Here is a letter from Labor MP Michael Danby to the AFR:
When it comes to detecting and defeating the threat of terrorism, what do conservatives really want? (“Security more than a matter of trust”, June 14.)
Whenever a terrorist attack takes place, we hear that not enough is being done to detect, prevent and prosecute potential terrorists.
Yet at the same time, the Institute for Public Affairs (IPA), a think-tank aligned with the Liberal Party, is campaigning against the Attorney-General’s Department’s proposals to amend the law so that communications metadata can be examined and retained.
As the Boston Marathon bombing showed, today’s terrorists are recruited and indoctrinated by tweet, text message, Facebook post and in chatrooms. This kind of home-grown terrorist can only be detected and pre-empted through examining and retaining communications metadata. The right to privacy must be protected, but the first duty of the government is to protect the safety of Australian citizens.
The current proposals should be judged in that light, and not pre-judged by extreme ideologues.
The AFR usually operates behind a paywall – but I think this letter should get lots and lots of exposure and coverage.
You’ll notice in the original letter Danby kind of neglects to state that he is an ALP MP.