Australia is continuing in its efforts to become a 1984 Orwell style nightmare by allowing coppers to sniff the phone records of innocent people.
The country, which has been trying to drag itself kicking and screaming into becoming a clone of China, is already trying to censor the internet. The plan is to filter out out anything that disagrees with the government, while telling people that it is all to stop kiddie porn.
Now under the pretence of finding missing people, coppers will get access to phone records even when there is no suspicion of criminal activity.
A federal bill to change surveillance laws would give state and federal police the power to inspect records such as call, SMS and data use in the search for missing people. All a copper would have to do is declare a suspect missing and get access to all their phone records.
Coppers are allowed to look at records in the period leading up to the filing of a missing persons report. But NSW Police want the bill to include access to all records beyond the date of the missing persons report.
NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione told the Sydney Morning Herald that Aussie coppers needed "real-time information" to better do their jobs.
Of course what this means is that coppers can snoop on anyone provided that someone else has declared them "missing". Privacy activists fear that would allow police to use technology to monitor people's movements without their knowledge.
Stephen Blanks, secretary of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, said there was a "real concern that the police are not supervised in the way they go about this and how they use the data, and you'll end up with gross invasions of privacy".
We guess the next move will be to solve unemployment by building a great wall around Australia. At least this would keep the boat people out.