back to article Australian state will install home surveillance hardware to make sure if you're in virus isolation, you stay there

The State of Western Australia has given itself the power to install surveillance devices in homes, or compel people to wear them, to ensure that those required to isolate during the coronavirus crisis don’t interact with the community. Not all people will be required to use the devices. State Premier [equivalent to a US …

  1. JohnMurray

    Strange world: Arresting and possibly jailing people for not locking themselves away.

    So if an uninfected person is out on their own, not with other people or even near them, they can be arrested and jailed for that "crime".

    Given that police are ones at high-risk of being infected, and that jails are highly likely to be large establishments filled with infected and sick people very soon....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, because that's how quarantine works. It's not about keeping you and your virus away from the world, it's about keeping you and your virus *potential* way from the world. Unless you've got some sort of realtime virus monitoring test strapped to your arm that I'm aware of, you have no idea if the uninfected person actually is an uninfected person. Symptoms don't show up in the first few days of your contagious phase, and some people remain asymptomatic.

      The same way that "it can't hurt if only *I* go to the beach" showed itself to be spectacularly flawed in the UK when it turns out no-one has these ideas on their own. Similarly everyone buying an extra pack of bogroll and moaning that there weren't any left on the shelves due to everyone else's "panic buying" (but not them...)

      Just f**king stay at home and stop being so f**king selfish. It's this behaviour that's necessitating the monitoring, because imbeciles think they know better.

      1. overunder Silver badge

        "Just f**king stay at home and stop being so f**king selfish."

        It's bizarre. COVID-19 is no more deadly than the typical nasty virus with a 1.8% death rate, yet hide to not be selfish? Is it because it's no problem if the ones who are always dying have different skin colour and speak a funny language? Of course not, how dare the question !!!! We first worlders have been self isolating for decades to help those poor people in... our own backyards.

        Please everyone, stop being so selfish.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "COVID-19 is no more deadly than the typical nasty virus with a 1.8% death rate"

          Except that's demonstrably untrue. Welcome to Trump's position about a month ago.

          The mortality rate is estimated between 3-5%, but it's R0 rate is approximately 3 - 3.5. So anyone who gets it will pass it on to 3 or 3.5 people (on average). There's also no vaccine.

          So no, this isn't a "typical nasty virus". Do you really think the world would be collapsing its own economy for this?

          1. IGotOut Silver badge

            "The mortality rate is estimated between 3-5%"

            Citation please.

            1. Aussie Doc Bronze badge
              Coat

              Citation?

              This any use?

              https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-rate/

              1. SundogUK Silver badge

                Re: Citation?

                Not really, no. We have no idea how many people have actually been infected, so this is, at best, a guess.

            2. MachDiamond Silver badge

              https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

              Here's the Johns Hopkins map that Phil's been using. AKA, Thunderf00t

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "mortality rate is estimated between 3-5%"

            Let everyone roam free and spread the virus. Might help slow / reverse human population growth temporarily.

            Lock 'em all up like we're doing now and we might even be seeing a birth rate spike late this year / early next year.

            Instead we're killing the economy in the West, impoverished countries will not be able to isolate / treat people in their ghettos anyway, and the PRC will be in a position to make a massive land grab in the not too distant future. More new islands in the South China Sea, anyone? What about neighbouring countries?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "mortality rate is estimated between 3-5%"

              I presume you've had it and recovered, and now the rest of the world can go hang?

              Because if you haven't, you might yet be a statistic.

              1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

                Re: "mortality rate is estimated between 3-5%"

                Actually, he appears to have independently arrived at the original global official medical advice.

                That was only revised in favour of "flattening the curve" after it became apparent that local resource limits meant that ICUs would be maxed out.

                Imperial College London's subsequent modelling predicts that it WILL happen anyway, in what they term "a second wave", in the period prior to their best estimates of when a vaccine will pass testing and be rolled out in scale.

                1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

                  Re: "mortality rate is estimated between 3-5%"

                  To put it another way:

                  His point is backed up by salient authorities.

                  Disliking facts, or at least valid hard analyses of end results' relativities, is not, I feel, a good reason to disparage ad hominem those who mention them.

            2. RegGuy1 Silver badge

              Re: "mortality rate is estimated between 3-5%"

              Let everyone roam free and spread the virus. Might help slow / reverse human population growth temporarily.

              Well that may well happen despite our best efforts. The current world population is around 8 billion, and the projection is around 11 billion, I think, by 2021. (I remember the late Hans Rosling from gapminder.org saying this.)

              Africa is forecast to have by far the greatest growth rate. They also appear to be the least prepared for this pandemic, so it may be that the number of deaths in Africa is significantly higher than in the rest of the world. How that will change things is anyone's guess, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is really bad there.

              Of course we (ie the rest of the world) won't care. At the moment it appears it is each country for itself -- or in the US each state for itself. Twelve months from now we will have a clearer picture as to how devastating it was/is.

              So in short your comment may well prove true.

              1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                Re: "mortality rate is estimated between 3-5%"

                "it may be that the number of deaths in Africa is significantly higher than in the rest of the world."

                Most of Africa is the least aircraft served continent in the world which could help them a lot. A couple of weeks ago Thunderf00t overlayed a breakout map with a screen shot from FlightAware and the biggest outbreaks lined up very nicely with major airports. It's long been mentioned that air travel would be the biggest vector in coming pandemics. Countries that shut down air travel, especially international, the quickest are the one with better chances of containment. AFAIK, you can still get flights in the US which should have been shut down weeks ago. Either you make a bold response or you don't do well.

          3. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Lies dead lies and statistics.

            https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ seems to point to a death rate nearer 20%*. So not testing isnt really going to set peoples minds at rest is it?

            *see Closed Cases!!!!!

          4. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

            re 3-5%

            Australia's death rate is less than 1%.

            BUT we have been testing a lot more than most countries.

            1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

              Re: re 3-5%

              Italy's is much higher, but 87% of their fatalities are over 80yo. (Numbers per newspaper report on weekend) Per China's figures, that would imply about 15% fatality rate, so implication is that China's figures are overstated, comprise a hard fatality number but only a subset of actual infections.

              1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                Re: re 3-5%

                "Italy's is much higher, but 87% of their fatalities are over 80yo"

                Spain is much higher too. I haven't seen if that area is infected with a more virulent mutation or if it's just a matter of demographics. I'm calling my mum much more frequently to make sure she's doing well.

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          "COVID-19 is no more deadly than the typical nasty virus with a 1.8% death rate"

          Most viruses with that kind of death rate are shockingly hard to pass on.

          Coronavirus SARS-Cov19 passes on at least as easily as the common cold (being closely related to it), but the common cold has a death rate well below 0.01% and influenza is 0.1%

          51,000 people died in the UK last year of influenza/pneumonia with that 0.1% death rate

          That means 1.8% could be 1.2 million dead people. In a year

          - and that's assuming 1.8% when it looks like it's actually significantly higher than that if you look at actual numbers of deaths in this period vs the 5 year average.

          There are a lot of cases NOT being reported and a lot of "excess deaths" NOT being officially attributed to Covid19, but in the absence of secret undetectable assassination squads wandering around in the night it's a pretty good bet that it's the culprit.

          You can't bury, store or cremate that many people at once. The systems aren't setup to cope with it, which is why ice rinks across the UK have been requisitioned to do duty as morques and bulldozers are digging mass graves (which are ALREADY being used)

          Is it still a big joke?

      2. rcw88

        Totally agree, except there are some who clearly think the rules don't apply, there's a popular rock face not far from where I live, there were three people with climbing gear walking back to their hire car - easy to spot as they never have local plates, i.e. they are always from SOUTH of Hadrian's Wall.. Today I saw a camper van driving up the hill from my kitchen window... People don't generally own camper vans, this is pickup country - so yet more unwelcome visitors - the pubs and hotels are shut, the campsites are shut, the food shops know their customers, so WHY ARE YOU HERE?. #shouldhaveshutthesnowgates

        Stay at home, keep your bugs to yourself. Do what you have been told to do, yes, you at the back, that means you an' all.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      >Strange world: Arresting and possibly jailing people for not locking themselves away.

      That's hardly new or unprecedented. In fact it has never gone away, since forced isolation is used for people with tuberculosis who for reasons of mental health or substance addiction won't or can't finish their months-long course of antibiotics. The result is antibiotic-resistant strains of TB in a population whose health is not great anyway, mixing with other individuals with similar issues and poor health.

      1. RealityisntReal

        Yes it is new and unprecedented. Previous actions have been about individuals or very small groups at the most. You are now talking about entire counties/states/districts/countries. That is definately a new and unprecedented expansion of state power to control the individual.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          "Previous actions have been about individuals or very small groups at the most. "

          Amoy Gardens being an abberation?

          Or the global lockdowns in 1958 or 1968?

          or the wildly different spanish flu experiences in Western Samoa (no quarantine - 30% of the population died, So the British administrator pulled a Boris and skipped out, refusing to acknowledge responsibility until the day he died in Dorset in 1927)) and American Samoa (rigid quarantine, no deaths)

    3. NoneSuch Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Then after...?

      Who decides when the emergency is over and tracking ends?

      There's always some sort of bug going around and governments LOVE mass surveillance. This seems to be the latest crap flung at the wall, but it's actually sticking.

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: Then after...?

        Who decides when the emergency is over and tracking ends?

        But of course, the emergency is never over!

        Case in point: Americans are still taking their shoes off at airports, despite it being over 10 years since the last shoe bomb attempt.

        And we are still giving up our water bottles, even though the liquid bombs were only ever a plot device in a Hollywood action film.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Then after...?

          Actually, liquid bombs have been used at least once to destroy an airliner. In 1987, two North Koreans planted a bomb disguised as a bottle of liquor on Korean Air flight 858. It killed 115 people.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Air_Flight_858

          The explosive might have been PLX, which is a binary liquid.

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

          For some background, here is a quote from Wikipedia:

          <<The two bombers were traced to Bahrain, where they both took ampules of cyanide hidden in cigarettes when they realized they were about to be taken into custody. The man died, but the woman, Kim Hyon-hui, survived and later confessed to the bombing. She was sentenced to death after being put on trial for the attack, but was later pardoned by the President of South Korea, Roh Tae-woo, because it was deemed that she had been brainwashed in North Korea. >>

          It is a fascinating story. They killed 115 people, and she was pardoned.

          But the liquid bomb is not only Hollywood's idea – it is real as well.

          1. DiViDeD Silver badge

            Re: Then after...?

            The explosive might have been PLX

            Yes, or it might have been anything from nitroglycerine to exploding unicorn farts. The fact it needed triggering by a separate time bomb, concealed in a transistor radio, suggests it was simply a liquid explosive, relatively easy to obtain and handle, rather than a binary liquid explosive, which requires careful handling and pretty precise mixing to cause an explosion.

            It's not just "O Noes! The blue is mixing with the red" <<BOOM>>

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Then after...?

              "rather than a binary liquid explosive, which requires careful handling and pretty precise mixing to cause an explosion."

              Actual attempts to mix simulated binary explosives in an aircraft lavatory have NEVER suceeded

              And that's on the ground, stationary, with the lav module sitting on a solid concrete floor, not shaking around as flying aircraft tend to do (let alone the slight wavering they tend to do in the wind when sitting on landing gear)

              Which underscores the "Hollywood" aspect of binary explosives in real life. They don't work with kitchen/bathroom or bucket chemistry equipment. Get it wrong and you tend to just have a hot toxic mess on your hands. (Bringing up the aspect that terrorists who only manage to blow themselves up get laughed at, not feared)

        2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

          Re: liquid bombs

          I agree with your larger point.

          But the liquid bomb thing is real. Surprisingly.

          Example: the standard issue USA police/FBI demolition explosive is 2 clear liquids. Visually indistinguishable from water and with little to no scent, easily masked. Separately, inert; mixed, they are about as powerful as dynamite.

          You can see an example for yourself if you dig up the Mythbusters episode where they blow up a cement mixer truck in a quarry. Their police buddy is shown prepping the explosive.

        3. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Then after...?

          "And we are still giving up our water bottles, even though the liquid bombs were only ever a plot device in a Hollywood action film."

          Homemade Security in the US is mainly theatre so it's good for look of the thing to be checking against attacks that somebody would have seen in the cinema or on the telly.

          I remember when new restrictions went into effect and they discontinued curbside luggage pickup. I thought that it would be much better to get people's luggage downstairs as quickly as possible and past the dogs and under a few scanners rather than making people queue up with their bags and not having as much time to give it a good rummage.

          The shoe thing is annoying as there is often no place to sit down before or after the line up to remove and reinstall said footwear. I'm not as bendy as I once was and need to sit down.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Then after...?

            "Homemade Security in the US is mainly theatre"

            The fact that it's theatre should be underscored by the theft rate from checked baggage in US airports.

            If stolen things can be slipped OUT easily, then dangerous things can be slipped IN just as easily.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Then after...?

            "The shoe thing is annoying"

            not as annoying as when I put a few shots of skunk spray in them before I go to the airport

    4. Annihilator Silver badge
      Facepalm

      "Strange world: Arresting and possibly jailing people for not locking themselves away... Given that police are ones at high-risk of being infected, and that jails are highly likely to be large establishments filled with infected and sick people very soon...."

      Another way to think of it.

      Strange world. People would rather run the risk of being arrested and jailed into a high risk environment, than staying safe at home.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      For sure this is a serious virus...for those who are susceptible to it. We need to protect those people absolutely, but the solution is not to shutdown the planet and destroy people’s livelihoods, perhaps putting 50% of people out of work.

      The solution isn’t to track and trace every human. The solution isn’t to have medical passports which will permit or deny travel. These are Stasi and Orwellian solutions.

      It’s not Ebola, it’s not SARS1, it’s not MERS, it’s not Bubonic Plague. Life can go on pretty much as normal for most people. THOSE AT RISK, they are a small minority, should be the ones taking isolation measures, be prioritised for home deliveries, etc.

      We cannot destroy society and the economy on something that kills this relatively number of people. It’s disastrous for those people affected and their families, but it cannot be allowed to become disastrous for 100% of us, there are far more intelligent ways to manage this situation.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this the same Australia that was taking the piss out of the UK on Sunday for anonymised phone location monitoring?

    1. Saruman the White

      Yep, it was. Then they realised that their Most Hated Foe (at least for Rugby and Cricket) might actually be on to something.

      1. John Jennings Bronze badge

        No it wasnt

        There is a difference between a state and an entire country...

        The PM was the leader of the country- the leader of the state seems to have completely gone off on one.

        This is no way to enforce the covid quanentine. It completely tramples over peoples rights to privacy. You can also bet that it wont go away after Covid had gone.

        And what makes you think that the phone location monitoring would be anonymous - in your dreams The ICO left that WIDE open....

        Welcome Brazil (the film, not the country)

        1. Kane Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: No it wasnt

          "Welcome Brazil (the film, not the country)"

          Listen, this whole system of yours could be on fire and I couldn't even turn on the kitchen tap without filling out a twenty-seven B stroke six... bloody paperwork.

        2. Denarius Silver badge

          Re: No it wasnt

          WA ? Not new at all. Dusted off and updated Charlie Courts AntiVietnam war protest gathering legislation. Overnight it became illegal to have more than 5 people in same room. Completely ignored back in 1970s. Even real conservatives thought it ridiculous and the lefty lovies were the ones gathering. Pollies never forget a power grab.

          1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

            Re: No it wasnt

            Bear in mind, WA's government is Labor. (Faux)Left.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: No it wasnt

            "Not new at all"

            Even without the antiprotest legislation there are a bunch of laws on the books in NZ and AU left over from the 1918 epidemic that have never been removed in case they needed to be reactivated.

            There is provision for a 14 year sentence on either side of the Tasman for spitting on someone with intent to pass on an infection or to cause fear of having passed on an infection. So far in NZ the only sentence handed out for doing it in this pandemic has been 14 days, but it's there if needed. Under normal circumstances it'd be a simple common assault charge.

            Quarantine laws are also on the books with virtually unlimited enforcement powers and open-ended provisions to actually enforce them if needed for the same reason

            The reason is simple: Death rates in the Pacific and in rural/native communities in both countries were the highest in the world and hit 30% of the population in Samoa(40+% of the male population!), 20% in other areas. 1918 is still part of the history books.

      2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        No they just miss the ball & chain from transportation...

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      It's the same Australia who recently raided the offices of the national broadcaster's news division for not disclosing their source on alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.

      https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/jun/05/abc-offices-raided-by-australian-federal-police

  3. Annihilator Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Tags

    Having seen some facebook posts of some Hong Kong based colleagues, they're currently sporting some jumbo sized wrist tags at the moment.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Tags

      Yeah, those tags are being worn by Hong Kong residents (because only residents are allowed entry to Hong Kong at the moment) who have recently returned to Hong Kong - i.e, people who legged it elsewhere at the beginning of the outbreak but have now realised Hong Kong looks safer. That is, people who have jetted about the place during a pandemic.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only one sneeze away...

    ...from a totalitarian society.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Only one sneeze away......from a totalitarian society.

      Tens of thousands of deaths caused by covid-induced respiratory failure is hardly just a "sneeze", but, nice rhetoric. Well, apart from the slight sneeze/cough confusion.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Only one sneeze away......from a totalitarian society.

        Hundreds of thousands less than seasonal flu over the same period, but don't let the numbers get in the way of emotional overreactions.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Only one sneeze away......from a totalitarian society.

          Quote: "Hundreds of thousands less than seasonal flu over the same period, but don't let the numbers get in the way of emotional overreactions."

          So far, we're still in the warm up before the real game begins (hence all the temp hospitals being set up). We've months to go before this season ends.

        2. IGotOut Silver badge

          Re: Only one sneeze away......from a totalitarian society.

          Indeed you are correct regards the number of deaths re the Flu.

          However you are completely failing take into consideration the death and infection numbers DESPITE global lockdowns. If everyone around the world carried on as usual, then the death rates would be much, much higher.

          And as you like stats, take a look at the graphs, notice how it is currently on an almost vertical trajectory? Even if we have reached peak (we haven't as Africa has yet to be clobbered by it), then the numbers would remain very high before the downward curve gets back to almost 0

          https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    2. Phil Kingston

      Re: Only one sneeze away...

      As an extra step towards that, we're also using police drones here in WA to disperse "crowds". Equipped with lights, sirens and a PA this is a scary path to go down. As someone commented, "we shouldn't think for a minute that the police will pack up their new shiny toys when all this is over".

  5. Dave 126 Silver badge

    - biotech has largely followed Moore's Law in the same way as computer chips (no great surprise, since analysing genomes etc is dependent upon computing power

    - affordable desktop machines that will allow some disaffected jerk to create a virus with high contagion and high mortality are not far away.

    That's the threat. The mitigation might be:

    - the same cheap technology might allow near real-time analysing of airborn RNA / DNA on every street corner. Alternatively, your toothbrush might sample you for pathogens twice a day

    - if a sample is detected, a mobile phone (location aware, tied to an individual) is capable of receiving messages (stay at home) or denying access to public transport.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: allow some disaffected jerk to create a virus with high contagion and high mortality

      Really not that easy, and probably quite a bit harder than 3D printing a minigun.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: allow some disaffected jerk to create a virus with high contagion and high mortality

        well , given he's talking wildy about non existant science fiction , you cant really measure the difficulty

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: allow some disaffected jerk to create a virus with high contagion and high mortality

          Says the poster whose nick identifies him as nonexistent science fiction.

        2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

          Re: allow some disaffected jerk to create a virus with high contagion and high mortality

          Actually, a DNA printer was announced and demonstrated in 2016 (2015?).

  6. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Devil

    Let's have a little fun today

    Try this trick documented in El Reg - walk around the neighbourhood and see what happens when "the traffic stops" - you will find out who's actually monitoring your neighbourhood.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Let's have a little fun today

      Dang, I was wondering who it was who panic-bought a hundred mobile phones!

      Also, carrying a hundred phones is a situation where yes, I'd rather each phone was a few grams lighter at the expense of battery life

    2. The Central Scrutinizer

      Re: Let's have a little fun today

      Problem is, nobody can actually afford 100 mobile phones anymore.

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Let's have a little fun today

        You can get an Alcatel U3 from Carphone Warehouse for £29.99 + £10 PAYG credit. As you would expect for a phone that cheap, it is very rubbish, but it would do the job. There are people out there who could afford £4000.

      2. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: Let's have a little fun today

        My little MobiWire Ayasha, bought last year from a Vodafone shop to replace my dead-sim Samsung bought for £5 from an EE shop years ago, cost me £5 + £10 for credit. [ latter barely needed as the plan has £5 a month for unlimited calls and texts ].

        More than enough for my needs: if I want internet I want a desktop.

        '

        Now down to £1 for the phone + £10 credit:

        https://www.vodafone.co.uk/mobile/phones/pay-as-you-go/mobiwire/ayasha

        I couldn't afford £1,100 for a 100 phones, but then I couldn't work out which of them was ringing anyway...

      3. gerdesj Silver badge

        Re: Let's have a little fun today

        I have several 100 demobbed USB dongles on the shelves at work. Now all I need is 100 USB ports.

      4. druck Silver badge

        Re: Let's have a little fun today

        Our IT department has piles and piles of old Samsung company smartphones in the basement, there must be thousands down there. I doubt if I could persuade them to donate some for this sort of experiment though.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Let's have a little fun today

          " I doubt if I could persuade them to donate some for this sort of experiment though."

          Remind them of what happens when the batteries start swelling...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wonderful opportunity

    for hands-on, real-live, field testing of oh so many fabulous technologies. Also, on the legal side, it would have taken years to push through appropriate legislation but now, thanks to the epidemic, we'll we need now is to dust off and re-apply the coronavirus "time-restricted" regulations. Or just keep them in place, until further notice, eh? Cause like, you know, them viruses pop up pretty regularly, every spring, I hear, so we'd better be prepared...

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: wonderful opportunity

      every spring, I hear

      Is it too soon to invoke Godwin's Law?

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: wonderful opportunity

      Quote

      Cause like, you know, them viruses pop up pretty regularly, every spring, I hear, so we'd better be prepared...

      So lets remove that pesky sunset clause, so we can moniter everyone we need to regardless of the time of year.

      And give it another couple of weeks and our governments message will change to 'install this app or goto jail'... in which case, there goes my J7 and time for a new battery for the Galaxy S2.... they'll never write something that will work on something that old

      Or work full stop for that matter... it will be a government IT job handed to crapita after all ....

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: wonderful opportunity

        "And give it another couple of weeks and our governments message will change to 'install this app or goto jail'"

        How do you install an app? My flip phone doesn't have internet.

        That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stay at home in WA?

    Has anyone given any thought to the size of some of the 'homes' in WA? An old mucker of mine lives way out in the bush of WA. His backyard is over 100square miles. He spends his spare time prospecting for Gold.

  9. RealityisntReal

    The same justifications being used for the drastic infringement on individual rights today were also used during WW2 in the US to justify putting Japanese-Americans into internment camps. An action that is now universally declared as an unconscionable infringement on guaranteed rights. With the new expansion of the states power do you really think they will go back to business as usual after this is over? I personally believe that the government overlords will attempt to keep at least some of their suddenly expanded authority.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
      Trollface

      you mean they never let those Japanese-Americans out? shocking!

    2. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Actually, whilst the implementation was disgusting, and the racialism par for America back then, it is not utterly unreasonable in time of war to intern people of the enemy race/nationality.

      .

      We did it in both world wars, as did our enemies. [ And for our German inmates in WWI it was pretty badly done --- mind you in WWI America Germans were sometimes lynched on general principles. ]

  10. osakajin Bronze badge

    We. Are. Fucked.

  11. nojobhopes
    Facepalm

    April fool?

    Checks watch

    - Well this is a good April fool by The Register. A bit insensitive but funny. Well done y'all.

    Checks Australian government bill

    - Oh. Ohh. Ohhh.

    1. e^iπ+1=0

      Re: April fool?

      I thought they normally flag all the April Fool's day posts as such by 12:00 BST. None today.

      I suppose someone decided it would be inappropriate this year (fake news?). Maybe current reality is worse than most April Fool's jokes.

      Now, I can't find my spaghetti tree, but I've got one I'm hopeful that might solve the toilet paper shortage in my household. Broad leaves; not flushable, however.

  12. Amentheist
    Joke

    The Shock Doctrine

    Governments finally got the real 9/11 they always wanted.

    1. e^iπ+1=0

      real 9/11 they always wanted.

      Yeah, these bin Laden inspired biotech engineers are high fiving the pangolin in the mountain cave.

      1. Denarius Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: real 9/11 they always wanted.

        so the conspiracy theory circulating in China that this bug was engineered to panic the idiot West into crashing their economies so the Quin dynasties could be dominant again is false ? Given Chinese economy is restarting while ours is shutting down it is almost believable.

  13. Cederic Silver badge

    Want to monitor my house?

    Your monitoring staff will be needing eye bleach by the time I've finished.

    It's not (just) that I walk around naked in my own home, it's that I'll devise and enjoy all manner of disgusting practices, and sue the life out of them if they dare to try and demean or embarrass me as a result.

  14. Okker

    Big Brother

    Big Brother has arrived and is current living in WA but hoping to emigrate

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing new really

    In Western Australia we currently have very low infection rates and to keep it that way we'll soon be closing our borders to the rest of Australia as well (secretly some of us have wanted to do that for a long time). The tracking isn't a new thing, we do it for our low risk prisoners so they can be let back into the community but with conditions on where they are allowed to go. Extending it to people that won't self isolate has the thumbs up in my books. This tracking comes at a cost to the taxpayer so it's doubtful they'll actually do it unless people are caught deliberately flouting the rules.

  16. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Why can't they just outsource to Google

    Make everybody get Alexa for their home that's tuned for the front door closing and then track the "perp" by their phone. I rarely see anyone under 35 that isn't buried neck deep in their phone. If they leave the house without it, they'll start showing signs of withdrawal and run home on their own.

  17. Grinning Bandicoot

    Conspiracies not yet offered up

    One must note that China had a population rapidly aging out of the labor force but dependent on the social programs supported by the laboring force. Various articles on this economic issue have been in the vogue. One must also remember that one of the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse is disease. It should also be noted that death rate was highest in the aged none- labor force population. It can therefore be concluded that the Wuhan virus is designed to help rectify this coming shortfall in care for this population. Looking at the USA if the figures tossed about are anywhere valid then Social Security will still be in the black in 2050.

    Didn't like that one we should point out that the Tunguska event took place in 1908 and Manchurian epidemic appeared shortly afterward. Now count the number of flu or flu-like epidemics that seem to source from the Siberia-Manchuria region and it then obvious to those that believe its caused by the Hillery Trump or the Donald Clinton cabals sending a probe into space but back in time to loose upon the nonbelievers their due.Robin Cook tried to warn us but message got obscured by THEM.

  18. David Woodhead

    But this is WA we're talking about, right? The home of the creationists?

    Yes' I've been there.

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