On May 4 The Australian's Paul Maley ran an exclusive story with the New South Wales Counter Terrorism Minister, David Elliot. The headline read:
'Terror cops 'need more of your info'.
According to the minister, 'Police increasingly will need to rely on basic information about people's daily personal transactions – such as car hires, knife purchases or hotel bookings – if they are to prevent terrorist attacks.'
'As terrorist attacks become more rudimentary, Mr Elliot has flagged greater co-operation from the private sector as the key to keeping the community safe…. Islamic terror would likely be with Australians for decades to come, and defeating it would likely require ever greater sacrifices in privacy. In particular he said, deeper and more frequent information exchanges between authorities and the private sector could be needed, perhaps including mandatory reporting requirements for some industries.'
Mr Elliot cites other industry areas such as airlines, the finance sector and gambling as a prototype for the mandatory reporting we need to undergo to buy a knife from now on.
The completely irrefutable logic for this is that, 'In most of these terrorist attacks… there has been significant face-to-face contact with the private sector'. Well well, who'd have guessed it, these criminals BOUGHT STUFF! Like everyone else!
All of this is required apparently, because Khalid Masood drove a hire car into some people and stabbed a police officer so everyone in Australia now needs to undergo security checks to buy knives and hire cars.
This isn't simply a case of more retail voyeurism from our governments but another step in the long march of government into our personal lives. The pretext is the same worn-out excuse they use every other time, safety for all.
The minister has just come back from a counter-terror conference hosted by the New York Police Department and attended by intelligence services from across the Western World. He's been briefed and now he's in the know regarding terrorist activities and methods. No doubt important documents were shown and he was in with the clique with the big players.
And the message the boys from Langley and GCHQ want the minister to deliver to tax payer world out here? Strangely enough it's the same message they've been sending our way for years.
'Get used to us looking into every aspect of your personal lives and shut up about it.'
Fortunately for all of us tax payers out here who may think these people are insane, the minister has anticipated our foolish objections and told us what our response should be.