Australia's Authoritarianism Somehow Manages to Get Worse

(Mick Tsikas/AAP Image via AP)

Yesterday, RedState reported on South Australia’s insane new facial recognition app that will be used to make sure people are in the “right place.” People will be randomly challenged by a government message to pull out their phone and prove their whereabouts, having only 15 minutes to respond. It’s part of a litany of authoritarian, draconian COVID mitigation measures that have somehow come to fruition in what was once a free country.


But as if to make me feel silly for thinking it couldn’t get any worse, Australia set its beer down on the table and proceeded to jump off a cliff without a parachute while singing the Friday song.

In what is being spun as a way to combat “online abuse, a new measure to monitor social media accounts and “de-anonymize” the internet has been proposed by a parliamentary inquiry, and Scott Morrison’s government believes the reforms have merit.

If George Orwell were still alive, he’d be mad that he didn’t come up with this first. Yet, this isn’t some story aspect in a novel. Rather, it’s real life, and it’s happening in a place that is supposedly a free and democratic society (though, it’s clearly not anymore).

According to the report, Australia wants to force its residents to register their social media accounts with the government, eliminating anonymity on the internet. Your identity online will be tied to your passport or driver’s license. From there, the police can step in and report someone for defamation or refer them for possible criminal charges.


To say the proposal is insane is an understatement. It’s the kind of overbearing, top-down monitoring that Nazi Germany would have drooled over. Further, this goes beyond the COVID issue, which is a key point here. For the past year and a half, we’ve seen authoritarianism across the globe take hold under the guise of “saving lives” due to the coronavirus. But this has nothing to do with the pandemic. It’s just Australia being tyrannical because they can be. That’s a bad sign for the classical liberalism that once thrived in countries with Western values.

The people of Australia are going to have to figure out where the line is really fast and enforce it because they are about to lose their country for good. There’s no coming back from something like this, and their leaders clearly have no intention of letting up.


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