So. Where are the journalists?

It never ends. The state blob continues to attack the citizenry.

Taking a page, half a page perhaps, out of the Chinese Communist Party Operating Manual:

The federal government has floated an idea to use its facial recognition technology to verify the age of Australians trying to access pornography online.

Jeeze. If face recognition going to be required for accessing porn, start with the Parliament House ID cards and run a pilot with that.

… the Home Affairs department flagged the potential to use its Face Verification Service, which matches a person’s photo against images used on one of their identity documents, to prevent underage individuals from accessing porn.

Why bother with such heavy cost technology. why not just bar-code, chip and gps babies as they are born?

So says the Department:

Whilst they are primarily designed to prevent identity crime, Home Affairs would support the increased use of the Document and Face Verification Services across the Australian economy to strengthen age verification processes.

Strengthen age verification and what else next? Who can read what? Who can cavort with whom? Who can travel where?

The Australian Government. Liberal by Name. Totalitarian by Nature.

Face recognition systems. Criminalising use of cash. Electronic medical records. Data matching across departments and states. Orwell could not have designed it better.

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75 Responses to So. Where are the journalists?

  1. bollux

    Ah, the things you have to do to make multiculturism a success.

  2. Miltonf

    They already store our meta
    data.

  3. Miltonf

    The Canberra leviathan is out of control.

  4. RobK

    Orwell could not have designed it better.
    It was easy enough to anticipate the intent; much harder to predict the capacity of data handling technology.
    It is said the Stazi drowned in data kept in filing cabinets. No such impediments now. A brave new world.

  5. thefrollickingmole

    But dont worry, Im sure this honey pot of information would never be targeted or abused by government or outside actors.

    We have the best brains in our civil service to pit against them…

  6. Roger

    Face recognition systems. Criminalising use of cash. Electronic medical records. Data matching across departments and states. Orwell could not have designed it better.

    Just imagine the damage they could do to our liberties if they actually had policies.

  7. Dr Faustus

    Solid technical proposal – and almost certainly nothing much to be all that concerned about;

    …the Face Verification Service is “not yet fully operational”, and is reliant on legislation that was last week rejected by the powerful Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security because it lacked detail and privacy safeguards.

    Somewhere, there is a unit of geeks being paid out of the public purse to do this.

  8. RobK

    The ATO has its voice recognition security over the phone already.

  9. stackja

    Tech problems with this idea?
    As this:

    Digital driver’s licence allows you to access ID on your smartphone

    A major change to driver’s licences and photo IDs has come into effect across NSW today but it has been a bumpy transition for eager users trying to access Service NSW.
    The Daily Telegraph
    Subscriber only

    October 29, 2019 11:11am

    The Service NSW smartphone app crashed following the long-awaited digital driver’s licence rollout.

    Users reported seeing a “we’re a little busy” message this morning after downloading the app in an effort to access their photo ID on their phone.

    When contacted by The Daily Telegraph about the delays, Service NSW denied the rollout had officially begun.

  10. stackja

    Protesters to blockade IMARC, delay CBD traffic for a second day

    Activists who allegedly struck a police horse are among the protesters who were arrested en masse when Melbourne’s anti-coal blockade turned ugly this morning. Tensions erupted during a second day of demonstrations, with multiple people injured as climate activists faced off with riot cops.
    Alanah Frost, James Dowling and Alex White, Herald Sun
    October 29, 2019 11:17am

    Two climate activists have been arrested at Melbourne’s ugly anti-coal protests after they allegedly struck a police horse.

    They were among more than 20 protesters who were detained after violent clashes erupted with riot police on the second day of Melbourne’s International Mining and Resources Conference.

    About 150 hardcore activists were barring the entry to the mining conference. Police have already used capsicum spray and horses to combat the unruly demonstrators.

    This morning’s blockade saw activists link arms while blocking the main entrance to the centre.

  11. Rex Mango

    How does face recognition work with identical twins?

  12. Pyrmonter

    Qld LNP. The liberals have been expunged. Welcome to the world of authoritarianism so many on the ‘right’ admired under JB-P.

  13. Infidel Tiger

    Much easier to ban the websites.

    No one should be looking at pornography. Easily the most damaging thing to happen to society.

  14. John Constantine

    Big Australia has made us such a wealthy country that your face is your fortune.

  15. Buccaneer

    The journalists expect to get an exemption

  16. Kneel

    “How does face recognition work with identical twins?”

    Dunno, but if the system is anything like the US one, then “badly”. The US system flags a significant percentage of US House/Senate members as “bad people” worth watching. While you might be amusingly surprised that the swamp creatures are recognised by AI systems as the criminals most of them are, the fact is almost none of these people have an official criminal record. IIRC, around 10-30% mistaken identity for house/senate members.

    Still, if you want to fight it, then use the left against themselves – this system can likely be “shown” to have a bias against blacks, because it is more likely to flag such people as “risky”. Of course, this is because of the excess black faces used in “training” the system, and this is because more black people seem to have a criminal record, but still…

  17. Howard Hill

    So how would that work exactly? Are they going to force people to install an app on their phone which scans their faces? A unit specifically designed by them to have in every house?
    A Webcam and software running on your laptop/pc?

    Apart from the downright evilness of it all, how will they stop people bypassing it, it would be too easy.
    Another brain fart by some scumbag trying to follow the English; they proposed this a couple of years ago.

  18. Mother Lode

    Pornography is just the ambit pitch. They can count on a lot of people having no problem with it.

    But then they will expand the technology’s use, and people will already have been made complicit.

  19. Mother Lode

    How does face recognition work with identical twins?

    They punish both.

  20. The federal government has floated an idea to use its facial recognition technology to verify the age of Australians trying to access pornography online.

    So what, they can punish kids? What if they outsmart Kelly O Dwyer and put tape over their camera?

    Prosecuting actual abuse of children by adults (a State responsibility largely) might be a better idea.

  21. Tezza

    such a stupid idea that one wonders if Home Affairs isn’t trying to scupper the scheme by wheeling out the most idiotic and unlikely applications of it.

  22. Bruce

    Does this also mean compulsory fitting of remotely-accessible web-cams on ALL computer monitor screens?

    And 3AM “n0-knock” raids for interfering with said cameras?

    Probably.

  23. Win

    How much will Victorian Police charge the International Mining and Resources conference in Melbourne today for attracting hard core violent activists.? What’s the going rate these days as compared to their bill to Southern and Milo.

  24. Dr Faustus

    As always, when it comes to government control of the masses, Eric Blair was way ahead of the curve.
    [His only mistake was imagining that the technology would work efficiently.]

  25. Rohan

    What if they outsmart Kelly O Dwyer and put tape over their camera?

    Didn’t Kelly O’Dumbo retire at the last election because she she couldn’t understand the difference between centre-right and extreme Marxism or something?

  26. struth

    The Liberal party, selling the country to the Chinese, ruining the economy, pouring the third world in to the country faster than ever before, closing industry down, expanding government and what’s their concern? teenage boys wanking…………………
    You see, amongst those going blind doing what all have done before, way before internet porn, some of those males will be white, and we can’t have them enjoying themselves, pulling down the curtains and being sick in the ashtrays, sweating and yelping………………………

    Was this a woman’s idea.
    They just hate to see us having fun.

  27. John A

    Miltonf #3196689, posted on October 29, 2019 at 11:21 am

    They already store our meta
    data.

    So vegans and vegetarians are safe?

  28. John A

    thefrollickingmole #3196700, posted on October 29, 2019 at 11:36 am

    But dont worry, Im sure this honey pot of information would never be targeted or abused by government or outside actors.

    We have the best brains in our civil service to pit against them…

    Do they represent the best brains in the country, though?

  29. thefrollickingmole

    I cant wait to have Penny Wong or Marise Payne doing this as Im reaching the vinegar stroke…

  30. feelthebern

    So will they investigate Pyne’s account being “hacked”?
    You remember when someone went to all that trouble to hack a ministers phone & they only thing they did was like a gay p0rn vid at two o’clock in the morning.

  31. Iampeter

    So. Where are the journalists?

    Yea journalists are hypocrites. But why is this even the question?
    Where are politically literate people that actually have clear ideas on what the proper function of government is?

    Crazy proposals like this would never see the light of day.

  32. Crazy proposals like this would never see the light of day.

    Go ahead and explain the cash ban, which is nearly law, the PATRIOT Act I & II or our rather absurd “unexplained wealth laws”, or s 165-55 of the “GST Act” or Hart v Commissioner of Taxation [2018] FCAFC 61 at 83.

    To wit:

    http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/antsasta1999402/s165.55.html

    A NEW TAX SYSTEM (GOODS AND SERVICES TAX) ACT 1999 – SECT 165.55
    Commissioner may disregard scheme in making declarations

    For the purposes of making a declaration under this Subdivision, the Commissioner may:

    (a) treat a particular event that actually happened as not having happened; and

    (b) treat a particular event that did not actually happen as having happened and, if appropriate, treat the event as:

    (i) having happened at a particular time; and

    (ii) having involved particular action by a particular entity; and

    (c) treat a particular event that actually happened as:

    (i) having happened at a time different from the time it actually happened; or

    (ii) having involved particular action by a particular entity (whether or not the event actually involved any action by that entity).

    AND:

    Subsequently, in RCI, the Full Court made it abundantly clear that a taxpayer does not discharge its onus for the purposes of s 177C by demonstrating that the Commissioner’s counterfactual is not reasonable.

    But they’d “never see the light of day”, unless it is everyone else’s fault for NOT LISTENING TO I AM PETER who has never proffered any practical advice, ever.

  33. Colonel Crispin Berka

    First: Ban $10k cash transactions, it’s only crooks who use cash anyway.
    Next: Ban $100 notes, it’s only drug dealers who use them anyway.

    First: We’re all 6 degrees of separation from each other, the expense of storing documents means we only remember events as long as contractually required, data theft requires physical effort, eventually we forget stuff, and our fallible memories tend to be biased towards our present purpose anyway, meaning that each person has control of their life.
    Next: We’re all 1 degree of separation from each other, the cheapness of storing records means we record everything all the time, data theft can be done on massive scale by remote control, and we can recall all of it at any time about people we’ve never met to judge past behaviour by new whimsical standards, meaning each person is controlled unpredictably by everyone else.

    First: We need carbon taxes as an insurance policy against potential future climate change, only reckless people in denial of planet-shattering climate change would resist this anyway.
    Next: We need a total surveillance state preventing any insurance policy against potential future government totalitarianism, only reckless people in denial of a civilisation-shattering identity fraud crisis would resist this anyway.

  34. Dinky

    Mother Lode is spot on, it’s just the old “won’t somebody think of the children” stalking horse for something more invasive.

  35. feelthebern

    Maybe we need a federal department of p0rnography.
    Their role would be to deem what is acceptable p0rnography & what is not.
    People who wished to view acceptable p0rnography would have to register with the department.
    Then after watching the mandatory warnings on how it will send you blind, the registered user will be able to watch p0rn for a total amount of 15mins per seven day period.
    Then every month, the user would have to fill in a questionnaire regarding their viewing habits.
    Of course politicians & public servants would be exempt from the scheme.

  36. Mother Lode

    Maybe we need a federal department of p0rnography.

    If they really want to stop people looking at pornography then putting a government department in charge of it is a guarantee.

    Apart from the endemic ineptitude there would be the endless infusing of progressive quotas and fads.

    Gender, race, sexual orientation, racial orientation, species, size, age orientation, and so on. Various poses in various stages of dishabille. Maybe lolling about on a groaning beach chair, or displaying the…ahem…ineffable allure of a gaunt emaciated body that makes a stick figure drawing look voluptuous, lying in a rock pool with their re-wilding spreading into a tangled mat just under the surface – there would be no freakishness left published.

  37. feelthebern

    Thanks for the upgrade ideas ML.
    The federal department of p0rnography will select what the registered user will watch.
    A mandatory minimal of 10% gay, 10% trans & 10% other minority will be forced upon users.

  38. Mark M

    feelthebern
    #3196882, posted on October 29, 2019 at 2:47 pm
    “A mandatory minimal of 10% gay, 10% trans & 10% other minority will be forced upon users.”

    Can’t wait for the squeals of protest when they force LBGTQI folks to watch a quota of heterosexual porn.

  39. Mother Lode

    Can’t wait for the squeals of protest when they force LBGTQI folks to watch a quota of heterosexual porn.

    There will be exemption certificates.

    However, straights will be required to watch all the freakish stuff because privilege.

  40. struth

    SBS down in the ratings?

  41. Mother Lode

    SBS down in the ratings?

    With people able to stream from their homelands, multiple channels with multiple types of programs 24 hours a day, this will only come as a surprise to SBS.

  42. Boambee John

    RobK
    #3196715, posted on October 29, 2019 at 11:50 am
    The ATO has its voice recognition security over the phone already.

    While it might be already too late, I no longer communicate with the ATO by telephone.

  43. Dr Fred Lenin

    Another reason for abolishing career politicians ,one term and you are out for life . These bastards are too busy playing at being lawyers ,remember giliards 1000pieces of legistlation . Another thing ,no person with a law degree should be allowed within 10 km of politics on pain of death ,leave them chasing ambulances and writing wills . Maybe then laws will be written in English.
    My government will spend the first six months repealing red tape constricting laws ,we wl]ill be very busy ,lime reducing tax laws from 10,000 pages to 10.

  44. Colonel Crispin Berka

    Frank,
    of the three issues I described, the nixing of the Nellie note is the only one that hasn’t happened yet.
    Banning $100 notes was already mooted in the press 2 years ago and is well known and supported by Federal government public servants. I’m not giving them any ideas here, quite the reverse.

  45. I_am_not_a_robot

    … Orwell could not have designed it better.

    … At a senate estimates hearing last week, eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant was asked how the UK government’s decision to not go ahead with the plan [face recognition] would impact Australia’s consideration of the issue …”.
    What could be more sinisterly Orwellian than the title eSafety Commissioner:
    “The activities of the eSafety Commissioner are governed by the Enhancing Online Safety Act 2015 (Cth) but our remit has been extensively broadened since our establishment four years ago.

  46. While it might be already too late, I no longer communicate with the ATO by telephone.

    Good idea. I’ll go through my accountant only now too.

    Dr Fred Lenin
    #3196914, posted on October 29, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Another reason for abolishing career politicians ,one term and you are out for life . These bastards are too busy playing at being lawyers ,remember giliards 1000pieces of legistlation . Another thing ,no person with a law degree should be allowed within 10 km of politics on pain of death ,leave them chasing ambulances and writing wills .

    Sorry Fred. Think of me as a young, anarchist Cicero.

    We need sortition.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sortition

  47. a happy little debunker

    stackja at 11:57 am

    The ABC gave their gave away on news brekky this morning.

    Local reporter identified the protesters as a troop, meaning a unit of soldiers, when she described the protesters as ‘moving up to reinforce their troops’.

    Troops (of soldiers) are actively denying the unencumbered movement of ordinary citizens whilst complaining that they are somehow being denied their right to free speech.
    They further complain that police action is inhibiting their non-lawful attacks on ordinary citizens.

    When can we relocated & contain these unlawful combatants in our own version of Gitmo, say located on Macquarie Island?

  48. Sean

    If only the ALP would understand this. People don’t want big government syping on them, they should oppose such moves and it will actually win them votes.

  49. Well I, for one, always use my pictures of Infidel Tiger and Cwissy Pinebox to log on to a porn web site.
    I should encourage others to do the same.

  50. Speedbox

    Roger #3196704, posted on October 29, 2019 at 11:40 am

    Just imagine the damage they could do to our liberties if they actually had policies.

    Said in jest Roger but as I have set out on the Cat previously, some 75 years ago a despicable man and his cohort brutally murdered millions of J#ws using little more than paper records and the word of informers. Just imagine how much more slaughter he could have brought with today’s data records and high speed computers.

    And don’t say it couldn’t happen again.

  51. Crossie

    So worrying about lorn purchasers is more important than drought-proofing the country. Very little difference there between ScoMo and what could have been a Shorten government.

  52. Crossie

    Where are the journalists? Why, advising the government how to crack down on the unfriendly populace.

  53. Squirrel

    With the possible exception of applying capital gains tax to the family home, I cannot think of a better way of gifting the next election to Labor.

    Someone needs to explain to Morrison what it is that a lot of Quiet Australians are actually up to while they’re being (relatively) quiet…..

  54. Bazinga

    To think getting rid of Turnbull was going to improve things. Liberals – disappointing.

  55. Cui Bono

    Have faith …Jim Molan will stop this
    Just let him suspend habeas corpus first

  56. Rex Mango:

    How does face recognition work with identical twins?

    Same way it works with ambulatory letterboxes?

  57. feelthebern

    Good to see such support for the federal department of p0rnography.
    Well done Cats.

  58. Kneel

    “Much easier to ban the websites.”

    I have no problem seeing already “banned” web-sites like thepiratebay, EZTV and so on – none at all. The work of a few minutes at worst – point your nameservers somewhere outside Aus, that’s job done. If that sounds hard, just get a geo-unblocker – fixed!

    I don’t know if it was clueless pollie-muppets being shown a “ban”, or savvy techos who realised the best way to get these “eye dee ten tee” pollies from annoying them was to show them something they (pollies) didn’t know how to by-pass, but either way current “blocks” are just “feel good” stuff.

    You can “take down” (ie, remove) a web-site, but you can’t “ban” (prevent people seeing) it without taking it down. Even taking it down is not usually successful – domain names are cheap, can usually be purchased from outside the country issuing them, many come with “free” web hosting for 12 months, and if all else fails, go “dark web” (ie, on a non-standard port with no links to it that google et al can “crawl” to it from).

    Consider that there are somewhat less than 4 billion IPv4 “public” IPs, each of which has 65 thousand+ “ports” to use. Once the transition to IPv6 completes, the number of IP addresses goes up exponentially – from 2^32 (~4 billion, or 4 * 10^9) to 2^128 (about 3.4 * 10^38, or if you prefer, 340 billion billion billion billion). Domain names are essentially unlimited. Pretty soon, you end up with a black-list that is unmanagable.

  59. candy

    It’s very troubling. An ordinary person, going about their lives doing nothing illegal, but observed and records kept of their identity and their activities – but all legal activities, but they are on file somewhere forever to be used by whatever and whoever is in government.

    I am not sure that Australians understand what this means into the future? And we can never go backwards with technology.

  60. feelthebern

    Hopefully one day our political overlords will then release the p0rn viewing history of those who dare to stand up to our glorious leaders.

  61. mh

    RobK
    #3196715, posted on October 29, 2019 at 11:50 am
    The ATO has its voice recognition security over the phone already.

    You have to give permission for your voiceprint to be enrolled with the ATO, and you can ring them up anytime to have your voiceprint un-enrolled.

    If there is a situation where you have to ring up the ATO regularly it will save a lot of time having a voiceprint on your account as normally you will only have to confirm you first and last name.

  62. Cui Bono
    #3197028, posted on October 29, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    Have faith …Jim Molan will stop this
    Just let him suspend habeas corpus first

    Hahaha…um…gulp.

    Sad but true.

  63. The BigBlueCat

    Dr Fred Lenin
    #3196914, posted on October 29, 2019 at 4:00 pm
    Another reason for abolishing career politicians ,one term and you are out for life . These bastards are too busy playing at being lawyers ,remember giliards 1000pieces of legistlation . Another thing ,no person with a law degree should be allowed within 10 km of politics on pain of death ,leave them chasing ambulances and writing wills . Maybe then laws will be written in English.
    My government will spend the first six months repealing red tape constricting laws ,we wl]ill be very busy ,lime reducing tax laws from 10,000 pages to 10.

    It’s the public service advising the politicians that is also a major problem. These laws aren’t written by the pollies, but by their staff … it’s the damn dumb pollies who don’t know what they are promoting that is the issue – they need the knowledge to stop this sort of shit dead, but the pollies are as dumb as dog dirt.

    They think the problem is age verification, so some public servant has thought up using facial recognition technology. Easy to defeat with a bit of electrical tape, but then the public servants will make it illegal to cover the computer’s camera. But age verification can’t be solved by facial recognition alone. And it shouldn’t be solved by passing stupid laws that infringe on privacy rights and could be used by a nefarious government to control the people. Orwell certainly had clear vision when he wrote 1984 (as a warning, not a handbook).

    Call it Fabian, call it Marxist-Leninist, call it totalitarian (it’s all of the above) … but if this proposal sees the light of day, everyone needs to resist it as a threat to liberty let alone an invasion of privacy. The government that implements this should spend a long time in the political wilderness.

    Whatever “bright spark” thought this is a good idea needs to be publically flogged.

  64. Leigh Lowe

    … the Home Affairs department flagged the potential to use its Face Verification Service, which matches a person’s photo against images used on one of their identity documents, to prevent underage individuals from accessing porn.

    Well, der.
    93.1% of kids under 18 do not have a photo ID, fuckwits.

  65. The BigBlueCat

    feelthebern
    #3197093, posted on October 29, 2019 at 8:05 pm
    Good to see such support for the federal department of p0rnography.
    Well done Cats.

    Calling out tyranny, government overreach and protecting one’s privacy is not supporting porn. If we value free will, porn and other evils will exist. But they are not mandatory, and no-one is saying you need to go to those sites. Facial recognition technology is not the answer for age verification. It’s a stupid idea.

  66. feelthebern

    Maybe instead of facial recognition, there could be some penis recognition.
    I think many in the government & public service would like a register of penises to check on a regular basis.

  67. vlad

    Said in jest Roger but as I have set out on the Cat previously, some 75 years ago a despicable man and his cohort brutally murdered millions of J#ws using little more than paper records and the word of informers.

    Mrs Schicklgruber’s little boy had help from IBM.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_and_the_Holocaust

    Well-meaning idiots like Turdbull and SloMo are dangerous precisely because they’re in sheep’s clothing. The Gitlers and Zedongs are obvious threats in comparison.

  68. Art Vandelay

    It’s the public service advising the politicians that is also a major problem. These laws aren’t written by the pollies, but by their staff … it’s the damn dumb pollies who don’t know what they are promoting that is the issue – they need the knowledge to stop this sort of shit dead, but the pollies are as dumb as dog dirt.

    Spot on. Both Labor and the Liberals have been completely captured by the bureaucracy. There’s hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats coming up with ever more authoritarian regulation (justified by the ‘need’ to catch terrorists, tax cheats, money launderers etc but in reality, they’ll just be misused to oppress ordinary people) and an out-of-depth and clueless bunch of politicians get sucked in by it every time.

    The result? More authoritarian laws and an ever-expanding bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is a cancer.

  69. JC

    And people complain about the Chinese Social Credit system. They just can’t leave people alone.

  70. Diogenes

    Also the Feds also have plans to ‘bypass’ the current Privacy Legislation to enable more ‘non consensual’ data sharing between all/any of the Feds and State and private industry.

    People at work wonder why I have a bit a tinfoil hat when it come “myHealth” and unsocial media

  71. duncanm

    Didn’t we do this on Utopia?

    I suggest a full scale trial in a reasonably sized City. 100% of citizens.

    Canberra should do nicely.

  72. egg_

    The state blob continues to attack the citizenry.

    A better term for the MIRC+ amorphous blob (Military-Industrial-Research*-Complex).

    *Hello Global Warming!

  73. Ian of Brisbane

    Where is my Scott Morrison mask?

Comments are closed.