NEW QLD RAIL CAMPAIGN
Queensland Rail are showing off their surveillance capabilities across the state.
The Hard Pass to Trespass ad campaign, launched at the end of last month, aims to ‘generate awareness’ among “risk-taking males” aged 15-30 years of the consequences of trespassing.
However, on closer examination, this doesn’t seem to be the central theme of the advertisement. Rather, the majority of the clip is spent detailing the sophistication of CCTV cameras:
“Guess they didn’t realise we’re watching 24/7.”
Thank goodness they got those domestic terrorists!
“The odds of getting caught are high,” says the advertisement, which can be seen on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat), and also in trains and at stations.
Seems to me like the majority of this ad was spent showing off, instead of ‘preventing’ any harm from the activity displayed. Why would people already defying authority listen to said authority using intimidation tactics in ads?
They won’t, and it isn’t designed for that purpose.
In Queensland, approximately 12,000 CCTV cameras monitor the network, along with a team of Rail Squad Officers, Security and Emergency teams, Authorised Officers and Private Security Guards.
Posters and video screens across the network reminding us of their powers.
Not much different to those displayed everywhere in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Big Brother is Watching, citizens!
Much like we see in Orwell’s dystopian novel’s vision, Queensland’s security team monitor ‘the safety and security’ of customers and staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
It is no ‘coincidence’ that this organisation is boasting about their technological capabilities.
Let’s take a look at their track record and motivation to explore further. Queensland Rail have a proud and longstanding relationship with the Queensland Police Service.
In recent years, the addition of Authorised Officers patrol trains and stations, and some are trained as ‘Rail Corridor Protection Officers’, so that they can patrol within the rail corridor.
They have ‘Authorised Person powers’ under legislation which enables them to issue on the spot fines to anyone who enters or leaves a railway other than through a proper entrance or exit.
Or those who crosses a railway line at a non-designated crossing, as well as interfering with public transport infrastructure, service, vehicle or equipment.
Ask yourself the question: In a state with millions of people passing by, would there really be enough people skipping across a platform to truly justify levels of authoritarian control?
I would argue, most likely not. It is a slow creep to normalise further intrusive measures. Year after year, new ‘safety measure’ after ‘safety measure’, until no corner is unturned.
It reminds me of those old ridiculous ‘you wouldn’t steal a car’ anti-piracy ads.
It should come as no surprise that Queensland Rail is also involved in Australia’s biometric shift.
THE DRIVING AGENDA
It may seem like an ad like this has well-minded intentions, but it doesn’t. This is a group that have already been hard at work building essential surveillance networks for the state.
Queensland Rail has openly been in the process of replacing ‘Go Card’ train passes with facial recognition capabilities, which will merge with this CCTV network. They have already activated facial recognition on the Gold Coast portion of the rail line, including buses, in 2018.
This is happening in other states as well, including Sydney’s ‘Opal Card’ replacement.
If citizens raise concerns with the organisation NOW, before the final picture emerges, there may still be a chance to prevent this existing beast — shown in this ad — from increasing.
Let them know you are not happy with surveillance overreach, video advertisements bragging about suppressions of basic freedoms, and the future vision of incorporating biometric identification.
Get out there and make your voices heard.
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