In Australia the ABC is reporting, as though it is an outrageous discovery, that Australia Post is unable to screen for drugs and explosives in the post. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation made this purported scoop by writing to Australia Post under Freedom of Information legislation.

The problem is, they wrote to the wrong people. They did not think about the division of duties within bureaucracies. It is true, Posties don’t screen. Its not their job. They deliver the post. However, Police and Customs (and Quarantine) officers do screen. And unlike the situation described by Australia Post, they certainly have the technology and capacity to do so. At the federal level alone, leaving aside random and targetted checks, and the use of informants and high tech, every single item of post that enters Australia, for example, is checked by sniffer dogs. They have dogs running all day and all night over letters and packages sent by mail, dogs trained to respond to a wide variety of dangerous and contraband material.

And as for Reddit commentators telling recipients to deny all if they are caught, just keep following that advice. In the absence of admissions, do you think a prosecution would be based on that one inference alone? You think if narcotics are detected, the authorities don’t have their eyes on you in all sorts of ways?

So the day after the ABC does great work in exposing the national disgrace of ill treatment of minors in detention, they publish this. If only they had checked with the right people.


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