By John Stapleton

With Australia’s economy tilting into collapse and numerous questions now arising over the government’s management of the Covid-19 response, the question of surveillance of whistle blowers, journalists and dissidents is now front and centre of the debate.

The government is urging all Australians to download the Covid tracing app to their phones. More than six million Australians have already done so, proving one thing, humans are ultimately malleable and easily influenced by propaganda.

While a heavily compromised and highly manipulated mainstream media have joined the virus scare with great enthusiasm, others are offering a saner view.

Of the Covid-19 app, esteemed human rights lawyer Greg Barns, in a recent opinion piece, wrote:

“There is nothing benign about the proposed COVID app. In a culture where we have a federal government obsessed with hunting down whistleblowers and those who otherwise expose the nefarious activities of executive government, this app would prove very useful to the AFP, ASIO and other security state types.

“Let’s take a journalist who is invited to meet a whistleblower at a location so the latter can hand over a USB stick with information showing corruption within government.

“The story breaks and the federal government beings the hunt for the ‘culprit’. That journalist had the COVID app on their phone and, bingo! The AFP can track the movements of that journalist in terms of who they met and for how long.

“Let us also remember that the Federal Government is notoriously sloppy with data breaches.

“You download the COVID app at your peril. Politicians and bureaucrats who tell you otherwise are simply misleading you.”

There is a long and winding history to the present conundrums facing Australia.

The voices of those who are arguing that more harm is being done by the government’s actions than would ever have been done by the virus should be heard in order to restore some sort of reason to the debate.

Below is a piece first published while Scott Morrison’s predecessor Malcolm Turnbull was still Prime Minister.

We got here through a very crooked path.

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