back to article Sunday: Australia is shocked UK would consider tracking mobile data to beat pandemic. Monday: Australia to deploy drone intimidation squads

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison may have to eat his words on how to limit the spread of coronavirus after the country's westernmost state announced "extreme and draconian" measures all of its own. On Sunday, as Australia went into lockdown and banned gatherings of more than two people, Morrison scoffed at a journalist …

  1. Shadow Systems

    First a slingshot & some water balloons...

    Fling the balloons at the drone & knock it out of the sky. Then scoop it up, dismantle it before they can respond, & make off with all the recycleable bits to do your civic duty to help keep the neighborhood clean.

    "Honest Gov, I was just pickin' up some trash I saw on th' sidewalk an' stickin' it in th' tip."

    (Specificly, the GPS tracker, the RFID tagged bits, & anything with a serial # on it that can't be easily removed.)


    1. Wayland

      Re: First a slingshot & some water balloons...

      Annoying machines that people hate tend to get smashed up. Since a drone can't be made of steel plate if it's to fly then they will have to have them shoot back.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you think that's draconian wait till they chip every person and then newborn on the planet with a vaccine to be administered every two years logged onto it. Cash is then moved to the chip and if you step out of line your chip is turned off leaving you unable to participate in society, no job, no money, nothing.

    I don't believe that or need a tin foil hat but I thought I would share one of the outlandish conspiracy theories I have read recently. The other one is with the military build up in all countries we are about to go to war with aliens who are using asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2 for cover at the end of April. They won't be able to kill as many of us if we are all apart. The truth is out there people...

    1. onemark03

      Australia to deploy drone intimidation squads

      Well, fuck me rigid!

      (And here's us worrying about the introduction of ID cards. (Well, me, anyway!)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      AC>> but I thought I would share one of the outlandish conspiracy theories I have read recently.

      There are some right nut-bags out there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Tell me about it. Those are the tame ones. The others include the Rockefellers, Rothschilds, Epstein and Bill Gates. They are truly a journey down the rabbit hole of human imagination and craziness though very entertaining and fun to read. I like to try and work out why someone would believe or think the way they do.

        1. johnfbw

          The Rockefellers and Rothschild families are so old and rich some of the conspiracies surrounding them are probably true. Same goes for the Windsors, Kennedys and certainly the Trumps

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Obscene wealth over many years allows influence and power within society which creates a status quo, that's true. It's when they veer off to the crazy conspiracies it gets fun. I particularly like the Machiavellian world domination or destruction ones. There should be an internet rule for them like Rule 34. If it exists there is paranoia of it.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "There are some right nut-bags out there."

        There's some left ones too!

    3. johnfbw

      Why would they need to secretly chip us? We voluntarily carry a phone around with us and a lot of countries require you to register your SIM card with the government

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Apparently it's not secretly done it's to track vaccine uptake due to the pandemic then continued. It's then expanded to the one world order and one currency conspiracy theory. You can change a sim card you can't remove the chip when everything in society relies on the chip. Disclaimer: This is not my theory btw,

    4. DiViDeD

      Looney theory? that's noy a looney theory ...

      I thought I would share one of the outlandish conspiracy theories I have read recently

      You missed out the fact that, as of today (in Arsetrailer it's already tomorrow), all electricity has been turned off all around the world because of ... illuminati ... NWO ... vaccine or whatever.

      In fact, I don't even know if this comment will get through - or how my Black Widow keyboard is still lighting up, for that matter. Must be infected with 5G! Oh noes! And me without any tinfoil!

    5. Wayland

      You don't need to be ashamed of suggesting they might chip everyone to make sure we've all had our vaccination. They do this for pets.

      The cunning part is how they get us to demand that it's done.

  3. Barrie Shepherd

    My Australasian friends were laughing at me about the Derbyshire drone use and just sniggered that I now lived in an Eastern block police state (not withstanding the Australian draconian internet/mobile meta data laws)

    Great! - some karma today - they are now facing the same overreach by the Police.

    Very soon policing will be conducted by 'Officers' in secretly located control rooms with just drones patrolling the streets. The officers and their families will not live in the community but in large secure gated cities where they will be isolated from the problems the rest of the population face.

    I expect George Orwell to rise from his grave soon and shout out 'Told you so'

    1. veti Silver badge

      Are you being encouraged to go through your neighbours' trash and dob them in for wasting food? How about listening to foreign radio stations, is that illegal yet?

      If not, then you haven't yet reached the level of intrusiveness that Britain adopted during WW2 - and then dropped immediately afterwards.

      1. Wayland

        The Daily Mail show lots of photos of perfectly good food piled high in bins with the story being about panic buyers throwing away unwanted food. It was obviously a setup because some of the food was tinned. There is no reason anyone would got to the effort of chucking out tinned food in the middle of a crisis.

        However it had the desired effect The readers went nuts raging at the hoarders and panic buyers. It would be a tiny step to get people dobbing in hoarders. They are already dobbin in people who leave their house too often.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          The problem with the DM is that they often do tell the full and complete story. But they know exactly how long the attention span of the average reader is and they keep the full truth so far down the story, few of the their readers ever get that far.

    2. DiViDeD

      I expect George Orwell to rise from his grave soon and shout out 'Told you so'

      I think he'd be more likely to say "If I'd expressed ideas this outrageous, I never would have been published"

  4. doublelayer Silver badge

    And still

    And still, the drones are much less invasive than tracking that has been covered here in recent days. With the drones, people can be seen as they socialize physically with one another and their socializing can be disrupted. But the drones don't easily allow perfect identification or tracking. Mobile phone tracking does. Drone tracking can easily be noticed. Mobile tracking is easily hidden. Drone tracking has intrinsic limits because the craft must be piloted and even with the most expensive cameras and microphones there's only so much that can be picked up from in the air. Mobile phones are tailor-made for capturing people's actions. In fact, assuming breaking of quarantine orders is as common and severe as recent police action in many places suggests, I would be much happier with Western Australia's reaction than with Singapore's or Taiwan's.

    1. Wayland

      Re: And still

      Drone tracking looks more impressive in the same way as a loo roll shortage looks more impressive than a shortage of paracetamol.

    2. Barrie Shepherd

      Re: And still

      "And still, the drones are much less invasive than tracking that has been covered here in recent days. ......But the drones don't easily allow perfect identification or tracking. Mobile phone tracking does"

      But I'm currently allowed to leave my mobile phone at home should I want to go off for a day out in Derbyshire. (Not that I can at present because of the politzi road blocks now set up around the English Counties)

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: And still

        Well, if you live in one of the mentioned countries, you're not allowed to leave it behind (or go out). If they try to reach you on your phone and you don't respond, that's considered reason enough to go after you. True, that system has more holes in it than the average IoT firewall, but it's still more invasive than the drones are.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wait a second it's already April 1st in Australia or am I being optimistic there?

    1. BebopWeBop

      Good point. BUT I still think you are being optimistic.

  6. Brian Miller

    Bleating and babbling, we ...

    "We'll see how long it takes before someone breaks and smacks one of the buggers with a crowbar. "

    "When cometh the day we lowly ones, Through quiet reflection, and great dedication Master the art of karate, Lo, we shall rise up, And then we'll make the bugger's eyes water."

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    fitted with lights, speakers and sirens

    v 2.0 upgradable to pepper spray. Strickly for those emergencies like terror attacks, widespread pandemic, mass unrest.. But remember: first they came for the terrorists, then they came for the virus! ;)

    1. DiViDeD

      Re: fitted with lights, speakers and sirens

      first they came for the terrorists

      At the moment, they're coming for the people sitting in the sun in Centennial Park, at least 10 metres from anyone else, on the grounds that they're not shopping for essentials or exercising.

      And the Fun Police Division is stopping traffic on the M1 in case they're secretly intending to undermine democracy by driving up to the Central Coast. I can see my drive home on Friday is going to be filled with excitement! Although I don't think even NSW Police can mistake a 2 seater Italian sports car for a caravan full of ne'er do wells. We shall see.

  8. Dave 15

    drones or just radio controlled toys?

    Seems to me that the police are wasting our money on some radio controlled toys. I reckon I will build a bigger radio controlled plane with a nice little net suspended from it and catch me one... just for fun

    1. Wayland

      Re: drones or just radio controlled toys?

      Perhaps a Spitfire with tiny machine guns.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Carstairs

      Re: We obey

      I do know someone with a confirmed COVID-19 infection. He's been in hospital, on a ventilator for about a week - and only today he's starting to show some signs of improvement. And he's 30-odd, and was apparently fit and healthy.

      I also know a couple of other people with what is probably COVID-19, but since testing is so hard to obtain, who knows for sure. Fortunately, they aren't in hospital. Just "very bad flu, and bad breathing" (but lasting a lot longer that flu normally does).

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: We obey

        The first cases requiring hospitalisation and ventilator use was a few weeks ago. Are there any reports of people being discharged from hospital yet? None of the official sources seem to mention them or the people tested positive and now clear. Yes, it's scary how many people per day are being admitted to hospital and how the numbers are going up with a peak being predicted as still a week or two away, but surely there must be some number of people either leaving hospital entirely or being moved of ventilators and into standard recovery beds. But all we get told about are the deaths.

        1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

          Re: We obey

          BBC news web site has articles of people describing how they got COVID-19 and their lungs stopped working. Tho I expect it's not easy to talk about it

    2. cshore

      Re: We obey

      Yes, I know 12 people who have almost certainly had it - none have been tested but the symptoms match in all cases. One of them is currently sedated and on a ventilator.

  10. earl grey

    There are some right nut-bags out there.

    That's Mr. Scrotum to you sir!

  11. The Central Scrutinizer

    This was actually reported on the TV news last night, with video footage of said drone. My first reaction was WTF?! OK, we need to be extremely careful about social contact etc. I get it. This sets a very dangerous precedent for societal control though. Once the pandemic is over, I wonder how long it will take for these things to disappear from the sky, hmmm? And if you don't want to be tracked when you go shopping etc, leave your damn phone at home.

    1. DiViDeD

      If these police drones get within 30 metres of anyone, can we report them to the ... police?

      1. Wayland

        2 metres you mean.

        1. KBeee
  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NSA already has the figures...

    NSA has the figures already.

    One of two ways.

    First, they will have an agreement or a backdoor into the makers of every Apple Watch, Fitbit, Galaxy Watch etc. They just have to take this huge amount of data and crunch it for the amount of users who have a sustained increased heart beat and temperature. Then compare this to the percentage of smart watch owners that had the same thing this time last year in order to find the increase. Then multiply that out to get the figure for the rest of the population or area.

    They would do such a thing in the name of national security, which this pretty much is. It's the only reason they haven't asked for this data - they already have it.

    It could also explain how Korea / Samsung and Singapore responses were so effective and targeted.

    Second way is much more data intensive but possible. For everyone is the US's scan their Facebook and Twitter feeds, look for the key phrase "My temperature is/ was ...". Might want to give greater importance weighting to any result with a decimal place, as those people have likely actually measured with a digital thermometer. Again use some formula to remove duplicates and percent of the population etc.

  13. John_3_16

    We now stand on the cliff edge facing the end.

    5% of the population now controls/owns 95% of the world's wealth. Greed has one particular element in its nature. That is they want the other 5%. Nothing is beyond their imaginations to use in their quest for control & ownership. Nothing. This world & its inhabitants are simply completing a journey predicted & foretold more than 3,000 years ago. Destruction, war, famine, death & false hope will lead to the end of this journey & the beginning of a much brighter happier new world.

    World debt has reached a level that would require every human alive today to pay $35,000.00 each to eliminate it. That is every man, woman & child living today. Trillions more being printed & used to prop up a world economy that is shrinking with each passing moment. What happens when the bill comes due? Do you think the rich & powerful will simply wipe the slate clean & allow the rest of us to survive & start over? The entire world is in quarantine. Huge portion of which are unemployed & requiring handouts to survive day to day.

    Evil vrs good. God vrs satan. And human kind, caught in the middle, learning that they have no control beyond choosing a side. Choose Jesus & live after death. Choose satan & die once; forever & forever.

    I have always known & believed in God, His Son & His Spirit. Humans & satan will never solve the problems of this world. There is still time to decide. As long as one is still alive. Visit John 3:16 & follow your heart. Time is short & tomorrow may be too late. Hope & belief in Jesus Christ will take us beyond the destruction of this world.

    God bless & keep us safe from evil & harm. In Jesus name. Amen.

    1. W.S.Gosset
      Thumb Down

      Re: We now stand on the cliff edge facing the end.

      > 5% of the population now controls/owns 95% of the world's wealth

      Something to consider re this observation:

      This is by far the LEAST imbalance/inequity in the history of mankind, with the exception of the post-war 50s60s manufacturing explosion in parts of The West. The impact of which is still subsiding, sharply accelerated by, unfortunately, people like us: technologists and engineers proudly solving interesting problems and eliminating poor people's jobs. Not because we're evil, but because its FUN. And we never twig the consequences for other people until too late, if at all. If you want to point the finger at by far the greatest creator of poverty in the last 3-400 years, you have to point the finger at US.

      Re nonWest and glorious noncapitalism, which I suspect was your intended underlying theme: I recently read a Chinese propaganda book from the early 1980s. As part of their Show YOU Who's Best! theme, it proudly trumpeted that the country people were SO RICH now, that most of them cooked with COAL fires. (most...) Take THAT, you vicious-tramplers-of-the-poor capitalists!

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