Bin laden and his boys have the occasional success, but for sustained assaults on the population, start with the state: Police deliver TradeMe names to prisoners.
The private details of up to 10,000 Trade Me users - described as a "shopping list for criminals" - have been released by police to prison inmates.
Police investigating the so-called terror raids last year obtained the information of the innocent traders as evidence. They then passed the disclosure material to defence lawyers and, in one case, to the prison cell of Jamie Lockett.
One of the "Urewera 16" arrested on firearms charges, Lockett received 16 boxes containing 24,000 pages of information relating to the police case against him, according to this week's Listener.
One of the boxes contained the personal details of up to 10,000 Trade Me customers, including their name, user name, personal email address, phone numbers, home address and trading history over the past five years.
One trader, whose details were passed on to Lockett, recently bought an AK-47 military assault rifle and 100 rounds of ammunition and other firearms, including target rifles.
The security services are pretty famous for just "losing" stuff, laptops, discs, websites loaded with personal data, but at least we have the protection of the herd; those things are mislaid in random places at unpredictable times and as such no more a risk than crossing the road.
But these data have a clear chain of custody, they were deliberately handed over to people who
- had been charged with a crime and that the police thought they had enough evidence to convict
- it was a firearms charge
- it was also a terrorism charge. You know, terrorism, that deliberately seeks to harm the innocent, that terrorism.
If TradeMe (the NZ equivalent of eBay that many of us use) were to, evben accidentally, release this stuff the state and its minions wiould be hopping up and down and screaming about the breach of our rights.
So how did the cops GET this information?
Trade Me security manager Dean Winter said the company had no choice in what information it gave to police. The popular Kiwi auction site was merely a witness in the investigation and had no control over the information once it had been passed on, Winter said.
"We were served with a search warrant, and we complied with the search warrant. We didn't have a choice whether we thought the information was relevant or not."
TradeMe did their job and complied with the law, now the law has put thousands of homes at risk. Can i find out if my name was one of them? I'd bet not, it would be a breach of my privacy, or something.
The vital point is that practically none of this would be happening if our pollies, like the rest of the world, had not been driven by fear of not being seen to do something about the things they had spent so much time and effort making us afraid of and passed terorism legislation that led to a pointless action on the part of the police.
Terrorism is a pain in the bum and we have about as much chance of being caught up in it as we have of being hit by lightning.
But its a great lever for the political mind to use in gaining more power and people who SEEK power (even those wanting to do good with it) are still power seekers and cannot be trusted.
This is where all their attempts to PROTECT us lead, and this is exactly what Ben Franklin warned against when he said, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Hi Ben, looks like we got there.