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“The app will contact people at random asking them to provide proof of their location within 15 minutes”

How will South Australia’s home quarantine trial work?

Premier Steven Marshall said he hoped the trial would be expanded to international travellers in “subsequent weeks”, making it a national first.

Those in home-based quarantine will need to download an app, developed by the South Australian Government, to prove they are staying home while required to.

People wanting to return to South Australia and home quarantine will have to apply to SA Health.

They will have to prove they have a place to isolate during their quarantine period and must also be fully vaccinated.

Those who are approved will have to download the South Australian Government home quarantine app, which uses geo-location and facial recognition software to track those in quarantine.

The app will contact people at random asking them to provide proof of their location within 15 minutes.

The report is by Sara Garcia and Rory McClaren of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, via “Australia Traded Away Too Much Liberty” by Conor Friedersdorf at the Atlantic and (for the second time in two days) Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.

Far from being ashamed of this Orwellian project, Premier Steven Marshall says “I think every South Australian should feel pretty proud that we are the national pilot for the home-based quarantine app.”

37 comments to “The app will contact people at random asking them to provide proof of their location within 15 minutes”

  • Fraser Orr

    So Australia has decided to go back to being a prison colony?

    One question:

    People wanting to return to South Australia…

    Why the heck would they want to do that?

  • bobby b

    Back when I was lawyering, I’d get druggie clients who, as part of their sentence, would have a pager that would go off randomly and direct them to appear at the urine-testing site within X number of hours for a UA. Failure to appear was a test failure, and usually meant re-imprisonment.

    Of course, they had first been given due process and had been found guilty of a crime. By all definitions, I would say that South Australia has adopted martial law. (As have many other countries during this pandemic.)

    Martial law involves the “suspension” of civil rights. I think this is an intentional mistake of wording. You cannot suspend a right. You can only violate it.

  • Rudolph Hucker

    This is not a surprise.

    Britain’s “Nudge Unit” started as policy-setting department of the UK government. But is now a multi-national NGO, still setting policies, with an office in Australia, “advising” the Oz Gov on how to behave.

    The Behavioural Insights Team – also known as the Nudge Unit – is now a social purpose company. It is partly owned by the Cabinet Office, employees and Nesta. For more information, please visit the Behavioural Insights Team’s website.


    Our Sydney office plays a leading role in developing new behavioural approaches to public policy and service delivery across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

    We work across Australia, and we have partnered with government and NGOs at the federal level, and in Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, Tasmania and South Australia.

  • bobby b

    “Why the heck would they want to do that?”

    By all accounts – polls, elections, expressed public sentiment – Australians appear to be deliriously happy with more and more draconian measures to save them from the plague.

    I understand they raise a lot of sheep there.

  • Zerren Yeoville

    “Why the heck would they want to do that?”

    Because of the attitude that Garfield discovered nearly forty years ago…

  • Zerren Yeoville

    Well, that Garfield link disappeared quickly. Try this one instead.

  • APL

    “The app will contact people at random asking them to provide proof of their location within 15 minutes.”

    Phone –> off

    Fraser Orr: “So Australia has decided to go back to being a prison colony?”

    Huh! Same thought occurred to me.

  • John B

    ‘ They will have to prove they have a place to isolate during their quarantine period and must also be fully vaccinated.’

    So tacit admission vaccination is neither effective to prevent disease nor to prevent transmission.

  • Roué le Jour

    I read somewhere that the government are also clamping down on “When do the Taliban get here?” (i e. To liberate us) jokes as well. Last days of the Roman Empire indeed.

  • Stonyground

    I could possibly accept that a case could be made for these kinds of draconian measures if it could be shown that they actually work. But really, is there any evidence at all that this ruinous nonsense has been anything but utterly futile?

  • Ferox

    “Smith!” screamed the shrewish voice from the telescreen. “6079 Smith W.! Yes, you! Isolate! You can do better than that. You’re not trying. Vaccination, please! That’s better, comrade.”

    Hard to believe there are utter wretched blowholes out there who see Orwell’s classic as an instruction manual. But they do – right down to whittling away the language and retro-correcting the news.

    The most remarkable thing of all is that they genuinely see themselves as the good guys.

  • Rich Rostrom

    Is this program being offered as an alternative to quarantine by de facto imprisonment?

  • John Lewis

    As opposed to the US model whereby prisons are largely emptied to prevent the spread of Covid among the inmates.

  • the US model whereby prisons are largely emptied to prevent the spread of Covid among the inmates. (John Lewis, September 3, 2021 at 11:12 am)

    Unless of course the crime was ‘parading’ in the Capitol to protest gross violations of the laws of statistical probability in the matter of voting. I have not heard of any of them being freed lest they catch the dread virus.

    (On the other hand, there are reports of their being subject to an unusual degree of solitary confinement. However I suspect that restricting spread of the virus was not the motive for that.)

  • Penseivat

    Knowing the world famous Australian humour, would a reply such as, “I’m in …………hotel, shagging your wife. She’s had two extra ‘vaccinations’ so far.” be acceptable?
    Asking for my larrikin cobber.

  • eb

    Perversely, South Australia was the only State that was not previously a penal colony!

  • bob sykes

    Australia today is a full-blown, East German style police state. If the US wants to support democracy, then it should invade Australia, and remove the fascists who now rule there.

  • Tim the Coder

    “within 15 minutes”
    So, sleeping is not allowed.
    Do you get extra penalties if the face recognition cannot match a haggard face after 2 weeks awake?

    Also, from my experience, mobile coverage in SA is rubbish. So limited to big city suburbs, not the wine country.

    Incompetent nazis.

  • So, sleeping is not allowed. (Tim the Coder, September 3, 2021 at 1:27 pm)

    Well, it may be possible, even probable, at conventional times. The app’s (pseudo)randomness may be aware enough of South Australian sunset and sunrise to avoid too many pings in too many small hours to the same person. Like the ramadan fast, this quarantine may end up being more of a real deal in daytime. But any isolating nightshift remote computer workers trying to catch up on sleep in the daytime may be as out of luck as any South Australian vampires. After all, Premier Marshall can hardly let the holders of the app inform him of when they wish to be called and when they do not wish to be interrupted. And even for dayworkers, they may not think of that at first.

    Of course, one can hope for happier forms of ineptness in enforcement. After all, here in pommie-land, I am told that

    between March 2020 and March 2021, all charges brought under the Coronavirus Act were incorrect, with not a single prosecution resulting from this large expenditure of police and court time.

    although sadly

    Around 80 per cent of prosecutions brought under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations were correctly charged

    And the Scottish tracing app was so incompatible with the English one that you cannot (or certainly could not) have both installed at the same time on your smart phone (or either if you took care only to have a ‘stupid’ phone, or be ‘stupid’ about switching between the two). There can be advantages in living near the border between two disharmonious jurisdictions. Like politicians, apps are often not as smart as they pretend.

  • Dr Evil

    If you are fully vaccinated then why are you having to go into quarantine? Doesn’t the vaccine work? If not why are we wasting our time and money on it? We are sending Oz 4 million vaccines. Why if they are being idiots?

  • Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

    Can anyone advise on the limits of the self-defence defence under S.A.’s criminal law. In normal times, when someone attempts to kidnap you and hold you for ransom, self defence up to an including life-threatening injury would be acceptable. At present, without there being any absolute constitutional rights, it is hard to calculate the chances of acquital, if someone shoots the idiot Marshall and claims ‘Self-defence’.
    Asking for a vaccinated friend…

  • Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

    There are at least 2 apps for android which allow one phone to ‘see’ the camera output of another phone, using bluetooth. It should not be too hard to do that using a forwarded telephone link… Leave your phone at home, and use your burner to show your picture, together with the GPS co-ords of your usual phone….
    Or maybe some code spelunker can fudge the ‘reporting’ output of the GPS code, to *always* report the position you want it to report. That might be an easier ‘fix’ than using two phones.
    Just thinking out loud…

  • The Cowboy Online

    On Android ‘phones you can get ‘fake GPS’ apps that allow you to set the location that will be reported by APIs. We use it at my company to demonstrate software running on a mobile device to show location based features.

  • Allen

    Ned Kelly… where are you?

  • Chester Draws

    I think people here are judging this wrong. The South Australians are giving MORE freedom, by letting people quarantine at home. They want a system that has checks, but more or less works on the basis that people will do what is asked of them.

    In NZ there are tens of thousands of people who want to return here but can’t because the government has a Stalinist ration approach to many things, and quarantine spots is one of them. People would love to be able to come in, quarantine at home, cheaply with an app like this.

    The app is only going to apply to a small number of people for a short time in a specific circumstance.

    There are some terrible limitations on liberty being imposed due to covid. This isn’t one of them. I would agree if it were extended to other circumstances, but that is a big call. International travel has always had limitations.

  • bobby b

    “There are some terrible limitations on liberty being imposed due to covid. This isn’t one of them.”

    Maybe I’ve been interpreting this incorrectly. Who, exactly, is subject to this quarantine? Much of the coverage I’ve seen sort of squishily implies that it’s everyone.

    (I hate finding out I’m on the stupid side.)

  • Paul Marks

    I had thought I had already commented on this – but I must have imagined it.

    Yes Chester Draws – it is better than everyone being under house arrest. But it is still nothing to be “proud” of as the demented “Liberal” Party Minister claims – unless he feels “pride” at being the cutting edge of world totalitarianism. “All Hail Agenda 21 – Agenda 2030, Sustainable Development!”

    The population are being treated as criminals who are allowed out on parole – as long as they say where they are at any time the state asks them. And they carry bits of electronic kit (“mobile phones”) with this wonderful “app”. Even prisoners on parole did not use to be treated like this.

    I remember Mr Putin using one of these mobile phones (which was turned off at the time) to target an air attack on the first President of Chechnya (ironically a former Soviet Air Force General and married to an Estonia – not an “Islamist”), perhaps everyone should feel about “proud” about that as well.

    “You do not understand Paul – this is just about the virus….”

    Pull the other one – it has got bells on.

    First of all Tony Fauci and Peter Daszak funded the gain of function research in Wuhan that spread the virus – are they in prison? No they are not – they are treated with the greatest respect by the international media, government and corporate.

    And there has always been Early Treatment for Covid 19 – is the minister “proud” of telling everyone about Early Treatment? No – he would have someone locked up for doing that (not because of his personal decision, politicians do not decide these things, but because he would be “advised” to do so).

    If anyone really thinks “you have to be able to tell us where you are at all times – and show us a picture to prove it” is “just about the virus” I have a nice bridge to sell them.

    This has been talked about for years – long before Covid 19.

  • Paul Marks

    By the way the Liberal Party of Australia is the alternative to the Labour Party.

    I had hoped that when Labour ruled Victoria went totalitarian, Liberal Party ruled states such as New South Wales and South Australia would resist the madness (if only out of party rivalry) – I WAS WRONG.

  • Paul Marks

    “No, no, no – this is just about people in home based quarantine”.

    For now. The idea that such methods were first thought up because of Covid 19 is wrong (they have been thought about for years – by the various international bodies and other such) and they will, eventually, be used generally.

    Still YES – it is better than everyone being locked up, as in Victoria and so on.

    People’s Republic of China style “look people are dropping dead on the streets” (with people pretending to do this for films – to deceive gullible Westerners) and “look we are welding the doors shut on blocks of flats”.

    The People’s Republic of China, and its “50 cent army” of commenters on social media – praising such people as the Premier of Victoria, had played the West like a fiddle. The PRC has been the number one economic power since 2014 (in industry – “GDP” is CONSUMPTION) – but now it is overwhelmingly dominant, thanks to the massive self harm in the West.

    But it is not just the PRC – various international organisations (such as the World Health Organisation – headed by a Marxist doctor of philosophy NOT a doctor of medicine, and the World Economic Forum) have jumped as the chance to impose the totalitarianism they they have long craved.

    Want to know if a government, or a corporation, is any good?

    It is easy. It is if they get an invitation to a WEF conference (or other such) and say NO.

    However, I can not think of any governments or corporations who say NO when they get invitations to such world totalitarianism building conferences – indeed they are flattered to be invited (all hail Sir Francis “New Atlantis” Bacon and Saint-Simon – tyranny is “THE SCIENCE”).

    Of course Credit Bubble bankers (as opposed to honest money lenders) are especially delighted with the ideas of Saint-Simon (although they may not have actually have heard the name) – as Big Business ruled socialism would be, under his scheme, led by Credit Bubble bankers creating “money” from nothing, and with the whole system controlling people from the Cradle to the Grave – for our own good of course.

    Big Business hand-in-hand with government to impose Collectivism – NOT Marxism (under Marxism the Big Business “capitalists” would be robbed and murdered), but not freedom either.

    By the way – the young Karl Marx may well have been inspired by the Collectivist vision of Saint Simon (whose ideas were very popular with certain people in Trier when Karl was growing up – hat tip to the late Murray Rothbard, much though I oppose him on other matters, for pointing this out) – so we have come full circle.

    Socialism that does not rob and murder the Corporate Managers and Credit Bubble Bankers, but rather socialism where the Corporate Managers and Credit Bubble Bankers are going to be IN CHARGE.

    I do not think it will work, I think it will be an utter disaster, but this does appear to be the way the world is going – and everything “Covid 19”, “Climate Change”, (whatever) is used to push the agenda forward.

  • David

    It seems to me that taking a load of photos in the desired location up front and then sending a different one each time requested would suffice as an alibi. Just to be careful, you might want to scrub any time/date information from photos (from the Exif data) but no doubt there is an app for that.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    eb, just so you know, Victoria was not a penal colony, and Melbourne made much of its’ non-convict origins. And I think that Western Australia was also colonized by free settlers.

  • bobby b

    Paul Marks, I have to disagree with you on part of what you’re saying.

    I shared your same vitriol over what I thought I knew about this new app, until it was (correctly) pointed out to me that I didn’t know what I was talking about. (See above.)

    Aus has been fanatic about border control. Since quelling human contact and closing pathways for virus importation are the cornerstone of their strategy (say what you will about this, it’s the way it is), a closed border is essential to their plan. (I’m a fan of controlled borders.) A’ers who traveled out of the state and wish to re-enter, until now, had to check themselves in to very-expensive quarantine hotels for 14 days, and stay, isolated and not-very-well fed.(I read several accounts about $2000 bills from the hotels for the stay.)

    The new app bypasses that, and allows them to stay at home, saving huge amounts of money and being allowed to live. And it only applies to those people who are re-entering the country and who do not wish to stay at a quarantine hotel.

    Would I call it a good situation? Nope. Better than the quarantine hotels? Yep. If it got me out of the 14 days in the hotel, I’d load it in a minute. Argue against the liberty-curtailment of the 14-day quarantine, sure, but that’s not the fault of this particular app. It doesn’t fix the liberty violation, but it does make bearing it a lot easier and cheaper.

  • Paul Marks

    bobby b.

    This sort of thing was in the works long before Covid 19.

    Covid 19 is just the excuse.

  • llamas

    Plus – and as well, also – my eeevil, nasty ex-copper mind says – the time it will take for the enforcement of quarantine violations reported by this app to become politicized will be measurable with an egg-timer. Soft boiled.

    Conservative commentator Candace Owens was just denied a COVID test in Aspen CO. by the owner of a clinic who didn’t like her politics. Who believes that reports of quarantine violations reported via this app won’t be ‘vetted’ ? – before we send the gavvers round to this person’s address, let’s check and see whether they are on ‘our side’. Or not. The sheer number of influential people who have been caught violating thse rules, from President Biden on down, and yet who have never been punished or even called out for doing so, cements the opinion in my mind that this tool will rapidly devolve into yet another means to punish wrongthink while quietly Persil-scheining ‘the great and the good’. Persuade me otherwise.



  • APL

    Dr Evil: “Doesn’t the vaccine work?”

    Even I’ve noticed that the anti COVID-19 vaccines, don’t provide immunity to COVID-19, don’t protect any one you associate with from catching COVID-19 from you, but do ‘apparently’ attenuate’ the symptoms of COVID-19, just so as you don’t know you’ve got it, but will carry a higher viral load before your immune system attempts to combat the infection. That was SMART!

    So, all those people who are running around ‘double jabbed’, are actually now acting like ‘super-spreaders’ that they revile the unvexxed for being.

    Ignoring for a second, if you’ve been vaccinated as a precaution against catching a given condition, you’d reasonably expect to be immune from that condition, and thus incapable of transmitting the condition to another.

    BONUS: you get all the extra benefits of novel autoimmune conditions brought on by the potential escape of the spike protein production to random organs throughout your body. RESULT!!

  • Finn

    People will (and should) start taking an axe to the mobile backhaul cables. Righteous payback to the mobile networks who are complicit in this mass imprisonment.

    Could be a rash of fires in broadband head ends and Sat links, too.

    You want to put a target on infrastructure? Start using it to enslave people.

    There are plenty of smart people on the street. Give them the time and motivation and they will push those chains right back up the State’s @ss

  • Finn


    Covid is endemic. Everyone on Earth is getting it and almost all will survive. Just as they get colds.

    The Wizards of OZ are playing King Canute holding back the tide by their stern decree. It does not and cannot work.

    Oz like everywhere else will have widespread covid and life will go on. Very very few will die because of covid. Like all viruses, covid is mutating to more transmissible, less lethal forms. Its survival of the fittest. A parasitic virus that kills the host doesn’t survive. Something the DS should bear in mind…

    People probably WILL die because of the draconian assault on liberty being perpetrated by Public Health (Control) megalomaniacs. At a minimum, public faith and trust in institutions has been destroyed, which has its own cost. But push too hard, and the rage will spill out first as localized violent insurrection and later as full blown civil war. No telling how that would play out – but its never good.