The Government is planning to introduce a register of all mobile phones to clamp down on drug dealing and criminal activity.
The Minister of State with special responsibility for Drugs Strategy, Pat Carey said this new legislation would be used by the Gardai to monitor all citizens who own a mobile phone, which is practically every adult in the country.
In a very soft interview on RTE today,(2nd item) the Minister outlined his plans for the new measure. At no time was he challenged on the potentially serious consequences for the civil liberties of ordinary law abiding citizens.
Here are a few suggestions for any hardened drug dealer looking for ways to circumvent this proposed law.
Mug the nearest person to you and use his phone.
Buy a phone using a false name/id.
Ask/pay/threaten somebody to buy a phone for you. They can simply claim that it was mislaid or robbed.
Buy a phone in any other European country where such draconian laws are immediately rejected out of respect for civil liberties.
Give up the dangerous activity of drug dealing and set up a lucrative trade supplying ‘clean’ phones to the criminal underworld.
The bottom line is that this latest draconian legislation will be practically useless in the fight against crime.
It will, however, provide the State, along with the already operational power to store and access mobile and fixed-line data and the recent watering down of the right to silence, with even greater power and control over the lives of ordinary citizens.