It didn’t come asa shock to staff at the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance to hear that fraudulentdocuments purporting to be Australian government-issued vaccinationcertificates were available for roughly the same price as a black-market cartonof cigarettes.
“Any timethe government thinks it’s creating rules, all it’s doing is increasing theincentives for people to break them,” said Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance ChiefOperating Officer Gabe Buckley. “The more the government attempts to coercesociety with vaccine passports and the like, the more attractive alternativesto compliance become.”
“We have atextbook example of the phenomenon in action with Australia’s tobacco laws.The more the difficult the government makes it to purchase legitimatecigarettes, the greater the volume of blackmarket tobacco flooding themarket.” Mr Buckley - a former Information Technology consultant - went on toexplain that such legislation, often drafted in a rush generates a flurry ofactivity aimed at exploiting weaknesses in the technological solutions proposedby governments sorely lacking in technical competence. “We’ve seen it withevery contact tracing application that governments release. They aredisassembled with the source code available online within hours.
The ATA’s ChiefEconomist Dr John Humphreys explained that the potential for an increase incriminal activity was a wellunderstood phenomenon in economics. “Perverseincentives and the potential for unintended consequences have been understoodfor quite some time. Economics is the study of human decisionmaking,government appears to be resistant to the idea that humans even makedecisions.”
The over-relianceon technological solutions, and the increasing tendency to co-opt business intoits enforcement regimes also poses specific problems for legislators. “Thelevel of technological skill required to adequately secure a digital resourcesuch as vaccine certificates is simply beyond the comprehension of most people,there is no such thing as an un-hackable system” Mr Buckley said.