Friday, September 30, 2005

True Blue Thought Police

A futuristic, forensic technique that scans people's brains for clues to crimes will be considered at the next Victorian Liberal state conference.

The controversial technique, known as brain fingerprinting, claims to pinpoint a criminal's guilty thoughts and has already been used in some US criminal cases.

A suburban Melbourne Liberal branch is to put a motion before next week's state council calling for the introduction of the radical technique if the party wins government in Victoria.

Critics of the method have slammed it as Orwellian and say it threatens freedom of thought.

But its advocates say it is more effective than DNA testing and can even be used to stop crimes before they occur by identifying potential terrorists.

The Keilor branch of the state Liberal Party says the method has been tested by the FBI and is "producing results of 100 per cent accuracy".

"Brain fingerprinting is a scientific technique that simply detects the presence or absence of information stored in the brain," says the motion revealed in conference papers.

"The technique allows scientists to determine a suspect's innocence or guilt by testing responses on concealed information contained in thought processes."


Supporters of the technique say it heralds a new era in security and should be used to expose the guilty knowledge carried by would-be terrorists.

The October 8-9 conference will also consider a motion to decree in legislation that "common Australian values" prevail over "so-called religious freedom".

The motion, from the suburban Park Orchards branch of the party, warns that religious freedom must not become a cover "to promote, protect or encourage terrorism or to comfort, support, educate and/or train terrorists or similar by whatever name known or excuse offered".

Multi-culturalism has been good for Australia and the nation has benefited from "its new immigrants", the branch's motion says.

"However matters beyond the acceptance of the general Australian population are now emerging as protected by current religious freedom, tolerance and privacy laws."

... From today's Age.

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