'Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wants to counter terrorism by conducting random ID checks at airports. The move has been slammed by political opponents and social media users as "slow march of authoritarianism”.
Turnbull unveiled a package of new security measures at Melbourne Airport, the second biggest in Australia, on Tuesday. “We're providing additional resources to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) counter-terrorism effort here at the airport. Because we have to recognize that the terrorist threat is not diminished,” he said in remarks to media.
Earlier on Tuesday, in an interview with Melbourne radio station 3AW, Turnbull said that the existing rules that do not require citizens to carry ID cards must be reviewed. The PM said he was planning give the Australian Federal Police power to ask random travelers for ID.
The new airport rules will change the existing laws that allow for police to check ID only if they suspect that a person will commit a criminal offense. However, there will be no ID checks on domestic flights.
The new airport security measures angered opposition members, who claimed that the rules infringed privacy, scrapping the fundamental principles of democracy. Greens senator Nick McKim slammed Turnbull for eroding personal freedoms and defined the new measures a "slow march of authoritarianism" that had to be fought back.'
Read more: ‘Hallmark of police state’: Australian PM slammed over move to have random ID checks at airports
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