back to article Come on, you can't be serious: Now Australia mulls face-recog tech for p0rno site age checks

Proving that satire is truly dead, the Australian government hopes to use facial recognition technology to check Aussies are over 18 before ogling online smut. In a submission [PDF] to a formal inquiry looking at how to carry out age verification for online pornography and gambling, the Department of Home Affairs argued its …

  1. spold Bronze badge

    Hmmmm...

    >>>

    It hasn’t given up though: it will find a way! A national database of dick pics, anyone?

    <<<

    There is probably a market for it.

    And for revealing the owners - Willi-leaks?

    Now the pictures will all be upside down.

    And all the users are called Bruce so this provides some anonymity.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmmm... Bruce?

      I moved to Australia over 20 years ago from Ireland. I was expecting to meet a lot of Bruces and Shielas.

      In over 20 years I have not met a single Shiela, and only a single Bruce. To totally debunk the stereotype, the Bruce was from Texas.

      Other stereotypes =debunked:

      - Noone drinks Fosters here.

      - Noone drinks XXXX.

      - They don't eat shrimps - they eat Crayfish (Big supercomputer type shrimps)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmmm... Bruce?

        > In over 20 years I have not met a single Shiela

        What about Sheilas?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmmmm... Bruce?

          > In over 20 years I have not met a single Shiela

          How many have you met who were in a relationship?

      2. Mayday Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Hmmmm... Bruce?

        We don't eat crayfish (generally) either. We eat prawns.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmmm... Bruce?

        Trevor - hiding behind AC doesn't make it any less obvious that it is your name.

        Pretending to come from Ireland while you are born and bred in Australia, are married to Shiela and have five lovely kids, Kev, Bazza, Dazza, Chezza and Kazza. Kev and Bazza are still at school, Dazza's just started an apprenticeship and the girls are hairdressers.

        Your best friends are Wayno, Wazza, Davo and Gazza, you all drive Holdens and would prefer to remove a testicle before driving something with less than 8 cylinders. Except for Davo who believes in that global warming malarkey and drives a V6 turbo to be kinder to the environment.

        For your other myths:

        - tourists drink Fosters

        - underage drinkers get what they are given and charged full price. Hence XXXX and Broken Hill

        - I'm guessing you're in Western Australia if you put crays on the BBQ instead of shrimp. Goddamn Australian Texans where everything has to be bigger...what are you overcompensating for?

      4. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: Hmmmm... Bruce?

        I met a guy who was introduced to me as a world expert on crayfish. I told him I'd never met a world expert on anything, and asked how many world experts on crayfish were there globally? He estimated two hundred. I asked him which songs about crayfish he knew and he didn't know any, while off the top of my head I named a dozen. I told him not to go onto Mastermind until I had time to make him a compilation CD.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmmm... Bruce?

        I am an expat in Oz (Darwin to be precise). Nobody drinks Fosters, but XXXX gold is an inexplicably popular carbonated beverage (I refuse to call it a beer).

        Looking at the current Australian cricket team, it seems that all blokes are called Mitchell instead of Bruce.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmmm...

      I tried to upload a personal dick-pic, but got the error "attachment too large"

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Hmmmm...

        What?? A double Polaroid!?

      2. The Dark Side Of The Mind (TDSOTM)

        Re: Hmmmm...

        What? A 400x mag of the thing upscaled to 4k?

    3. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Hmmmm...

      I imagine many that are officially too young would simply print out a picture of their favourite pornnstar and hold that up to the camera.

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Hmmmm...

        But porn stars might not be registered by the Aussie government as official Porn Viewers.

        No, what you need is a bunch of people who are almost certain to be using porn, and who's photos are easily available....

        I have the perfect source!

        (warning, those pictures might just turn you off)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmmm...

      "There is probably a market for it."

      Conversations with colleagues seems to suggest that oversupply has effectively destroyed the market outside of a few specialist areas.

  2. sbt Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Their reach (around) exceeds their grasp ... of reality

    Ah, politicians. Their desire to control things far outweighs their understanding of how things actually work.

    Never surprised but always disappointed to get confirmation that here Down Under, stupidity is on par with the best in the world.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Their reach (around) exceeds their grasp ... of reality

      > far outweighs their understanding

      There is no "understanding" at all, it's all about buzzwords and bandwagons.

      Next: Porn age verification by blockchain!

      1. Strahd Ivarius
        Joke

        Re: Their reach (around) exceeds their grasp ... of reality

        I knew that someone would try to go into sado/maso territory...

  3. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Happy

    Time to fire up the VPN ...

    1. Alister Silver badge

      VPNs will shortly be banned, citizen.

      No, we don't care that it will break all the secure connections used daily for management of servers, working from home and so on. VPNs are EEEVIL.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      VPNs?

      @sanmigueelbeer. Oz spooks already target any VPN, Tor user in Oz. Source. Security spook. Must be boring watching GIT repositories updates flying by but I suppose they are looking for mention of suppositories. OpenBSD rocks. No doubt the MIM attacks in ISPs will continue so security cops can pretend they do detecting while the serious crims continue to subscribe to political party donation organisations.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A whole new spin on facial recognition

    more like a spin on facial...

  5. YourNameHere

    Database of photos to be hacked..Trust us...

    What will happen when that database is hacked? How will the hackers use that data to blackmail the people in the pics? Ahh, you can't we will not record the names in the government database managed by "less than expert" clerical staff. You're safe, trust us. You will not be able to match these random pictures to any names. Wrong, just do a mass search of Facebook/Google databases and match names to people to the pics. Suddenly the local Priest, Coach, Mayor, Mentor is paying monthly payments to keep the news of what sites they like to visit quiet. But then again, hack any ISP where this same data is kept and you can do the same thing....

    1. Snowy Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Database of photos to be hacked..Trust us...

      No need to hack it just Email you blackmail victims saying you have.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Database of photos to be hacked..Trust us...

        This ^, so much.

        I feel a "two types of people in this world" joke coming on, with a punchline of people who don't understand the previous comment even after it has been made and people who thought it themselves but thought it was too trivial to post.

    2. NATTtrash
      Trollface

      Re: Database of photos to be hacked..Trust us...

      No worries. With facial recognition AI trained on certain sources it has some flaws. This way this specific application will improve its function. It will work brilliantly! Perfect for recognising white males (no facial hair means bonus points!). I can see it already, correct detection percentages will sky rocket!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Database of photos to be hacked..Trust us...

      YourNameHere: You assume this wont be outsourced to lowest bidder, again. On overseas servers, again. If Defence IT is run by foreign multinational which likes to slurp lots of details hardware and OS and application data back to wherever, what hope is there for rest of us ?

  6. Snowy Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Sure

    No matter how good it work a VPN is just going to bypass it!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How will they know it's my cock in my hand?

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      How will they know it's my cock in my hand?

      Fresh from the success of Facial Recognition, the government will be rolling out enrolment for Dick Recognition. Obviously Machine Learning and Blockchain is involved

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
        Coat

        Ummm... Cockchain...? Hmm. No. I beleive that's an altogether different niche.

        My coat? The one with the curiously sized chained ring in the left pocket, please.

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Gimp

          A different type of blockchain ...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I predict a 99.9% success rate with that tech on politicians.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      How will they know it's my cock in my hand?

      "A bird in hand is worth two in the bush"

      You hang on to the cock - I'll be with the two birds in the bush

      1. TheVogon Silver badge

        Isn't there an old saying? Something like one in a bush is worth ten in the hand?

        1. Julz Bronze badge

          Apocryphal

          The story goes that the shackleton (prop driven aircraft) crews on meeting the new nimrod (jet engined plane) crews said that four large screws are better than four blowjobs any day. Although I've always wondered what a contra-rotating fuck would look like.

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      "How will they know it's my cock in my hand?"

      It depends if your webcam has a big enough zoom lens ;)

  8. The Central Scrutinizer

    Just another stupid thought bubble...

    ... from a technologically inept government that is intent on trampling over people's privacy.

    I'm willing to bet that precisely no one will sign up for this. Oh yeah, put me in the porn database, so I can be a registered smut user. What could EVER possibly go wrong with that?

    And have they ever heard of Tor, etc?

    Seriously, the country is run by numpties.

    1. Ropewash

      Re: Just another stupid thought bubble...

      This is just it. The more they tighten their grip, the more people will encrypt and obfuscate their connections.

      If the .gov had just shut their big yaps right at the start they could still be using clearnet honeypots to nab the real villains of the online world instead of chasing ghosts through the onion at great cost for limited result.

      But keeping silent and doing your job never got anyone a budget increase.

      1. The Central Scrutinizer

        Re: Just another stupid thought bubble...

        Yeah it's all smoke and mirrors with this lot. They have to be seen to be "doing something".

    2. YourNameHere

      Re: Just another stupid thought bubble...

      Sure.... trust Google, Yahoo, Weibo, WeChat, FaceBook. They can be way more trusted with the data than the government.. They have no reason what so ever to do less than ethical things with the data....

    3. cb7

      Re: Just another stupid thought bubble...

      I don't see the relevance of using TOR or a VPN.

      The smut server needs to see you on camera so it can verify you're over 18 by checking the imagery against the gov register.

      All it'll need to circumvent it (assuming it ever gets implemented) is a virtual cam that sends imagery of an OAP.

      1. Aussie Doc
        Windows

        Re: Just another stupid thought bubble...

        Oi! As an OAP, I resemble that remark.

      2. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Just another stupid thought bubble...

        Tor/VPN means you no longer appear to be in Australia, but The Netherlands, where they have a more [grown up|mature|liberal] approach to adult material.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just another stupid thought bubble...

          grown up ... mature ... adult material.

          And yet this was supposed to prevent kids looking at porn. So although this and similar efforts are a complete balls up (or down) and a waste of time. The very fact that it is seen by yourself as adult material means that trying to stop kids viewing it had some legitimate aims.

          It's a difficult issue and no matter what others will tell of how everyone is 'doing parenting wrong' when it comes to kids access to the internet. Unfortunately, the reality is, you just have to accept they will be able to view whatever they want on the internet, hope it doesn't cause them any harm and try to have sensible conversations about it.

          1. phuzz Silver badge

            Re: Just another stupid thought bubble...

            Look on the bright side, at least a generation of Australian kids will learn elementary network security, such as the use of VPNs and TOR.

            In twenty years there'll be a whole new generation of Oz BoFHs!

          2. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: Just another stupid thought bubble...

            It’s adult material - that’s not a bad descriptor either.

            Adolescents will, of course, want to get their hands on anything set apart for adults. That doesn’t mean I think it should fall to the site to prove anyone’s identity and age...

            Parents/teachers need to be able to talk about porn, and specifically how completely ridiculous most of it is. In the same way that very few streets in London have only two family’s, but manage 14 affairs and three murders a month.

            Parents/teachers should be able implement local network blocks - and frankly should be able to force phones to connect via a home VPN, so phones get filtered too....

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just another stupid thought bubble...

        > All it'll need to circumvent it (assuming it ever gets implemented) is a virtual cam that sends imagery of an OAP.

        I'm sorry - login refused - Rick Astley is already logged in and only one session at a time is advised on health and safety grounds allowed.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think in some cases (thinking politicians here), it would be impossible to distinguish a dick pic from a picture of the person in question.

    In rare cases, maybe even a picture of a cu** - well, you get the idea.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or, in the words of the late Sam Kinison, a really bad grilled cheese sandwich.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would it have to be a picture pre, mid, or post wank?

    1. FuzzyWuzzys
      Facepalm

      Simples...

      They give you 60 secs for free then Clippy appears on screen, "I see you're 'bashing the bishop' or 'doing the five-finger shuffle', would you like some help with that?"

  11. IGotOut
    Facepalm

    Soooo...

    .....does this mean we SHOULD be buying Chinese made Huawei hardware now?

    I'm so confused now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Soooo...

      You wanna buy kit from a company that walks around aking "who are we? who aaare we??"

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Soooo...

        "You wanna buy kit from a company that walks around aking "who are we? who aaare we??""

        It would have been an even better joke if it weren't pronounced 'huar-way'.

  12. FozzyBear Silver badge
    Angel

    Ok that's it.

    In the spirit of the Razzies and Darwin awards. I propose a new annual award show. The Golden Oxygen Thief Awards. The statue in the likeness of Trump.

    Each year, we, the El Reg community vote on the dumbest, most idiotic statement , proposal or random brain fart publicly stated by an elected Official. We can have differing levels, Local, State, country.

    Categories can include,

    I'm a tech ignoramus (but I still get to decide how it's used)

    My Constituents are made of money (best failed project or waste of public money - proposed by a politician)

    I'm in the circus (best backflip on a subject by a poltician)

    at 88MpH you'll see some real shit (Best or most backpedals made by a politician after the most idiotic comment made in public)

    Dead Parrot (Regardless of the evidence the politician still publicly argues to the contrary)

    + others

    There would need to be an awards dinner of course, where we can name and shame. I think this could really catch on.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Ok that's it.

      Oh great, so we invent another sport and have the Aussies win every time ?

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Ok that's it.

        "Oh great, so we invent another sport and have the Aussies win every time ?"

        Have you seen Westminster recently?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Ok that's it.

          >Have you seen Westminster recently?

          Even Boris didn't declare that he was above the laws of maths

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ok that's it.

          Tony Abbott would have to get the lifetime achievement award for insane and counterproductive lying when ISIS became big news. He asked the chief of the defence force whether unilaterally sending every available Australian soldier would help, and was told no, so he didn't do it. That would all have been fine and reasonable, and could have been spun to make him look wise and statesmanlike.

          Unfortunately, he said he'd never considered intervening and had never asked the CDF anything, which could trivially be proved false because the question and answer were in the official log, and to repeat the lie for weeks, convincing no-one.

    2. Aussie Doc
      Pint

      Re: Ok that's it.

      Here in Oz, I nominate SloMo, our PM. He would give Pimplethinskin a run for his money.

  13. Oengus Silver badge
    Happy

    Idea

    One of Australia's most popular personalities had the nickname Moon Face. I think rather than dick pics we should give new meaning to "Moon face"... with a vertical smile.

  14. Chris G Silver badge

    Maybe

    This will stimulate the re introduction of dead tree mags like Razzle or a resurgence of CD porn.

    1. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: Maybe

      Probably not; but it'll give a boost to things like Tor, vpn software, and other proxy avoidance apps.

      Or, sites will just start geo-blocking traffic from Austrailia...

      1. Aussie Doc
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Maybe

        To be fair (or not) I'm not convinced Oz gov have a clue about the interwebtubes.

        When the bad dude shot those folks up in the mosque in New Zealand the govt 'banned' access to sites such as LiveLeak and the like.

        They know nothing about how Tor, real VPNs or even Opera in VPN mode works.

        Paris because she probably doesn't know either.

    2. VinceH
      Coat

      Re: Maybe

      "This will stimulate the re introduction of dead tree mags like Razzle or a resurgence of CD porn."

      And teenagers will once again discover the joy of hedgeporn!

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Maybe

        Cor, you should see my privit! And I'll not dare to describe the neighours leylandii for fear of making the ElReg site NSFW

  15. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Coat

    Members Database

    "It hasn’t given up though: it will find a way! A national database of dick pics, anyone?"

    Is that not the database containing the id card pictures of the Members of Parliament? It's mostly crammed full of dicks

  16. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    I'll be bringing ...

    my "O" face.

    1. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: I'll be bringing ...

      Office Space

      https://youtu.be/tm24ew4ci6g

  17. The Average Joe

    Kids never get into trouble, now no porn till your 21!

    so how would they stop them from reading a used playboy? Are you really going to stop kids from getting into trouble? Will you make it so they can't smoke a cigarette because all new cigarettes have facial recognition and the box won't open if your too young???

    1. Olivier2553 Silver badge

      Re: Kids never get into trouble, now no porn till your 21!

      Now that is an idea for a crowd funding campain: a cig box with facial recognition. And once you have accumulated enough money with zip development, you sale it back to the gov.

  18. Claverhouse Silver badge

    Eh, just prop up a photo of Father Christmas in front of the webcam.

    [ Or even a tasteful mugshot of a thuggish fat-faced cabinet minister. ]

    .

    The government formally abandoned the effort just over a week ago because it couldn’t get the technology to work.

    It's all tied in with Boris's Amazing Magical Brexiteer Wunder Border Technology [ Ulster; for the use of ] --- remember that ? --- that was magically ditched alongside the faithful yet gullible DUP as soon as the pitiful bastard gave in to Varadkar in favour of breaking his oath and instituting a Fullstop.

  19. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Stop

    Something, something...porn....must protect kids....something.....

    All ending up with giving a new definition to the term "facial" in connection with porn!!

  20. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Think of the positive side...

    it could result in a whole generation of young people who are skilled in theatrical makeup.

    1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Re: Think of the positive side...

      It will certainly improve Aussie IT skills

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is another Aussie solution they have available.

    Surely the Australian government can just use their tried and true solution of taxing something to death?

    I would take my coat, but they taxed it off my back.

  22. FuzzyWuzzys
    Happy

    Back to the old Speccy days

    A bit like the old Lens-Lock, "Please place your "digiridoo" and/or "g**h" against the screen and type in the code you can see."

  23. Aussie Doc
    Pint

    Okaaaaay.

    As the old saying goes,where there's a willy, there's a way.

  24. quattroprorocked

    National database of dick pics

    Just women to send in any they get for the next six months. Sorted.

  25. VinceH

    Optional

    From the article:

    It’s safe to say that the proposed facial recognition would frequently take place through the built-in camera of a laptop or PC ...

    Which, incidentally, is the same approach used by online blackmailers who view and record the subsequent graphic interactions of porn watchers and then email the unsuspecting victim with screengrabs asking for money if they don’t want the full video posted online, as has happened to one Register hack.

    Surely that should say "...online blackmailers who claim to view and record..."

    Okay, in the case of the linked article there was a real video of someone enjoying his own company (just not the reg hack), but the general modus operandi is to spaff out these emails claiming such videos exist and demanding money to keep them unpublished to all and sundry in the hope that some recipients will be worried enough to cough up.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Optional

      Yeah, I got those too. At least one also claimed to have hacked my email as well by including an actual password that I used to use on sites that required a login and I didn't care about it. The wording was actually above par for what is generally written by that kind of scum.

      Of course, it didn't impress me for one second. No, you haven't hacked my computer. That means that you have not enabled the camera, since I disabled it in hardware. Even if you had, you can't remove the lens lid and record anything. Also, I have never used that password for my email. And finally, no, there is no clock ticking now that I have read your stupid email. Email does not work like that, and you didn't think of requiring a return receipt so no, you have no way of knowing that I read it.

      But I have to admit, the non-tech-savvy population could be impressed by all the verbiage.

  26. Giovani Tapini Silver badge

    I just wanted to upvote the headline

    Top gutter journalism headline.....

  27. sawatts

    Jonny's such a good boy - he even has a picture of the Queen by his computer.

  28. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Missing the money shot ...

    This is Aussie-land, part of God's own 5-Eyes, 6-Eyes or however many Eyes there really are. Perhaps the obvious and imminent rejection of the "Secure Porn Access using Facial Features - (SPAFF)" system is deliberately intended to allow a twist of the political knife, helping promote the banning of 'dangerous' VPN and Tor access by the people, something already mooted by the n-Eyes overseers, because ... children, child porn, protection, radicalisation - you know the usual unsubstantiated, inane diatribe ...

    Besides, there's loads of money in it - China and NK are way ahead of the rest of the world in the fields of State privacy, control and censorship - the supposedly Free World needs to catch up ...

  29. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    A national database of dick pics, anyone?

    All your dick pix are belong to us.

    But seriously. What will stop some cockcroppers from cropping cocks from pr0n photos and submit that as their own? Or use a photo of their buddy's small wiener?

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Joke

      > But seriously. What will stop some cockcroppers from cropping cocks from pr0n photos and submit that as their own? Or use a photo of their buddy's small wiener?

      Oh dear god, it was a joke. No one is proposing to use dick pics for identification. Facial shots - that's the up and coming technology proposed for identification.

      And if there is going to be a database involved then surely it should be Dick Pick's?

  30. 0laf Silver badge
    Big Brother

    1984

    A Telescreen in every room with a microphone and camera just in case.

    Your face scanned and stored in a government database for tracking via the ubiquitous cctv and telescreens.

    Your car tracked for the purpose of per-mile road taxation

    Your encrypted internet traffic decypted for your own good by the government, if you get your money stolen it's for your own good

    And all shared with big business because, we'll, you must consume.

    I'm not saying we're heading towards a dramaic dystopian future but it looks bloody close. It's like a bastard future mated from 1984 and They Live.

  31. Jedit
    Joke

    The software will check if you look 18...

    … and if you do, it offers you a job.

  32. Milton Silver badge

    There's something in the air: that has to be it

    I'm in my seventh decade and have watched with (first) disbelief and (then) horror as the Age of Stupid has suffused the brains of the human race, seemingly with a particular effect on politicians: collective IQ has plummeted. I am almost seriously wondering just what effect atmospheric or food-chain pollutants are having on people's brains.

    Whether it's the colossal idiocies represented by Trump and Brexit, the suicidal denial of climate change, or the simple inanities of little things like the porn age verification fiasco (both Aussie and UK versions)—it all seems to point to folks getting ever dumber. (It reaches the heights of absurdity when ignoramuses post non- or even anti-scientific drivel online, using the very technology that science has made possible.)

    For me it is summed up right now by politicians repeatedly banging on about installing backdoors into the encryption of E2E messaging, despite their being told again and again, and yet again—with an abundance of factual evidence, reasoning and even mathematical proof—why it's a terrible idea. Are they really so stupid that they cannot understand?

    What gives?

    Are imbeciles born or made?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's something in the air: that has to be it

      > the Age of Stupid has suffused the brains of the human race, seemingly with a particular effect on politicians

      The Age of Stupid has been going on a long time then...

      On two occasions I have been asked, — "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" In one case a member of the Upper, and in the other a member of the Lower, House put this question. I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. -- Charles Babbage, 1864

    2. Electronics'R'Us Bronze badge
      Headmaster

      Re: There's something in the air: that has to be it

      Being of roughly the same age, I am becoming more and more convinced that what started as a bit of satire is actually true:

      The total sum of intelligence on the planet is constant: the population, however, continues to increase.

    3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: There's something in the air: that has to be it

      I think the scariest thing is that people have always been this stupid, it's just taken the advent of the internet to demonstrate it. Just look at some of the crazy stuff people have believed / done throughout history - for example any belief system other than your own $religion. S'why mine is NULL...

  33. Charles Calthrop

    headline

    Should be 'come off it' rather than 'come on'

  34. tiggity Silver badge

    Magazines

    Are still a thing.

    I n the UK many a small independent shop (i.e. not a sanitized supermarket / big chain) that has a news / magazine section still have a few jazz mags present.

    No idea how well they sell these days, I doubt they fly off the shelves - out in the sticks the tractor & other country related magazines far outnumbered the razzle, escort, club international etc. on the shelves

    So kids can still do a razzle in my pocket manoeuvre (as musically made famous by the late, great Ian Dury)

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    just wondering ....

    How much time will you guys from Australia spend before taking down your nazi government ....

    Just asking, we here, in France, slapped the feck out of Macron for a very lower offence.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      You really think so ? Last time I checked, he's still in office.

  36. MJI Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Politician face masks

    Problem solved

  37. Efer Brick

    Bruce, Bruce, Bruce, Bruce

    Not Bruce

  38. steviebuk Silver badge

    Well...

    ....the Aussie government has always been the most fucking stupid government. It's the same government that has implemented the law demanded backdoors into encryption.

    As bad as New Zealand who were in the pockets of Hollywood with the illegal rad on Kim.com (still a shit name). "He's downloaded movies and sharing them! Shit. We best be mega (no pun intended) tooled up with guns and shit. And we need helicopters despite the fact he's a large man and probably couldn't actually run far. Hollywood gave us lots of money and also said they''d turn our raid into a movie. We need to stand on his lawn and bagsie I get to say

    "This shit just got real" "

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Well...

      ....the Aussie government has always been the most fucking stupid government. It's the same government that has implemented the law demanded backdoors into encryption.

      Now, to be fair, most liberal, western free governments want to do that.

      Australia is the only government to consider banning women with small breasts though. Or at least as far as I know - I don't doubt we haven't plumbed the depths of stupid yet.

      Donald and Boris, though...

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do you really need a system ...

    ... to recognise a facial???

  40. DiViDeD Silver badge

    Sorry Mr Morrison,

    .. but I'm not buying a webcam just so you can watch me wank. Buy your own bloody porn!

  41. Wicked Witch

    > We can see how an extensive database of its citizens masturbating could be a powerful investigative tool in all sorts of other crimes: public exposure, sexual harassment, even child abuse investigations.

    Because clearly anyone running a CP site will decide that they need to add facial recognition and forward that data to the AFP. Its not like they're breaking any serious laws so they probably don't want to risk upsetting the Australian government about anything really important, because then they might get banned and have to use TOR or something.

  42. MachDiamond Silver badge

    The only way to prevent kids....

    from seeing porn on the internet is to take away their computers, mobiles (a good idea all around) and tablets. I can't sort my email and not avoid porn (or dick pills). I have to admit that I don't see as many adult web sites in search results as I used to, but it's nowhere near perfect.

    One clever or lucky kid is going to find sites with free samples and share the link with their friends. They have lots of interest, spare time and ADHD when it comes to things they know are naughty.

    "Stack the Fridge and Stoke the bong, we're stayin' in tonight." or would it be "My Dick's on the Dole (livin' on hand outs again)"?

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