What price privacy?

Editorial comment speculates on privacy-related compromises required for adequate security

News of the planned bombing at our provincial legislature on Canada Day likely sent chills up and down many spines across B.C. and well beyond.

Those who did not shudder at the thought of one or more pressure cooker bombs detonating among a crowd of celebrants in Victoria, should have.

We in Canada, as much as we may keep up to date with world events, retain a certain level of naiveté. We hear about the bad stuff but, for the most part, it doesn’t happen to us.

The apprehension of two alleged would-be bombers this week lets us know that we’re not immune to the atrocities that occur with such saddening regularity elsewhere in the world.

The positive news, of course, is that the bombing did not happen. Reports suggest that authorities may have been in on the plan as far back as last February. If that’s  true, it makes a strong case for the agencies that orchestrate our collective security.

There’s been a lot about Edward Snowden in the media of late. He’s a current Wiki-leaker who blew the whistle on the U.S. government sticking its nose, eyes and ears  where many think they don’t belong. It’s quite likely our own government is up to similar surveilance tactics and, it can be un-nerving to think of how quickly the privacy we have left is disappearing as a result.

But the vigilance quite likely stopped a bombing in the heart of our provincial Capital, on our National holiday. It may reasonably be argued that it’s not too high a price for relative safety.