We have often pointed out that what is introduced as “anti-terror” policy is regularly used for economic regulation. The Australian government’s mandatory data retention scheme, for instance, was always intended to empower economic regulators as much as it was security agencies.
In the United Kingdom, one Conservative Party MP would like anti-terror laws to spill all the way over to managing social philosophy:
New banning orders intended to clamp down on hate preachers and terrorist propagandists should be used against Christian teachers who teach children that gay marriage is “wrong”, a Tory MP has argued.
Mark Spencer called for those who use their position in the classroom to teach traditionalist views on marriage to be subject to “Extremism Disruption Orders” (EDOs), tough new restrictions planned by David Cameron and Theresa May to curb radicalisation by jihadists.
National security is a fundamental responsibility of government, and few could deny the importance of anti-terror measures. However, such laws are too often used by politicians and regulators who have a very different idea of the appropriate limits of government action than those who introduced the laws in the first place.