An RDA Original Article.
The idea of the introduction of the identity ID system is not a new one. Way back in the mid 1980’s, the then Labor Government led by Bob Hawke pushed hard to introduce the Identity Card legislation but was ultimately defeated.
It seems that Australians were not ready to embrace the concept of an ID card, although it can be argued that we actually got a pseudo-ID card in the form of a Driver’s License, which came with a photograph, a unique number and your residential address all on a plastic card. This would have resembled the ID card that was being proposed by the Hawke Government.
The main purpose of the ID card, so we were told, was to combat the black-market economy and to deal with losses due to fraud of social welfare payments by the Commonwealth Government. Public sentiment was very much against the introduction of the ID card and even some ALP backbenchers labeled it as un-Australian and more akin to a “Hitler Card” or “Stalin Card”. This was at a period of time when the Opposition actually fulfilled its’ role and opposed the Government on certain issues. John Howard had this to say [i]“When you realise that the assumption of the Australia Card legislation is that every Australian is a cheat, when you realise that it involves establishing a level of intrusion of a draconian kind into the day-to-day activities of many people and when people really read and understand the legislation…”.
Over time, with the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre; the constant threat of terrorism always looming close at hand; and then shortly after the London bombings of 2005, we witnessed the Coalition government, led by John Howard take steps to introduce an ID card to combat terrorism and deter crime. Then there was the introduction of the 2006-2007 policy to introduce a social services access card. Thus began a slow and steady creep towards the Digital ID system that we have before us today.
At the moment participation in the Digital ID system is voluntary and completely by choice. How long will this remain the case? Especially with the current situation in our society where we see the “informed consent” to vaccine uptake has become ‘no jab, no job’. How much can you trust the politicians around participation policies concerning the Digital ID legislation?
With a pandemic playing havoc with border closures, the economy and impacting negatively on peoples’ lives, why is the Government preoccupied with rushing this legislation through? It seems that on the back of the pandemic, many policies are being rushed through that would not pass the pub test, or what it is to be Australian.
As always, the concept of a Digital ID is sold to us as a necessary change to bring about positive outcomes for the Government and citizens alike. In reality, the issuance of a Digital ID is a complex and deep undertaking that encompasses all aspects of your life and frankly smacks of a surveillance state that’s more in line with keeping tabs on your every move and serves to facilitate a social credit score system of Governance that dictates what services, products and information you can access.
The following diagram delves deeper into how pervasive a Digital ID really is:[ii]
As with many policies that are rushed under our noses as a knee jerk reaction to a crisis of sorts, the Digital ID policy had its’ birth in 2014 as stated in this article “ID2020 was founded in New York 2014” by John Edge, an expert on how Public-Private Partnerships can solve the sustainability goals with the help from blockchain and artificial intelligence technologies.
The organisation, which was supported by law firm Kaye Scholer, technology conglomerate Red Rose Corporation and the merchant bank Broadhaven, held their first meeting in September 2015. Their stated mission was to give a digital identity to everyone through “leveraging start-up models” and in the end create a system that would span the globe, including the 1 billion people that currently have no proper identification”. [iii]
According to its’ articles, ID2020 sees vaccination as a vehicle to scale up the widespread adoption of Digital ID. The pandemic has served as great onboarding to a Digital ID system “we’d like to bring attention to the intersection of global health and digital identity, and specifically the opportunity for immunization rates to scale digital identity amongst the most hard-to-reach children”[iv].
With ID 2020 having partnerships with GAVI and the WEF, it is not surprising that the Covid 19 vaccine rollout has been so aggressive, even in the light of mounting evidence that the vaccines are dangerous to health and impotent at protecting and preventing against Covid 19.
With the rollout being extended to younger age groups, that in fact do not benefit from vaccination, but rather, are exposed to unnecessary risk through it, it becomes easier to see that the real goal is to achieve widespread adoption of the Digital ID system.
Those that are vaccinated have, in effect, agreed to be part of a Digital ID with its’ associated passport. Those that choose not to get the vaccine sense that there is more at play, though they suffer from being locked out of services and job opportunities. It would seem that the Digital ID participation is as voluntary as the vaccine rollout program.
A Digital ID is as Un-Australian as the ID card that was proposed in the mid-80s and, as such, should be opposed by all Australians. Those who have no wish to be tagged and prodded into compliance by the surveillance state need to speak up or else succumb to the centralised control that the population’s Digital ID would facilitate.