Social Media Surveillance Unit a Good Idea

On 8th January The BFD ran a story entitled “NZ Police Launch Snitch Unit”

The writer asserts that we should be “very concerned” about the police setting up a unit to monitor social media. It appears this police action would be “an impingement on our privacy”. What privacy would that be, I wonder? Messages on Facebook and the like can be read by upwards of five billion people, so not too much privacy there.

“Messages on Facebook and the like can be read by upwards of five billion people” Image credit The BFD.

The article continues that police action as reported in the media “is couched in utter gobbledygook”. This so-called gobbledygook reads as follows:

“The team provides a dedicated capability that assists in the understanding and collection of information from online sources.”

To those of us whose first language is English there is no gobbledygook there: it is all easily understandable.

The BFD writer concludes that, by monitoring online activity, the New Zealand police “bypass democracy”, but does not explain how police observation of sinister online messaging is an attack on our form of government, our right to vote, etc.

He also asserts that, somehow, police monitoring bypasses their accountability but he does not explain how. I personally think the police – perhaps the Australian police – should be held accountable for not being aware of the Christchurch shooter’s online activities. They might perhaps have taken steps to avert the tragedy.

I say we should be “very concerned” if people are plotting crime on social media and everybody knows about it except the flaming police. 

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Social Media Surveillance Unit a Good Idea