Preemption is a power that the state should only exercise under extraordinary circumstances; left unchecked, it risks unleashing the ‘thought police’
Taipei police would have made Big Brother proud earlier this month when it acted on the government’s new “preemptive” policy and brought individuals in for questioning before they could have done anything.
By definition, preemptive action implies that the state has the ability to read people’s intentions and the authority, when necessary, to take action to prevent something bad from happening. Generally speaking, the intelligence branches of state organs are responsible for collecting information before a crime is committed, while law enforcement authorities normally act after the fact, with arrests made using evidence of a crime and supported by intelligence collected prior to the act.
My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here. (Photo by the author)