With the Friday evening Paris attacks still fresh in everyone’s minds, officials in several countries are wasting no time in trying to convince the public to trade essential freedoms for the promise of enhanced security, a bargain many people are eager to make at times like this.
French President Francois Hollande is pressing parliament for some quick votes dramatically expanding government power to carry out warrantless raids and put people under house arrest without charging them with any crimes, insisting France is “at war” now and needs more powers.
US officials are also eager to cash in on the panic with more powers, seeking to expand their ability to carry out mass surveillance, citing the largely toothless “reforms” of NSA surveillance as proof that the US has intelligence “gaps” that need to be filled by more intrusion into ordinary citizens’ affairs.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon was the least specific but the most direct, insisting that Paris proved the need to favor security over basic human rights, and predicting a massive shift toward more government power irrespective of the consequences.
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