CANBERRA – Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has proposed beefing up security laws amid more terror attacks, most recently in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France, in which two attackers captured church-goers and slit the throat of a priest giving the sermon.

The Prime Minister proposed indefinitely jailing terrorists who “pose a threat” to the nation. He spoke with state and territory leaders recently, to inform them of his plans and underscores the need to pass the laws quickly in the wake of recent terror attacks.

“What we are seeing at the moment is people being radicalised, or adopting murderous Islamist ideology very, very quickly,” Turnbull said.

The NSW government plans to extend the detainment of terrorists for up to 14 days before being charged in new security reforms for the state. Previously, a terror suspect could be held for four days, extended to 14 days with the approval of a judge.

According to Attorney-General George Brandis: “Those of us responsible for national security constantly review the state of knowledge and intelligence about terrorism, terrorist events, terrorist planning and the motivations of those who might be drawn to terrorism.”

This is precisely the issue. The problem with upping security in a national sense is that it seems to permit heavier surveillance of every single citizen, unfairly so. This will come to a stage where unwittingly going to the same cafe as a terror suspect makes someone guilty by a ridiculous conclusion of association with said suspect, from the use of intelligence gathered through mass surveillance.

Our society is becoming increasingly paranoid about the threat of terrorism. But what people seem to forget is that ISIS will claim almost any attack as their own to seem larger and much more powerful than they are.

Yes, religious extremism and terror is a problem, but there’s a bigger threat Australians need to worry about; the violation of their rights by their government through mass surveillance. How many rights are Australians and people around the world, willing to give up in the name of national security?

 – Maggie Triantafillou, Correspondent (Oceania)

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