Does Australian Government surveillance bother you?
Today, the Sydney Morning Herald writes:
I am not going to comment on specific issues mentioned in the article. Instead, I will discuss broader issues.
My first, and somewhat cheeky reaction, was ‘Wave!’ Arms shake vigorously.
Some might surmise that I am not concerned because my response is levity. They would be right.
So, why is that?
Before I answer, let me cover some background points.
- I am a strong lover of personal and societal freedom. Speech, religious affiliation, political affiliation, right to bear arms and more. You get the idea.
- Usually, I consider the ‘big picture’ before looking at the minutiae.
- Just because someone is anti government surveillance does not necessarily infer that they are bad, criminal or have other negative character traits.
Back to the why…
- Government surveillance can help to ‘manage’ threats to community well-being. Do you have the time, or the resources, to keep watch on people who might want to do you harm – like leave bombs on buses, or attack shopping centres? Someone has to do it…because if someone doesn’t…somebody else is coming to ‘do it’ to you. Guaranteed. Humans can be so
‘nice’rotten. By the way; people using the term ‘animal’ to describe someone nasty does not make sense.
- We never hear about the majority of government surveillance successes in curtailing the activity of bad people. We never get to experience most of such people’s rotten plans either.
- Specific incidents can be exceptions to general rule. There are ‘bad eggs’ in government, the same as in all walks of life.
- One of the ‘costs’ of living in a relatively peaceful society includes some state surveillance. Be grateful you can largely live in peace. And by the way, a lot of that is due to our often much maligned Police, who in reality do a terrific job of looking after us. Gratitude.
- For a ‘Surveillance State’ to become a serious problem, other more serious warning signs would appear first. In our society, significant ‘roadblocks’ would get in the way – these are beyond the scope of this article.
- Governments can be bad, or turn bad. Remember – the Warsaw Pact/Soviet Bloc during the Cold War conducted massive surveillance. They all toppled in the end. We are thankfully nowhere near that stage.
- My peace of mind is not of this world. This is not a ‘religious’ or even in one sense a ‘spiritual’ thing; it is part of the deep fabric of my life today. Yes, it has a spiritual aspect however I am ‘pickled’ in it – it is not something spiritual I do a few times a week. Or at Christmas or Easter.
- Why are you concerned about surveillance? Do you have something to hide? Are you arrogant perhaps, with an over estimation of your own importance, ‘rights’ etc? Or maybe you suffer from some kind of anxiety or paranoia (I can help with those)? If you have a genuine concern, then you have avenues for redress in our society – thankfully.
- Edward Snowden is a traitor. To some, he is a ‘champion’ exposing the big bad government ‘endangering us all’. In truth though, the biggest danger currently is not the government/surveillance state – it’s the lone wolf with a highly contagious biological agent that’s airborne. What Snowden did has severely compromised governmental ability to find and stop guys like that before they get to give you a sniff. Thanks Ed.
Anyway, if you are a government snoop reading this…be good! And keep up the good work. Oh yeah…and thanks very much – the air is lovely and clean round here. If you need any information about people in my region, you know who to call.