Did you do it? Did you join the flock?

If you believe the Australian Government, there are compelling reasons to download the COVIDSAFE app.

They say that it will make it easier to track incidents and hotspots of COVID-19 … even though the app will be telling you about this up to 21 days after the incident, so it doesn’t so much keep you safe and tell you why you’re feeling like crap. So this claim is simply not true: it won’t keep you safe. Not will it notify you “quickly if you come into contact with COVID-19” unless you think being told weeks after an event is quick.

The government says that the sooner we all download it and they get COVID-19 under the control the sooner we can be freed. That sounds kind of like a prison bargain, doesn’t it, rather than a conversation in a democracy? That’s an ultimatum. But the truth is, we have COVID-19 under control. This is the data from 3:00 pm yesterday from the Department of Health (which for some reason yesterday was loaded differently and so is hard to read):

It sure looks like we’ve got it under control. So if that isn’t under control. What does “under control” look like?

Why haven’t we been told what we’re aiming for? Wouldn’t that be valuable? To know what the pain is for?

Finally, those first two reasons are short or immediate term issues. The longer-term issue with this app is how it will change our relationship with the government – and it relates to the prison bargain they are asking us to agree to.

They are asking us to trade out freedom for our liberty.

If you believe that our right to be free is (for want of a better phrase) God-given, then you should have issues with what they are offering. If you believe they can’t be traded away, then you should be angry, because they are asking us to follow their rules to regain our liberty.

But if you believe that your rights come from government then, by all means, sign up.

Finally, imagine what you would think if this was the plan of a Shorten Government? Or Gillard? Or Rudd? If you’d be nervous with them having this power, then you should be nervous with any government having this power because once a government has power, it doesn’t give it up.

This is a matter of principle. it matters.

Our mate Mike

We love Mike Cannon-Brookes, Australia’s foremost homeless-person impersonator, despite paying $100 million for a house. In cash.

One reason he has so much money is that his company – Atlassian – doesn’t any tax. It’s all legal of course. But being lectured by a tech billionaire who pays less than the GST on a Chupa Chup kinda peeves us off here at the Breakdown.

Mike also loves COVID-SAFE.

According to Mike:

I believe the government, PM and various ministers have said the code will be released. My sources also say exactly the same.

They’re obviously operating with extreme urgency to get the app out. For you.

Give them a few weeks to clean up code and release it (which is very normal) – but in the meantime, here are some tips:

– Turn the HN angry mob mode off – it’s not helpful. We’re all in this together.

– Commend the government on some smart privacy and security choices (data deleted after 21 days, open source code, AWS in Australia, sensible sec practices etc). They won’t get it all right – and we as a tech community can help them. Find a bug & help get them closed.

– When asked by non technical people “Should I install this app? Is my data / privacy safe? Is it true it doesn’t track my location?” – say “Yes” and help them understand. Fight the misinformation. Remind them how little time they think before they download dozens of free, adware crap games that are likely far worse for their data & privacy than this ever would be!

Thank you

He is right about the “dozens of free, adware crap games”. They aren’t good. But they’re also not governments.

It would be easier to believe Cannon-Brookes if (a) he didn’t wear a baseball cap (we know you’re losing your hair – embrace it), and (b) his company didn’t rely on so much government largesse. He’s kind of a suck hole. What’s the point of having F-you money if you’re a brown-nose bear?

Donald Trump- lightworker

He’s not a doctor so he gets medical stuff wrong.

But maybe he was onto something.

It turns out that “injecting” light is a treatment option being pursued. And it might actually be beneficial. It may not be.

But read the whole story. It is also at the Wall Street Journal behind a paywall, but this is also good from Red State:

We reported on Saturday how Youtube had removed a video from a medical team at Cedars Sinai and Aytu Bioscience showing a UV light treatment.

Turns out the video had been flagged by New York Times reporter Davey Alba to Youtube. She flagged the video to Youtube because people were sharing it showed scientists were actually developing the idea that President Donald Trump had mused about during a briefing.

Can’t have that, must censor, even if it means disrupting the effort of an actual medical team working to fight the virus with an interesting idea. They weren’t endangering anyone with the video, the video explained the science and no one was going to be able to duplicate it.

FEATURED IMAGE: Photo by Milad B. Fakurian on Unsplash.