: updated 2015/02/23 with links (below) re Abbott’s counter-terrorism czar announcement
Those who are familiar with my history of skepticism regarding libertarianism will be unsurprised that I don’t see eye to eye with LDP Senator David Leyonhjelm on a range of issues, but I do agree with most of the arguments he’s been making since last year about the Abbott government’s proposal to mandate that Australian ISPs implement long-term metadata retention. Those arguments do, of course, bear a strong similarity to the arguments long made by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam and others – but it’s good that someone from another party is also making them.
In response to a joint Commonwealth and New South Wales report into last December’s Sydney siege, Mr Abbott yesterday warned that an “era of terror” meant Australia would need to reconsider “where it draws the balance” between personal freedom and community safety.
“Precisely where we draw the line in the era of terrorism will need to be reconsidered,” he said.
“We need to ask ourselves, at what stage do we need to change the tipping point from protection of the individual to the safety of the community?”
I’m acquainted with a chap who used to be in ASIO (he outed himself years ago and did a comedy show about it even). He’s been increasingly apprehensive about the ever-expanding funding and powers given to ASIO in recent years.
DAVID LEYONHJELM: Ben Franklin said back in the 18th century those who give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
PETA DONALD: From the crossbenches, Senator David Leyonhjelm doesn’t like the sound of what’s coming and believes he has allies within Government ranks.
DAVID LEYONHJELM: Giving up our liberty in order to protect us from those who want to take our liberty basically means the terrorists win. And, you know, there are plenty in the Liberal side of things who would share that view but the problem with party discipline is that they are unable to say it.
PETA DONALD: One expert argues Australia’s counter-terrorism laws are already strong.
Professor Greg Barton from Monash University says what’s really needed is better case management of those who become radicalised.
GREG BARTON: Catching those things and tracking people, keeping an eye on them, intervening where it’s appropriate; those are all things we do in an ad hoc fashion but not systematically.
What news story/commentary/analysis has grabbed your attention lately?
As usual for media circus threads, please share your bouquets and brickbats for particular items in the mass media, or highlight cogent analysis or pointed twitterstorms etc in new media. Discuss any current sociopolitical issue (the theme of each edition is merely for discussion-starter purposes – all current news items are on topic!).