Australia is a testing ground for US anti-terror laws
Australia has 'beaten the US to the bottom' in a few recent terror-knee-jerk-legislation-reactions.
Firstly, there was the mandatory metadata* retention by ISP's. There was a lot of argument about how the data would be managed and fears of rubber stamping access to said data, which was allayed by our honourable leaders as unfounded as warrants are required in order to access the data. There is some belief that this legislation, down the slippery slope, may be used for policing copyright infringement.
Here are some articles proving how unfounded these fears were:
The RSPCA, state coroners, and the Environment Protection Authority are also using powers in their own statutes to circumvent their exclusion from the data retention scheme.
Such organisations were among those lobbying the AGD to be designated a criminal enforcement agency under the TIA Act, a classification that is required to access the data.)
Secondly, we have legislation to require ISP's to have their network infrastructure changes authorised by the office of the Attorney General's Department to ensure the ISP's aren't implementing changes that may decrease Australia's national security vulnerability. This sounds a little like the pre-cursor to the Kaspersky kerfuffle in the US.
Thirdly, we have our fearless leader Malcolm Turnbull implying Australian law trumps the natural laws of mathematics:
Specifically this quote:
"The laws of mathematics are very commendable but the only laws that apply in Australia is the law of Australia."
... and now we have this facial recognition database.
If it can be passed in Australia, it can probably be passed in the US and UK. Australians have a history of not putting up with this sort of shit, so it makes sense that it gets tested here first and if it passes then it can go up the chain to the more paranoid countries. The fact these things have passed in Australia already means that Australia has become one of the paranoid countries. Sad times.
Don't sweat the small stuff, she'll be right mate. There's less of that; more people that like to get in everyone else's business. But we generally got up did something for the stuff that mattered. Now we just reach for another beer, or change channels to the Bachelorette. Or both.
Australia is another US in the making, ably led by Turnbull's Liberal Party (which is still really Abbott's Liberal Party). Not that the alternative offers much of a change of direction.
* For the definitive explanation of metadata, please search YouTube for "George Brandis Metadata"