Guest Post: Rabz – Submission in opposition to the Exposure Draft of the Digital Identity Legislation as proposed by the Australian Government

We the undersigned, are lodging this submission to express our implacable opposition to the Australian Government’s proposed Digital Identity Legislation.

Australian citizens have no reason whatsoever to be “grateful” that the government will find it easier to access a comprehensive database of information on every single one of them. The legislation is little more than a very poorly disguised attempt to lay the groundwork for a loathsome Chinese communist style social credit system. A system that would be able to continually monitor in real time our movements, our spending habits, our interactions with commercial businesses and the bureaucracy, not to mention a whole host of other equally likely dangerous and sinister intrusions into our lives.

What will be included in this “digital identity”? Our financial records? Our medical records? Who will be able to gain access? Under what conditions? Is Facial Recognition Technology part of it?

Will the “digital identity” be used to monitor political, social and religious participation, comments on blogs, participation in protests, opposition to sacred shibboleths such as climate change and mass immigration, domestic and overseas travel and your reasons for going to a particular destination?

Most importantly, will the “digital identity” be used to restrict individuals’ movements, access to their assets (particularly cash) and access to goods or services based on their “soundness” and compliance with ridiculous and inexcusable government diktats?

Australians have not been able to express their view on the introduction of the “digital identity” via the ballot box. The administration of government IT systems that contain significant amounts of personal information on citizens is notoriously poor – and already subject to abuse by politicians, bureaucrats and other malign actors such as computer hackers.

Why should businesses be burdened with enforcing this legislation? What are their likely costs? Other than restricted goods such as alcohol, tobacco and firearms etc, why should a business be required to check the identity, let alone the state approved status of its customers?

These administrative and cost burdens may be easily absorbed by large corporations, but they will be a significant extra impediment to the viability of small businesses that used to provide around 80% of the jobs and innovation in our economy. Given the recent government administrated destruction of many small businesses courtesy of the idiotic and inexcusable COVID restrictions, this requirement, if enforced will result in further small business closures.

Is this any kind of acceptable outcome for Australia? Ever more regulation, with prohibitive compliance costs pushing the small, innovative companies to the wall, and handing even more market share to those already shown to be in favour of government mandated barriers to entry that remove any additional competition.

Government has never proven to be more knowledgeable than individuals exercising their free choices. The health, education and childcare sectors are signal examples of government’s inability to provide quality service at an acceptable, market determined price.

Cyber security has received a lot of attention recently with Andrew Hastie, Assistant Minister of Defence, announcing proposed expenditure of some $15 billion over the next decade. This clearly suggests that he and his advisers envision a significant future cyber security threat – and they’d be asleep at the wheel if they didn’t.

If this significant cyber security threat exists (and it clearly does), then there are grave and unacceptable risks in developing a consolidated database containing the personal details of all Australians. The strategic, political and military value of such a database cannot be overstated. The ability to steal the identities of political, military and industrial leaders and use those to cause chaos, strongly militates against this proposal.

While it can be argued that “strong” cyber security measures might protect against hacking, the evidence suggests otherwise. Putting aside the over-confidence that these cyber security measures might inspire, there have been many recent examples of supposedly secure databases being hacked. These include a US civil service database covering some 22 million staff, including many in highly sensitive jobs, and the hacking of Australian banking databases affecting tens of thousands of customers, whose personal details were compromised.

These examples strongly suggest that a consolidated database of personal identifications would be dangerous.

Another significant risk is identity theft for commercial gain. This can be achieved by corrupting personnel with access to the system. The acronym for corrupting personnel is MICE (Money, Ideology, Conscience, Ego).

An example of this is the theft by way of a thumb drive of a major US NSA database some years ago. While this was apparently done for reasons of conscience, similar approaches targeting money, ideology or ego could also be successful.

The risk of such compromise increases correspondingly with the number of people with access to the database. In this regard, the suggestion that access will be extended from the Commonwealth, not just to states and territories, but also commercial organisations, is alarming. A database of such sensitivity should have extremely limited access, which would seemingly then negate its value.

To summarise, we are completely opposed to this legislation, the “digital identity” and the attendant Chinese communist style social credit system that would result.

The proposed “digital identity” serves no useful purpose whatsoever. It is beyond unnecessary and will be inevitably subject to abuse by governments, the bureaucracy and malign actors such as hostile foreign governments and local and overseas IT hackers.

Over the last few decades in particular, Australian governments have ceased to act in any kind of good faith manner towards the citizenry. This proposed “digital identity” framework is quite simply an abomination that should never have been even contemplated, let alone come this close to being introduced.

George Orwell’s landmark novel “1984” was not an instruction manual. It was a stark warning about the horrors of an all-powerful utterly intrusive government surveillance state and the abuses it would visit on those unfortunate enough to exist under it.

This “digital identity” legislation must not proceed, not only for the reasons set out above, but also because the Morrison government has no electoral mandate to introduce it.

Yours,

29 thoughts on “Guest Post: Rabz – Submission in opposition to the Exposure Draft of the Digital Identity Legislation as proposed by the Australian Government”

  1. Thanks all – regarding submissions, I’d prefer you lodged individual ones. The more the disgusting infuriating arrogant tin eared dunderheads receive the merrier.

    P.S. Feel free of course, to edit as required.


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  2. I’d have preferred an actual counter-proposal, rather than these questions. Something along the lines of:

    1. Digital Identities will be managed by private organisations selected by individuals that trust them.
    2. An individual may request as many digital “personas” from their provider as they wish.
    3. Requests to discover the identity behind a persona will only be answered with the specific consent of the individual, or under a warrant. The use of any warrant will be disclosed to the individual.


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  3. Here is the confirmation of receipt of my submission.

    This email confirms we have received your submission on the Digital Identity legislation. We thank you for your feedback.
    Your submission will help guide the development of the Digital Identity legislation.
    You can keep up to date on the development of the Digital Identity legislation on the Digital Identity website.
    Digital Identity team
    Digital Transformation Agency (DTA)

    Well, what do you know, an agency has already been formed to implement this shit. I’m afraid our submissions are going to do jack shit. The Digital Identity team are not going to do themselves out of a job. It is highly unlikely any actual poli voting on this abominable legislation, will even be made aware of our concerns.

    Public ‘servants’ run the country now.


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  4. jupes says:
    October 27, 2021 at 2:41 am

    Public ‘servants’ run the country now.

    Yes, have been running rings around the elected cretins… for decades.


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  5. Entropysays:
    October 27, 2021 at 7:47 am
    I am not sure what would be worse, malign actors, or those intruding on our rights for our own good.

    The latter. Remember the words of C.S. Lewis.


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  6. Well done Rabz and Dover Beach for posting.

    I filled the form out yesterday whereby you only have to supply your email address and state that you don’t support the legislation and you are excluded from any further action. I think….


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  7. Thanks Rabz. I submitted mine now.

    Basically, I added this header to your submission:

    As a person born in the former USSR, I think the communists would be extremely happy if they had technical capabilities to pull off what is proposed in this bill. It saddens me, a person who came here to seek a better and a freer life, that Australia is on the path to this “soft” totalitarianism. I’m a Liberal party voter, but I don’t see a reason to vote for this party any longer. The last 20 months showed that there is a little difference between the “conservative” party and any party to the left of it. This bill is another nail in a coffin of the liberty and freedom in Australia. But they won’t be in the coffin all alone, they will find a company of Liberal party right next to them.
    I completely support another submission by an online acquaintance of mine and will post it here:

    … I had to remove a couple of paragraphs to fit into 1000 words.


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  8. Well, what do you know, an agency has already been formed to implement this shit. I’m afraid our submissions are going to do jack shit. The Digital Identity team are not going to do themselves out of a job. It is highly unlikely any actual poli voting on this abominable legislation, will even be made aware of our concerns.

    This reminds me of my current CEO, likes to announce that consultation will take place before a decision is reached. You email comments which are then ignored and a decision is put forward that you know was reached even before the announcement of the process. Just theatre to be able to tick boxes for the board of directors.

    By the way, boards of directors are smokescreens for what is really going on in an organisation. They are paid not to authorise policies and proposals but to hide them from public view.


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  9. “I suggest that you sign it as “A Group of On-Line Associates””

    It may be worth registering an “organisation” of some sort – even if only a simple .org.au or .asn.au domain name, and plonk a web-site on it (even just a “Coming soon…” splash page). On second thoughts, it might be better/easier to register a TLD (.org) name instead – less paperwork, IIRC. Then send out “press releases” etc on a regular basis, including things like breaches of rights blah blah. Eventually, the MSM will start quoting you as “filler” and then you’re in.

    Worked for “The Pedestrian Council”.


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