An Australian MP has called for the Government to give every Australian their own email address for life. He has suggested the address could be based on surname, first name, and date of birth, with an @australia.org.au domain.

"The virtue of this electronic pigeonhole is that it would be permanent," he said. "You might change your email address every few months and your apartment every few years, but throughout your life this pigeonhole would be yours."

These days, people change address and email accounts often. Turnbull's idea is that it would be cheaper to establish a permanent email address for distributing Federal Government information, rather than spending money contacting people via telephone and mail (and, presumably, defunct email addresses).

I wonder if he's considered why people change their email addresses, however? Sometimes it's because you get a new ISP, and your account changes. If you're like me, though, you've always opted for webmail accounts anyway. The only reason I change one of my email accounts is spam.

If we were to establish this permanent email system, can you imagine the volume of spam every Australian would have to wade through, to find that one legitimate Federal Government email buried in their inbox? It wouldn't be hard to guess the email addresses; it wouldn't be hard to find them out, if you wanted to expend a little effort. Banks etc would know them immediately you opened an account. There wouldn't just be the normal odious spam, there'd be the equivalent of targeted telemarketing.

For this to work, I'm guessing you'll need the world's best spam filter. Otherwise who's going to even bother logging in?

9 thoughts on “e-caught!

  1. See, call me crazy, but I have this simple theory about bureuacracies — things should never be easy for them. Their jobs should always be hard. Especially government bureaucracies. And frankly, bureaucracies have survived that Terrible Evil that is People — Gasp! Gasp! Horror! Horror! — Moving, for eons. I think they can manage to deal with it a few more years…

    Silly politicians. We really must do something for the poor dears, get them some oxygen or something (sez Gerg, from the state where there was once a politician who wanted to be in government to keep Arizona from becoming a pork-producing state, because everyone knew that the pork-producing states had lots of homosexuals and feminists. I wish I was making that up).

  2. Precisely. I can see what Turnbull's driving at, hoping to increase efficiency and save money; but I doubt it will go anywhere.

    That pork thing? You're scaring me now.

  3. You're scared? *I* live here. ๐Ÿ™‚

    It was in the 1980s. To be fair. And he served all of one term before being voted out, as I recall. The odd thing was, he was a democrat. Usually the crazies of that variety are Republicans. But he was a rural…and rural Arizona is, ummm…interesting. Yes, that's the word I'm looking for. Interesting. (All Bibles and Shotguns outside the city limits, seems like sometimes…)

  4. Just out of curiosity, I only ever see Democrat/Republican bandied around in USA political talk. Are they the only parties representing the people? We have two main parties (Liberals, and the Labor Party), with a whole slew of smaller parties (the Democrats, the Greens, etc), and then a whole slew of tiny independent parties which never make it on the radar as such but can swing the floor one way or the other. Is that the same in the States, and I'm just not hearing about the little'uns?

  5. Well, there are, technically, other parties. we have a green party, say, and there is the reform party (a ghost of its brief surge under ross perot). and the libertarians, who are like civil libertarians only fscking insane. and then there's the real scary ones, like the natural law (transcendental meditation folks) party on the left, and the us taxpayers party on the right (want to end taxation as unconstitutional, and introduce biblical law, right down to stoning homosexuals). but the system is set up so that it only works as a 2 party system, really — it's a simple most-votes-win system, and thus encourages no more than 2 parties. and the two biggies have effectively maneuvered laws to keep others from challenging them effectively. end result — you'll see the smaller parties *sometimes* win local elections, etc, but there are none that i know of in congress. I think the best we have there are a few independents.

    a lot of this goes back to the founding fathers, who had fears that more than 2 political factions would cause chaos. they were always tryign to strike a very cautious revolutionary chord, really — change things, but *carefully*. some of us would say, now, and with the unfair advantage of hindsight, too carefully. there's been proposals for proportional representation (which could be done for the house of reps, at least, by a simple act of congress), but of course the dems and republicans aren't exactly keen on the idea. there are a few states, though, that have proportional representation internally. new york does, with the smaller parties being able to throw their support to other parties' candidates, and as a result ny has very lively and interesting politics.

  6. Hi Chris, welcome to the blog. I think a lot of people would have similar concerns, and I'd be one of them. Although, realistically speaking, it's probably not that difficult to find that information as it is now, anyway. Still. (I like your blogs, by the way. Interesting set-up!)

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